5 Reasons Flu Shots For Your Family Are Important
Flu season is upon us. As a parent (or expectant parent), it’s up to you to protect your kids from catching influenza this year. Luckily, the flu shot offers up the needed medicine to stave off this highly contagious and contractible illness.
Here are a few of the reasons why getting your children older than six months this year’s flu shot is a good idea.
Their (and Your) Health
Protecting your children from influenza isn’t just about keeping them healthy and happy through flu season (though that’s obviously your No. 1 priority). It also is important to keep in mind that if children are infected with influenza, anyone they come into contact with is then also at risk of contracting the illness. This includes parents, siblings, classmates and particularly vulnerable people like babies younger than six months who cannot get the flu shot, elderly grandparents, or friends and relatives with ongoing illnesses.
It’s an unfortunate side effect of influenza—it can require hospitalization in severe cases, which means a potential strain on your wallet for clinic visits, medications and other associated costs. It’s a far better investment to get your child his or her annual flu shot now and avoid costly medical bills later.
Expectant mothers and their babies may be the some of the most vulnerable to influenza. That’s why vaccination helps women protect both themselves and their children during pregnancy. As an added bonus, the antibodies an expectant mother gains from a flu vaccination are passed onto the child, who is then better equipped to fight off influenza.
While the flu vaccine isn’t always foolproof, it’s built to fight off as many strains of influenza as possible. There’s still a possibility you may contract a particular strain of flu even if you receive the shot; however, those who contract the flu but were vaccinated are far more likely to experience a very mild case of the illness than those who skip getting the shot. So save your children some sick time from school by getting the shot.
Thanks to the South Dakota Department of Health, anyone older than six months of age can take advantage of access to the flu shot at most WIC offices in the state. If you have not received a flu shot this flu season, contact your local WIC office to schedule an appointment.