4 Things Parents Should Know About The Flu Vaccine

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As a parent, you most likely teach your child the importance of their health and wellness. From eating well-balanced meals and exercising to doing well in school and seeing the doctor regularly, your child should understand the reasons behind these essential parts of their life. Unfortunately, you and your child may develop illnesses that are not only uncomfortable, but also dangerous. Considering the flu kills thousands of people each year in the United States, you and your family should get the vaccine. If you are contemplating the vaccine, here are a few things you should know about this method of flu prevention for you and your family.

It Is Essential for Children

You and the school staff may teach your children how to properly wash their hands throughout the day to prevent the spreading of germs and viruses, but this will not be enough.

The flu virus can spread hard and fast, especially in environments where there are multiple people infected. Children enrolled in daycare facilities, preschool, and traditional schools have a higher risk of developing the flu because there are most likely so many others infected with the virus.

In addition, children's immune system are immature, meaning they are more susceptible to developing illnesses and viruses.

The flu vaccine is essential for children because they have a higher risk of coming in contact with the influenza virus.

It Protects Everyone

Your children are not the only ones in the family that can benefit from the vaccine. Children of all ages, from infant to teen, should receive the flu vaccination. Also, you, your spouse or partner, and any other individuals, including elderly family members, should receive the flu vaccine, as well.

With everyone in the household protected, there will be less risk of one person suffering from the discomfort of the influenza virus.

Fall Is the Time for Vaccinating

It takes around two weeks after receiving the vaccine to develop the antibodies needed to fight the flu. Since the virus is most common in the winter, the fall is the best time to receive the vaccination. This will ensure your body has developed the antibodies needed for protection. Your best option for protecting yourself from the flu is to get the vaccine as soon as it is available in your neighborhood.

In the early part of the fall season, contact your child's pediatrician to determine if they have the vaccine available. Ask your primary care doctor or family physician if they have the vaccine available, as well.

The Flu Is Not a Side Effect

One common misconception about the influenza vaccine is that it actually causes you to develop the flu. Fortunately, this is a myth.

The flu vaccine is actually made using non-active flu viruses, so you and your family may experience some side effects after receiving the vaccine.

Unfortunately, a short-term, low fever, nausea, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, and chills are common after receiving the vaccine. However, these are not indicators that you or your family member has the flu. For anyone who has received the flu vaccine shot, pain and tenderness at and around the injection site are also common.

These side effects are painful and frightening for many, but they are nowhere near as uncomfortable as the symptoms of the actual flu virus. For most people, the side effects of the flu vaccine will subside after a couple of days.

The flu is an uncomfortable and dangerous virus, but consulting a primary care physician about the vaccine will protect you and your family members. With this guide and your doctor's help, you will understand the importance of the flu vaccine.