Put flu shot on the back-to-school checklist

September 6, 2017

(HealthDay)—Annual flu vaccines are appropriate for everyone aged 6 months or older, the American Academy of Pediatrics reminds parents.

It urges parents to vaccinate their kids to reduce the risk they'll develop severe, life-threatening influenza.

Flu killed more than 100 children in the United States in the 2016-2017 season, and thousands of kids were hospitalized. Unvaccinated kids are at especially high risk of death from flu, the academy says.

"Getting a as soon as the vaccine is available in your community should be on every parent's checklist, along with other back-to-school routines," said Dr. Flor Munoz, co-author of new academy flu vaccine recommendations.

"We know that the flu should not be taken lightly. Everyone in the household, including pregnant women, grandparents, and child care providers, should be vaccinated to help prevent its spread," Munoz said in an academy news release.

For maximum protection, the academy recommends the following:
If possible, kids should get the flu vaccine by the end of October. And children from 6 months to age of 8 will need two doses if they have not previously been fully vaccinated with two doses of flu vaccine, the guidelines say.

Also, the pediatricians' group advises against the nasal flu , which has shown weakness against certain flu viruses in recent years. This caution is in keeping with a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Take special care to vaccinate kids at high risk of complications from flu, such as those with asthma, heart conditions, diabetes and weakened immune systems.

Women who are pregnant, hoping to conceive or recently pregnant should also get the , as should healthcare and childcare workers.

"Vaccination is the best available preventive measure we have against influenza," said Dr. Henry Bernstein, co-author of the recommendations. However, he said flu vaccination rates have been suboptimal in children and adults over the past seven seasons.

Physicians should consider immediate antiviral treatment in kids who appear to have been infected with the flu, the guidelines say.

"Clinical judgment is an important factor in treatment decisions for children who present with influenza-like illness," Bernstein said. "The best results are seen when treatment is started within 48 hours of symptom onset."

The recommendations were published online Sept. 4 in Pediatrics.

Explore further: Pediatricians urge flu vaccine for all kids 6 months and older

More information: The American Academy of Pediatrics has tips on caring for children with colds or flu.

Related Stories

Pediatricians urge flu vaccine for all kids 6 months and older

September 22, 2014
(HealthDay)—Pediatricians are urging that all children aged 6 months and older be vaccinated for the upcoming flu season.

Flu vaccine rates for kids may drop when the nasal spray vaccine is unavailable

August 24, 2017
Influenza vaccination rates in children may have decreased for the 2016-17 influenza season because of a recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the nasal spray version of the vaccine not ...

Take kids to get their flu shots early, experts say

September 2, 2013
(HealthDay)—As soon as the updated seasonal flu vaccine becomes available, parents should bring children aged 6 months and older to get vaccinated, according to an updated policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics ...

Pediatricians' group urges flu shot for kids aged six months and up

September 10, 2012
(HealthDay)—The leading pediatricians' group in the United States is again urging parents to get all children aged 6 months or over immunized in preparation for the coming flu season.

When parents get vaccinated, their kids do too

April 17, 2017
(HealthDay)—When parents get a flu shot, their kids are more likely to be vaccinated against not only the flu, but also other diseases, new research reveals.

Most US kids who die from flu are unvaccinated

April 3, 2017
(HealthDay)—The yearly flu shot could prevent most flu-related deaths among children and teenagers, a new U.S. government study estimates.

Recommended for you

Asthma drug tied to nightmares, depression

September 20, 2017
(HealthDay)—The asthma medication Singulair (montelukast) appears linked to neuropsychiatric side effects, such as depression, aggression, nightmares and headaches, according to a new review by Dutch researchers.

Parents not confident schools can assist child with chronic disease, mental health

September 18, 2017
If your child had an asthma attack during the school day, would school personnel know how to respond?

Premature infants may get metabolic boost from mom's breast milk

September 14, 2017
The breast milk of mothers with premature babies has different amounts of microRNA than that of mothers with babies born at term, which may help premature babies catch up in growth and development, according to researchers.

Explaining bursts of activity in brains of preterm babies

September 12, 2017
The source of spontaneous, high-amplitude bursts of activity seen in the brains of preterm babies, which are vital for healthy development, has been identified by a team led by researchers at UCL and King's College London.

Why one teenager may need more—or less—sleep than another

August 30, 2017
Sleep problems contribute to a number of mental health issues in adolescents, researchers say. But a lingering question is whether some teens need more—or less—sleep than others to be healthy and at their best.

Study shows probiotics can prevent sepsis in infants

August 17, 2017
A research team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health has determined that a special mixture of good bacteria in the body reduced the incidence of sepsis in infants in India by 40 percent at ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.