Influenza Is Dangerous For Children

Get Your Child’s Flu Shot Now

Influenza (“the flu”) is more dangerous than the common cold for children according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  Dr. Kenton Hilbish of New Castle Pediatrics agrees with the CDC and emphasizes “each year, many children get sick with seasonal influenza; some of those illnesses result in death”.

“The single best way to protect your children from the flu is to get them vaccinated each year”, stresses Dr. Josh Underhill with New Castle Pediatrics. Even though FluMist will not be available this year because of concerns about how well it works, a flu shot could save your child’s life.

And because babies under 6 months of age are too young for a flu shot, you, your family and anyone in close contact with your baby need to get your flu shots too to protect your young baby.

How The Flu Affects Children

  • Children commonly need medical care because of influenza, especially before they turn 5 years old.
  • Severe influenza complications are most common in children younger than 2 years old.
  • Children with chronic health problems like asthma, diabetes and disorders of the brain or nervous system are at especially high risk of developing serious flu complications.
  • Each year an average of 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized because of influenza complications.

Some Children May Need Two Doses Of Flu Vaccine.

Some children 6 months through 8 years of age require two doses of influenza vaccine. Children 6 months through 8 years getting vaccinated for the first time, and those who have only previously gotten one dose of vaccine, should get two doses of vaccine this season.

All children who have previously gotten two doses of vaccine (at any time) only need one dose of vaccine this season.  The second dose should be given at least 28 days after the first dose. The first dose “primes” the immune system; the second dose provides immune protection. Children who only get one dose but need two doses can have reduced or no protection from a single dose of flu vaccine.

If your child needs the two doses, begin the process early. This will ensure that your child is protected before influenza starts circulating in your community.

Be sure to get your child a second dose if he or she needs one. It usually takes about two weeks after the second dose for protection to begin.

For more information talk to your child’s physician or nurse practitioner or visit

www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/children.htm