Flu season is right around the corner. With flu season comes the influx of flu vaccination offers. From the grocery store to your local pharmacy, everyone is offering flu shots. According to doctors and medical professionals, the flu shot helps protect you from the flu or, if you come in contact with the flu virus, dampens the effects. The CDC reports around 20,000 children require hospital care each year from the flu, but how young is too young to get the flu vaccine?
Babies Younger Than Six Months are Too Young
The flu vaccination is approved for children ages six months and older. That means your infant must have reached his or her sixth month birthday to receive the shot and the protection afforded by the shot. If your baby is younger than six months old, you need to be exceptionally careful during flu season to reduce the likelihood your infant comes in contact with the flu virus.
Tips for Parents of Young Babies
It may seem impossible to protect your baby from the flu as there is really no way of knowing who has been infected and you can’t stay in the house until flu season is over – but there are a few tips to lessen the chance of infection.
- Wash your hands often – especially if you’ve come in contact with other people.
- Never bring baby around someone who is sick – even if they have not been diagnosed with the flu.
- If you come down with the flu – stay home from work or school and enlist the help of friends or family members to help care for baby when possible.
- Take your baby to the pediatrician if symptoms of a cold or flu arise –your doctor may suggest an antiviral medication to lessen the symptoms and speed recovery.
The flu is a scary sickness that can leave an adult in bed for days, imagine the effects on an infant. Prevention is the best tactic, so stay healthy, wash your hands often and get the flu shot so you reduce the risk of contracting the flu and spreading it to your baby.