It is that time of year again, when the weather starts to change and the mornings are a bit cooler and windy.Our children are back to school, and with that comes more exposure to germs and viruses such as influenza. Starfish Pediatrics can administer a wide range of CDC-recommended immunizations and vaccines for adolescents. We want to make sure you, as parents, are well informed and have the tools to keep your little treasures well and healthy.
So here are some key points…
- Get them used to washing hands often
- Have hand sanitizer gels readily available for your children and make sure school or daycare also uses them
- Teach your little treasures to cover their face when coughing or sneezing, this is often best done by coughing into their flexed arm instead of their hands to avoid contaminating their hands
- Call Starfish Pediatrics to schedule your child’s flu vaccine as soon as possible
Here is some information about the flu:
Influenza, more commonly known as “the flu”, is a highly contagious disease that can cause fever, cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. Complications of the infection include pneumonia, seizures (in children), and worsening of existing conditions such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes. Every year in the United States, up to 20 percent of the population gets the flu, and more than 200,000 hospitalizations and about 36,000 deaths occur from flu complications. Approximately 90 percent of these deaths are among people age 65 and older. Although the incidents of influenza are the highest in young children and they serve as a main source of flu virus transmission, deaths among children are uncommon. The flu is caused by influenza viruses, and is spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing.
Flu Vaccine Information
Because influenza viruses are constantly changing, an annual flu vaccination is recommended as protection against the flu. The flu vaccine is commonly available in August and September, and throughout the flu season, which runs from August to May. It’s usually takes about two weeks for the vaccine to work, and its protection will last throughout the flu season.
This vaccine is given as an injection into the arm or thigh muscle, which is known as an intramuscular (IM) injection. The vaccine contains an inactive, or killed, virus so it is not possible for someone to get the flu from the vaccine.
There is also a nasal spray version of the flu vaccine available.
Who Should Receive the Flu Vaccine?
Everyone over the age of 6 months
Flu Vaccination Schedule
A single dose is recommended for most people
Children younger than 9 years of age receiving influenza vaccine for the first time
– Two doses separated by at least 4 weeks
Influenza vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.
Flu vaccinations for children are important so, please try to get them done as soon as possible. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends annual trivalent seasonal influenza immunization for all individuals, including all children and adolescents, aged 0-6 months during the 2012–2013 influenza season. And remember if your young one does get sick, make sure you give plenty of fluids and let them rest well. If a persistent fever or cough appears, please call us as soon as possible and we will see them right away.