Getting your child a flu shot is still a good idea

Getting your child a flu shot is still a good idea

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The flu has been especially harsh on children this season, with 136 dying from influenza-related complications as of February 29, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

That number's still much lower than the approximately 20,000 adults who have died from the flu, but it's high for kids. In fact, other than the 2009 pandemic, it's the highest number of child flu deaths since reporting began in the 2004-2005 season, the CDC noted.

Kids and teens are also ending up in the hospital at higher-than-usual rates because of the flu, the CDC reported. Children ages 5 and under are especially hard hit, according to the agency.

It's not clear why flu complications have been high among children. Speaking with Today, pediatrics professor Henry Bernstein said it could be because the flu strain most prevalent at the start of this season was influenza B, which is known to affect kids more severely than another common strain called influenza A. That could be having lingering effects, he said.

It's important to know that most kids who die from the flu have not been vaccinated. Even when children do get the flu after receiving a flu vaccine, they're less likely to have a severe case than if they hadn't had a flu shot.

Flu season can last into May, so it's not too late for you or your child to get the flu vaccine. Kids ages 6 months and older can get a flu shot, and need a new one every year.

Other steps to lower your family's chances of getting and/or spreading the flu include similar measures you can take to protect against the coronavirus. These include:

  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water (or hand sanitizer, if soap and water are unavailable)
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and then throwing the tissue in the trash right away
  • Not touching the eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Avoiding others who are ill
  • Staying home when sick

our site News & Analysis is an assessment of recent news designed to cut through the hype and get you what you need to know.

Watch the video: Should Children Get the Flu Vaccine - Nemours Answers to Grow On video (June 2022).

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