You’ve all heard it: get your flu shot. It is on our blog, website, and we just finished a twitter chat with the CDC, FDA, AAP, doctors, and other notable organizations. Everyone agrees that getting the flu shot is the single best form of protection from flu.
Is it really that important?
Yes. Flu can be life-threatening. Certain groups of people are at higher risk of serious complications from flu:
• Children younger than 5 years of age and especially kids younger than 2 years old.
• Children of any age with long-term health conditions including developmental disabilities. See this post to learn which high risk conditions are included.
• Children of any age with neurologic conditions. Some children with neurologic conditions may have trouble with muscle function, lung function or difficulty coughing, swallowing, or clearing fluids from their airways. These problems can make flu symptoms worse. Learn more here.
• Pregnant women. They are at high risk of having serious health complications from flu which include miscarriage, preterm labor, premature birth or having a low-birthweight baby. In some cases, flu during pregnancy can even be deadly. By getting a flu shot during pregnancy, your baby will be protected up until six months of age.
• Adults older than age 65 (attention grandparents!).
When should you talk to your provider?
According to the CDC, you should seek advice from your provider before getting a flu shot if you are allergic to eggs, have had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), have had a prior severe reaction to the flu shot or to an ingredient in the shot, or are not feeling well.
Bottom line- get your flu shot
Read my post Test your flu knowledge – true or false? to learn the truth about flu. Knowledge is powerful.
If you have questions, speak with your health care provider or visit flu.gov .
Note: This post is part of the weekly series Delays and disabilities – how to get help for your child. It was started in January 2013 and appears every Wednesday. While on News Moms Need, select “Help for your child” on the menu on the right side to view all of the blog posts to date.
If you have comments or questions, please send them to AskUs@marchofdimes.org. We welcome your input!