Why it’s important to get your kids vaccinated during winter | #parenting

Parents, winter can make your kids susceptible to flu, cough, cold and other infections. Hence, it is essential to safeguard the kids against the cold weather and get them vaccinated on a priority basis. Not doing so can take a toll on your child’s wellbeing. So, what are you waiting for? Just fix an appointment with your doctor and be up to date when it comes to your child’s vaccination. After all, it’s about your child’s health, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Read on to know more about this, and ensure that the child stays healthy and happy during those chilly months.

Winter is already here! Many of us look forward to this season. It is one of the most pleasing seasons, but it can also invite serious health problems when it comes to your children. It is a well-known fact that infants and young children have higher chances of getting seriously ill from influenza. Influenza, also called flu, is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs. It can easily spread from one person to another. The symptoms of influenza are high fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and sore muscles. Some children may also have stomach problems and diarrhoea.

Hence, it is recommended that all children aged six months and older get vaccinated against influenza each winter. It is a known fact that young children, pregnant women, older people, and people with chronic health problems can get very sick because of influenza. Thus, yearly vaccination against influenza is the best way to protect your child from this serious disease. It is recommended for everyone six months and older to get the flu shot every year. In case of young children, their parents should ensure that the child’s vaccination schedule is not missed at any cost.

Know how to schedule a flu shot

The first flu shot can be given six months after the children are born, as up to six months the kids have their mother’s immunity to protect themselves. Therefore, once a child turns six-months-old, parents need to see to it that they get their child flu shot every year until the child turns five. Children above six years can get the flu shot if they have certain serious conditions like asthma, immune problems, or heart issues. Speak to the doctor accordingly and set up a vaccination schedule. The vaccine is given via a shot, which means with the help of a needle that injects the vaccine into the child’s body, through the arm. Flu vaccines can help one develop antibodies and fight influenza.

Tips for children to stay healthy during winter and keep influenza at bay

It will be imperative for the child to get influenza vaccination on a yearly basis. Encourage the child to wash his/her hands often, and cover the mouth while coughing and sneezing. Make them wear a mask, if possible. See to it that your little one stays away from sick people, avoids touching contaminated surfaces like furniture, doorknobs, faucets, and kitchen countertops. Also, children should avoid touching their face, mouth, and nose. Your child should stick to a well-balanced diet that can help him/her improve immunity. All these fool-proof tricks can help your child stay in top shape during those chilly months.

(The writer is a neonatologist and paediatrician, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar.)

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