It’s flu season again and that means it’s time to get vaccinated!! Flu season generally lasts from early fall until late spring, and the vaccines will help protect you and your children during the time when flu rates are the highest. Everyone 6 months and older should receive the flu vaccine, which also includes pregnant women (like myself), because people with certain health conditions or a weakened immune system are at greatest risk of flu-related complications.
When someone gets the flu, they typically experience a high fever, cough, runny nose, stuffy nose, headache, chills and body aches, which generally lasts for 5 to 7 days. A total of 186 flu-related deaths in children were reported during the 2017-2018 flu season – this number exceeds the previously highest number of flu-associated deaths in children reported during a regular flu season, and each year thousands of people in the United States die from flu, and many more are hospitalized.
As a mom and a pregnant one at that, those statistics are very scary, so this is my way of educating you to make sure you, your children and loved ones get the flu shot.
Sofia and I have been going to a Texas Children’s Pediatrics practice since she was born, so there was no question that I would call upon her pediatrician to have her help me get Sofia the flu shot … even though I knew she was scared about it. There are three main components your pediatrician assesses during a well-child check: development, growth and screenings/vaccines.
Here is a general schedule for well check appointments and well checks for children are recommended from birth until 18 to 21 years of age.
o First year: 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and 9 months
o Second year: 15 months, 18 months
o Third Year: 24 months
o Yearly starting at age 3 which is where Sofia is currently at.
- The best way to protect yourself from the flu is by getting a vaccination every year.
- Flu vaccines are available for you and your family at this time. Get them now, as it can take up to two weeks before your body develops protection.
- You can’t get the flu from the flu vaccine. Some people report a low-grade fever and muscle aches one to two days after vaccination, which is much less severe than the actual flu.
- You need the flu vaccine every year, as the virus changes year-to-year.
- Flu vaccines are safe. Extensive research has gone into their development and safety.
- Everyone over 6 months of age is recommended to get a flu vaccine.
Thank you to Texas Children’s for working together on this partnership. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.