Winter Is Coming
Summer is drawing to a close. Although that doesn't mean snow and ice are arriving in Los Angeles, it does mean flu season is right around the corner. Although it sounds benign, influenza can be severe, especially in young kids. Every year, millions of children get sick with the flu and thousands are hospitalized. Since 2010, complications from influenza have put between 7,000 and 26,000 kids in the hospital. Flu can even claim lives! Between 37-171 children have died every year since the 2004-2005 flue season. That's scary!
Some people don't want to get the flu shot, thinking it will give them the flu. This is not true. Some of the side effects from the vaccine can mimic the flu: muscle aches, fever, headache and soreness at injection site. However, these side effects are typically much more mild than the infection and resolve within 2 days. Influenza infection, however, can last up to two week and lead to complications such as pneumonia, sinus infections and dehydration. Chronic medical conditions such as asthma can also be exacerbated by influenza infection.
Our best defense against the flu is vaccination. Flu vaccines protect against the 3 or 4 most common strains of flu in a given season. They are recommended for all children 6 months of age and older. For children between 6 months and 8 years old, in the first year of vaccination, 2 doses are required, 1 month apart. After your child has received 2 doses in the first season, yearly flu vaccines after that are 1 dose each year. We also recommend that household contacts of children under age 5 also get vaccinated - especially if the kids at home are too young to get the vaccine themselves. By surrounding these young kids with healthy people, it will help keep them protected from these viruses. The flu strains that affect us are different every year, so it's important to get vaccinated every year, to make sure that you and your family have protection against the active strain of influenza.
Our office will be receiving their flu vaccines shortly, and when we do - we recommend that you take advantage of all the protection these shots offer. Don't have a chance to make it to your doctor too? You needn't worry: we can immunize adults too.
Get vaccinated early! Especially for kids who need 2 doses of vaccine. Protection from the vaccine starts around 2 weeks after the second dose, so by getting that first and second dose early in the season, you ensure that during the peak of the flu between December and February, your little ones are protected.