3 Factors To Think About When Deciding Whether Your Child Needs A Flu Shot

When you take your young child to the pediatrician or a checkup, one thing the doctor will do is look at the child's vaccination record to make sure they're up to date. As the doctor does this, he or she might recommend giving the child an influenza vaccination, also called a flu shot. This is not a mandatory vaccination, but it is something you may want to consider. Here are a few factors that will help you decide if you should do this or not.

The age of the child

People of all ages can get a flu shot; however, they are best for people that are either very young or very old. Kids that are under the age of five typically should get a flu shot, but kids under the age of two should definitely get one. This is because small infants can develop serious complications if they acquire the flu. Kids that are under five can also develop fairly severe symptoms.

If your child is five years old or older, getting this shot is not quite as important; however, many doctors still recommend it.

The health of the child

A second factor to look at is the health of your child. If your child is healthy overall and does not have any major health problems, they might be able to get by without getting the shot. If your child is sick with some type of illness, disease, or chronic condition, getting the flu shot is important. When a child already has a health condition, they may become a lot sicker if they get the flu on top of the health problem. This could cause major problems, and it could even result in death in extreme cases.

Understand what it covers

The flu shot is a yearly vaccination designed to cover certain strains of the influenza virus. The shot is designed to not only stop a person from acquiring the flu but also to stop any symptoms that are commonly present with the flu.

The downside to this shot is that it only covers certain strains of the flu. Each year, the flu shot is created to fight against the strains of the flu that experts believe will be prevalent for that particular year. In other words, it will not stop all strains of the flu.

If you are not sure what you should do, talk to a pediatrician at Ada Pediatrics PA. He or she can help you make an informed decision about whether to have your child vaccinated for the flu.