Ask your Charlotte pediatrician about the flu shot

Ask your Charlotte pediatrician about the flu shot

Flu season can prove to be dangerous for children younger than 18, as the seasonal condition has been known to be fatal in rare cases.

Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there’s no way of tracking how many flu-related fatalities there are each year, the flu virus can be prevented with an annual vaccine. Before talking to your Charlotte pediatrician about vaccination options for your children, verse yourself with these flu facts.

1. Children can't get sick from the flu just by receiving the flu shot. The flu shot contains inactivated, dead viruses that can't cause the flu in children. According to the CDC, normal side effects from the shot include soreness, redness, or swelling from where the shot was given, a low-grade mild fever, and general aches.

2. Children are considered high-risk for acquiring the virus. The CDC recommends everyone older than 6 months old be vaccinated.Children younger than six months of age should not receive the flu shot. A child's immune system before the age of six months is too immature to form good antibodies. Households with very young children should take precautions by washing their hands often. If possible, all adults and older children in the household should get the flu shot to protect the infant.

3. The earlier you can get to your Charlotte pediatrician, the better. Once a child receives the flu shot, his or her immune system will need to build up a defense against the virus, which can take as long as two weeks.

4. A vaccination might not be best for all children. If a child has ever had a severe allergic reaction to eggs or suffered from Guillain–Barré Syndrome, for example, ask your pediatrician if there are other options available. Your pediatrician will be familiar with your children’s existing conditions, so be sure to ask if a flu shot is right for your child.

5. A vaccine might be wise for children who are enrolled in school or constantly around others. Because these children come in close contact with others, a flu shot might protect them from germs potentially acquired from classmates. A communal toy can easily spread influenza through a group of children.

If you're looking for a Charlotte pediatrician, Angie's List contains listings of more than 400 local physicians. Not all are highly rated by Angie's LIst members, so sign in to read recent reviews and see member ratings.

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Vaccines help protect not only the person receiving it, but also others unable to be vaccinated. (Photo by Meredith Rizzo)
Vaccines help protect not only the person receiving it, but also others unable to be vaccinated. (Photo by Meredith Rizzo)

Charlotte-area pediatrician explains why families should get their school-age child up-to-date on immunizations before school starts.

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