10 Fast Flu Facts

Family Health

There’s a lot of confusing information floating around out there this time of year in regards to the influenza vaccination.

Does the flu shot make you sick? Can pregnant women receive the flu shot? At what age should I take my kids to be vaccinated?

We know you’re aksing yourself these questions (and more!), so we did our homework and got the answers to these and other important very questions about the flu vaccine.

At what age should I start vaccinating my children (if I choose to vaccinate them)?

If you have a little one over the age of six months, you can get them vaccinated. Remember that babes aged 6 to 23 months are extra vulnerable to the dangers of the flu and can get quite ill if they happen to contract the virus.

Why should I get the flu shot myself? 

If your child is too young to be vaccinated then you should definitely be getting the vaccination — so that it can protect you both. But, even if your child can be vaccinated, you should still get the vaccine since you may be exposed to the virus elsewhere.

Should I buy a prescription or over the counter medication to treat flu symptoms that my child has?

Be wary of prescription drugs for treating and preventing the flu; they haven’t been approved for tykes under one year. Also, it is not advisable to give over the counter cough and cold medicines to children under the age of six.

 

What about using herbal remedies for kids for flu symptoms?

Although natural health products may be great in certain circumstances, remember that they are not formally regulated.

 

Is it too late to vaccinate now that the flu season has already begun?

It’s not too late! Right now is the best time to get vaccinated. Between October and December is considered ideal although you should try to get the shot as soon as it’s available at your nearest clinic.

How long after the flu shot does it take until I’m protected?

You’re not superwoman (although it seems like it most of the time!) and it takes about two weeks after receiving the immunization for your body to become fully protected against the virus. So give yourself ample time to get the shot before the winter season starts.

 

Are there vaccination alternatives so my child doesn’t have to get a needle?

It’s no surprise that children aren’t big fans of the needle. That’s why there are kid-friendly alternatives like the nasal-administered flu shot, specifically designed for toddlers. This spray is also approved for use by people aged two to 49 years of age (for those of us who also don’t like needles).

What do I do if my child has previously had an adverse reaction to the flu vaccine?

If you or anyone else in your family had previous adverse reaction to the immunization, make sure to talk to your doctor before getting vaccinated.

 

I’m pregnant — can I still get the flu shot?

You don’t have to stay away from getting the flu shot if you are expecting but it is important to note that pregnant women in their second and third trimesters, and women that are six weeks past their delivery, are at a higher risk of developing more severe complications from influenza.

Can I or my kids get sick from the flu shot?

The chances of being harmed from the flu shot itself are very slim but you should always have a chat with your doctor about the benefits and risks of any immunizations for yourself or your little ones.

As with all medical treatments, it’s up to you and your family to decide if the flu vaccine is best for you. Talk to your family medical practitioner and make an informed decision.

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