CHENNAI: Children can get flu if an infected person sneezes, coughs or talks around them. It can also spread through the air. The virus can survive on surfaces such as the child’s toys, bed or other items and the child can be infected by touching these items. School going children can easily pass on the infection to others. Children with some underlying health conditions are at a greater risk of flu infection.
Children under five years of age and especially those under two years are more vulnerable and may develop serious health issues because of it. There are several ways to protect your children and family from the flu. The influenza vaccination is one of the safe and effective ways to protect children against flu. The flu vaccination is updated each year to protect against the prevailing virus, which can change or mutate every year. Therefore, an annual flu shot is recommended by the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) for young children to provide them continued protection against the flu virus.
Across the globe it has been observed that getting vaccinated against flu can reduce flu illness and related complications, doctor’s visits and missed school days. It has also shown to reduce the risk of influenza-related hospitalisation.
For parents, it is important not to confuse flu with common cold. Though the symptoms of both may be similar, flu is more dangerous for younger children. Symptoms of flu include fever and chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body ache, headache and fatigue. In some cases, it can also cause vomiting and diarrhea.
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