Should your kids get the flu shot?
Like every year there’s some confusion and debate around the flu shot and we are hoping to clear that up to make sure you and your family are prepared.
What are the big differences between the cold and the flu?
The flu and the cold have a lot of similar symptoms. They are both respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. The flu is typically much worse whereas colds are usually milder. The flu suddenly comes on while the cold is more gradual and usually only lasts for a few days. The flu has more serious consequences and that’s why it’s important to know the difference.
What are the symptoms of the flu?
Flu symptoms can include a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. Cold symptoms are usually milder and people are more to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not usually lead to serious health problems like pneumonia, infection or hospitilisation.
Every year a new flu shot is developed to protect against the strains that are expected to circulate during the upcoming flu season. The World Health Organization (WHO) determines which strains to fight against.
Who should get the flu shot?
Doctors advise that everyone should get the flu shot in order to protect themselves and particularly those most vulnerable or at higher risk of contracting the flu. High risk people include the elderly, those will a decreased immunity, children and pregnant women. They are more susceptible to health risks and complications when getting the flu.
What do you do for a child afraid of needles?
For kids, in the past it was easy to give them the flu vaccine by means of a nasal spray but this year it is not available. What do we do if we have kids who are afraid of needles? They can go to their pharmacy and get a topical anesthetic that will numb the area where a needle will be injected. This will make it less painful for children who are afraid of needles. All kids between the ages of 6 months and 5 years old should get vaccinated as their immune systems aren’t fully developed yet. Kids who fall within this age group can get the flu shot from their physician. Children over the age of 5 can get the flu shot from their pharmacist. Pharmacists are trained to administer the vacination.
Kids get the flu most often and can spread flu germs to friends and family before they show symptoms. Kids under five are at higher risk of complications from the virus.
What are some other ways to stay healthy during the flu season?
Wash your hands frequently. Wash commonly touched services especially if people are sick to prevent the spread of the virus. Living a healthy life style, such as eating a healthy and balanced diet and staying physically active, will help boost your immune system and keep you healthy.
If you get sick, stay at home and get proper rest, stay hydrated, don’t go work or school so you can help stop the spread of the flu or infection.