Flu is no fun when you're an adult, but it can be particularly serious in children. Luckily, a flu shot can help protect your child from the virus. Dr. Kola Ologunja, your Kennesaw, GA pediatrician at Spectrum Pediatric Group, answers a few questions about flu shots for kids.
Is it too early to get a flu shot?
Although cases of the flu are most prevalent during the winter months, outbreaks can happen as early as October. Inoculating your child against the flu now will help you ensure that your son or daughter is protected even if the Kennesaw area experiences an early flu season.
Is the flu shot effective?
You probably know someone who got the flu despite getting a flu shot. Although flu shots cover the most common strains of the flu, you or your child can get the flu if you catch a strain that's not included in the vaccine. Despite the fact that flu shots don't offer 100 percent protection from all strains of the flu, they are very effective in preventing the most common types of flu. Every year, scientists change the vaccine to target the most prevalent flu viruses.
Isn't the flu a minor illness?
The flu can be a very serious illness in children. Every year, 20,000 U.S. children are hospitalized due to complications from the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, a small percentage of these children die. Severe complications are more likely to occur in children younger than 2 and in those who have chronic health conditions, such as asthma and other lung diseases, heart disease, blood disorders, kidney and liver disorders, neurological diseases and weakened immune systems, although any child can develop flu complications.
Flu shots help your child avoid the potentially serious consequences of the flu. Call Dr. Ologunja, your Kennesaw, GA pediatrician at Spectrum Pediatric Group, at (770) 966-0778 to schedule your child's flu shot.