The flu is dangerous no matter what age you are, but the flu can be especially dangerous for children. It’s common for young children to need medical care because of influenza, and in some cases the flu can be fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized due to flu symptoms each year.
There are a number of reasons why the flu can be so dangerous for children. Children’s immune systems are not as strong as adults. This means that they get sick more often than adults, and that they are more susceptible to the flu. They are also less aware of the consequences of viruses and infections, more likely to do things that spread germs, and they spend most of their days in close proximity to other children who also get sick and spread germs.
Chronic health problems and conditions make children even more susceptible to health complications from the flu.
New strains of the influenza virus develop on a regular basis, which is why there is a new vaccine every year. While your child may have resisted previous strains, they’re not guaranteed to resist new strains. Each year, the CDC provides specific details and information about the upcoming flu season.
There are parents who believe that you should not vaccinate your child to protect them against influenza. These parents rely on the fact that other parents will vaccinate their children, or they simply hope that their child won’t get the flu. This is irresponsible. The only people who should not consider flu vaccinations, are those under 6 months of age, or those who have life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine.
The best thing you can do to keep your children safe from influenza is to get them vacinated. Sure, regular bedtimes, healthy diets, and good hygiene practices can help, but healthy decisions alone aren’t always enough to keep the flu at bay. The flu isn’t something that you want to take your chances with. Getting your children vaccinated is the most responsible thing you can do to keep your children, your family, and your community safe from the flu.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children older than 6 months get vaccinated for the flu annually.
It’s recommended that you get vaccinated for the flu as soon as possible to reduce your chances of catching the flu. However, you’re still at risk for catching the flu for as long as the flu is circulating. Don’t assume that since you’ve made it this far you’re in the clear. There’s still time to vaccinate your child and protect them against influenza.