Keeping Baby Healthy During Cold & Flu Season
Whether or not we like it, cold and flu season has officially begun. The typical flu season lasts from October through May, so now is the time to take precautionary steps to protect yourself and your little ones. Because young children under the age of 5 are more likely to have serious health complications from the flu, it's especially important to protect them with these steps.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is recommended babies older than 6 months get a flu shot each year. The flu can be dangerous for all babies, including healthy infants. While flu vaccines are typically only 60% effective, it's important to understand even if you or your children get sick with the flu it will be a milder form of the virus. Hence, there will be less chance for further complications. Caretakers, family and friends who are frequently around infants and children should also be vaccinated against the flu.
Other steps to protect your family against cold and flu include not kissing baby on or around the mouth; limiting contact with other people, especially those who are or have recently been sick; using hot, soapy water to clean baby's dishes, utensils and toys; and washing hands with warm soapy water before being in contact with young infants and children.
If your little one experiences flu symptoms, which may include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, headache, being tired, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and/or body aches, be sure to contact his or her pediatrician for further guidance.