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Protecting Kids from the Flu: January 19, 2019

It can present in many different forms. “If you have a fever that comes on suddenly, if your child goes from feeling ok to really crummy, some kids will have a cough and congestion, some kids will get an upset stomach and feel nauseous, it runs the whole gamut,” said Dr. Denise Drago, a pediatrician with Lee Health.

Everyone over the age of six months old is encouraged to get the flu shot. “We can’t do a flu shot for a baby under six months of age, but it is really helpful if everybody who is in that household they get their flu shot, that just helps the baby from being exposed to the flu,” said Dr. Drago.

The flu shot protects against four different types of the flu virus. If a child does get the flu, doctors still encourage they get the flu vaccine to protect them from getting another strand of the flu. “The flu shot is something that we offer new every year, so even if you’ve had one in the past it doesn’t mean that they are up to date,” she said.

While children may develop a slight fever after the injection, doctors say the flu shot does not cause the flu. “The flu vaccine is a dead virus, so it can’t cause the flu. That’s a big question we hear is parents are afraid if I give the flu shot will my child get the flu? Your child can’t get the flu from the flu shot, they may, just like with any other vaccine, feel kind of yucky for a day or so, they may get a little bit of a fever, but that’s definitely way better than the length of time and how yucky you would feel if you actually got the flu,” Dr. Drago said.

The flu virus can be deadly for children—making it important to get your child vaccinated and make a doctor’s appointment if they don’t feel well.

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