Flu Vaccine for Kids

November 22, 2019
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Flu Vaccine for Kids

The flu vaccine is safe for kids! Find out where you can get the flu vaccine for your child and help protect your family.

Where to get the flu vaccine

6 months to 4 years old

  • doctor or nurse practitioner
  • some local public health unit clinics

5-17 years old

  • doctor or nurse practitioner
  • some local public health unit clinics
  • participating pharmacy

The Flu Virus in Kids

Even healthy children can become seriously ill with the flu.

Young children, especially those under 5 years old, have a higher risk of serious illness, and even death, from the flu. This is partly because their immune systems are still developing.

Children in schools and in child care are at risk for getting and spreading the flu, as they have close contact with one another during the day. Other factors can increase the risk of serious illness and even death from the flu, including:

  • underlying medical conditions
  • weakened immune systems
  • long-term treatment with acetylsalicylic acid (ASA or Aspirin®)

Who Should Get The Flu Vaccine

All kids 6 months old and older should get the flu vaccine every year, unless there is a medical reason not to. Babies under 6 months old are too young to get the flu shot, but they’ll get some protection if their parent got the flu shot while they were pregnant.

Flu Symptoms in Kids

Kids can have different flu symptoms than adults, such as earaches or stomach problems.

Your child may also get:

  • fever (temperature over 39.5°C), which could lead to febrile seizures (convulsions)
  • extreme tiredness, sore throat
  • cough
  • headache and body aches
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

Newborns and babies may have a high fever that can’t be explained, but not have any other signs of illness.

If your child’s symptoms improve and then suddenly become worse, get medical help right away by calling 911 or take your child to the nearest hospital emergency department.

You should also seek immediate medical attention if your child experiences:

  • fast or difficult breathing
  • bluish or dark-coloured lips or skin
  • drowsiness to the point where you can’t wake them up easily
  • severe crankiness or not wanting to be held
  • dehydration or not drinking enough fluids and not going to the bathroom regularly

from Ontario.ca, based on the article “Flu vaccine for kids and during pregnancy”

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