Story by: Sara Sidery on December 15, 2022
Your child can get a flu shot at any of our pediatrician offices, conveniently-located throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
It’s important to be on the lookout for flu symptoms in babies. They are at higher risk of developing serious health complications from the flu.“Children younger than 5 years old — especially those younger than 2 — are at higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications,” said Nicole M. Bichir, M.D., pediatrician with Norton Children’s Medical Group, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine. “Infants younger than 6 months old are at the highest risk, because of a weaker immune system, and they are too young for the flu vaccine.”
Flu-related complications may include pneumonia, dehydration, ear infections, sinus issues, exacerbation of preexisting issues such as heart disease and death. Every year, children die from the flu.“For infants, watch out for trouble breathing and drinking due to nasal congestion and treat that first by suctioning,” said Dr. Bichir. “If there is persistent fever, an infant should be checked by their doctor for a secondary infection (like ear infection or pneumonia). If the baby looks well, and has no trouble breathing, then this is not an emergency but should be seen within 1-2 days. You can call your clinic for more advice when you’re not sure about the seriousness of your child’s situation.”Symptoms of flu in babiesContact your baby’s pediatrician right away if they develop symptoms of the flu:
Emergency warning signs of the fluAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your child should receive immediate medical care if they exhibit any of the following emergency symptoms:
It is important to administer the flu vaccine to children 6 months and older. Studies show the flu vaccine reduces a child’s risk of dying from flu-related complications by 75%, and that flu vaccination reduces hospitalization rates among children by at least 41%.
Children may receive the flu vaccine via a traditional shot or nasal spray. Talk to your pediatrician about which method is best for your child.