Fall is the Time to Think About Flu Vaccinations for Kids

ST. LOUIS -- Even though we are done with summer colds and the winter flu seems far away, we cant sit back and relax regarding childrens health during the fall, which started this week.


With fall under way, we should be preparing to protect our kids from flu and other health problems that could come during the upcoming season, says Ken Haller, MD, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.


Fall is the best time of the year for many kids because they are generally illness-free, but that could end within a few months with winter on its way.


The best way to prepare for how the winter flu can affect kids is by getting flu shots, explains Haller, who is also a pediatrician at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.


Winter is the biggest illness time of the year for kids, and flu vaccinations can help prevent flu infection and the serious problems that result from it.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that all children between 6 months and 23 months get flu vaccines, according to Haller. In addition parents and siblings of children in this age group should get the vaccine. He points out that kids 5 years of age or older can get the FluMist vaccine, which is inhaled. Those under the age of 5, however, must get a flu shot.


It is also important for all children with chronic illnesses, such as asthma, sickle cell, cystic fibrosis and heart diseases to get a flu vaccine, Haller adds.


Source: Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center