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Colds and Flu

Influenza and your Child: Information for Parents

CDC

Flu (or influenza) is caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. The flu usually spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Some children are at high risk of having complications from the flu. Flu could make them very sick or even kill them. The following people need to be vaccinated each year to prevent the flu:

  • Children 6 - ­23 months of age
  • Children 2 years to 18 years of age with chronic health problems like
    • asthma or other problems of the lungs
    • immune suppression
    • chronic kidney disease
    • heart disease
    • HIV/AIDS
    • diabetes
    • sickle cell anemia
    • Children 6 months to 18 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy
    • Close contacts of children 0-­23 months and children with chronic health problems

Doctors recommend household contacts and out­of­home caregivers of high risk children get vaccinated too. Children under 6 months old can also get very sick from the flu. But they are too young to get a flu vaccine. The best way to protect them is to make sure that their household members and their caregivers are vaccinated.

Unlike the common cold, the flu causes severe illness and can be life threatening.

Each year about 1 in every 1,000 children younger than 5 years old will be hospitalized because of the flu.

The flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu. Anyone 6 months of age or older can get the flu vaccine.

The Best Time to get Vaccinated is October or November

 

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