Are you considering inoculating your child against the flu but aren't sure a flu shot is really necessary? The pediatricians at Town and Country Pediatric Medical Associates, located in San Francisco and Mill Valley, CA, discuss how your child can benefit from kids' flu shots.
Are flu shots really important?
The flu isn't a pleasant illness no matter what your age. Coughing, chills, fever and extreme fatigue can keep you in bed for a week or more. Like many other illnesses, the flu can be more serious in children, particularly in young children who don't have strong immune systems yet or children who suffer from chronic diseases or conditions.
Kids younger than 2 are at increased risk of serious complications, such as pneumonia, seizures or worsening of asthma or heart conditions. Children who are undergoing chemotherapy, have illnesses that compromise their immune systems or have lung or heart disease, neurological diseases, or blood, kidney or liver disorders may also experience serious complications. Complications can also occur even if your child is older or doesn't have an underlying disease.
Flu shots offer important protection that can keep your child healthy. They're recommended for children who are 6 months or older.
How do I know the shot will really protect my child?
It's true that flu shots don't cover every strain of the flu, but they are formulated to protect against the most common strains. The flu vaccine is changed yearly to ensure that it includes protection from the strains most likely to affect Americans. This year's shot includes the A/California, A/Hong Kong and B/Brisbane strains, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC's most recent weekly influenza map notes that the flu is widespread in California. Mill Valley and San Francisco-area parents can reduce their children's risk of catching the virus by calling the office to schedule a flu shot.
Don't let your child suffer unnecessarily from the flu. Schedule a kids' flu shot by calling the San Francisco, CA, office of Town and Country Pediatric Medical Associates at (415) 666-1860 or the Mill Valley, CA, office at (415) 383-0918.