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Parents: Flu Still Very Dangerous, Protect Your Kids with Flu Vaccine

With flu season still in full swing, parents must protect their children by getting them flu shots.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu season typically lasts until May, so if your child has not been vaccinated yet, do it soon.

This year’s flu virus has proven to be especially dangerous, with a tragic 37 pediatric flu-related deaths reported.

Children are especially vulnerable to getting sick from the flu. The flu can cause dehydration, pneumonia and serious ear and sinus infections in children.

Who is most at risk?
Children under the age of five and children with asthma, diabetes and neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions are most at risk of getting severely sick from the flu.

Is it safe for my child?
The flu vaccine is safe for children six months of age and older. Pediatric vaccines are available at most pharmacies, local health departments and community centers. Contact your pharmacy to see if it offers vaccines to children and starting at what age, or call your pediatrician for more information. To find a vaccine clinic near you, visit the NJ Department of Health’s Flu Vaccine Finder.

For children younger than six months old, visit the CDC to learn the best ways to guard them from the flu.

Flu Symptoms
Monitor your child and if you notice flu-like symptoms, call your pediatrician at once. Common symptoms are:

-100°F or more fever
-Nausea and/or diarrhea
-Chills
-Headache and/or body aches
-Cough and/or sore throat

To further protect your family from the flu, practice healthy behaviors such as covering nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and washing hands frequently with soap and water.

For more information on the dangerous effects of the flu and where to obtain a flu vaccine, visit the NJ Department of Health website and the CDC website