Every year, millions of children get sick with the flu virus, causing them to miss school and feel awful. At Primary Care Pediatrics in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Dr. Eugenia Marcus offers seasonal flu vaccinations to reduce flu-related complications. Children as young as six months can receive a flu shot, so schedule a consultation online today or call the office to learn how you can protect your little ones from the flu.
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a viral infection that affects your respiratory system, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. In some cases, the flu virus can be life-threatening, especially to young children under the age of 5 and those with weakened immune systems.
Flu symptoms can mimic those of the common cold. The primary difference is that flu symptoms come on suddenly and can make your child feel much worse than cold symptoms. The flu is also contagious for as long as ten days after infection.
Common flu symptoms usually last between one to two weeks and include:
Flu viruses change frequently, and new strains appear seasonally. If your child had the flu in the past, their immune system has antibodies to fight that specific flu strain. However, if a new strain of flu is going around, your child has no protection.
Flu shots are safe and effective for preventing flu symptoms. Dr. Marcus offers seasonal flu shots to reduce flu-related symptoms and complications. She determines which vaccine is appropriate for your child based on their age and the circulating flu strain.
Dr. Marcus recommends that children six months and older receive an annual flu shot. She also provides vaccinations for all family members to lower the risk of the virus spreading in your home.
If any of your family members have chronic illnesses, compromised immune systems, or are over the age of 65, Dr. Marcus strongly recommends a flu shot. In past years, flu shots were not recommended for those with egg allergies, but recent advancements in vaccinations no longer conflict with this particular health condition.
Peak flu activity occurs between December and February. For the best protection, your child should get a flu vaccination before the end of October. It can take up to two weeks for the antibodies to develop in the body after Dr. Marcus administers the shot.
Flu shots don't cause flu, but they can cause mild side effects that you can mistake for the flu. Side effects are mild, and usually, resolve on their own in a few days. Your child may also feel mild aches at the injection site that you can treat with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Schedule a flu shot appointment online or by calling Primary Care Pediatrics in Wellesley, Massachusetts.