As fall rolls around, we all know that flu season is coming. However, not all Americans always take the necessary precautions when it comes to prevention. In 2012, though, more children than ever before were vaccinated.1 Health care professionals are hopeful that this trend will continue and perhaps even surpass last year's numbers.
According to USA Today, clinics will be offering patients a variety of flu shots to choose from this season. In some cases, these are strains that have never before been available.2 Among these options are both shot injections and nasal sprays – which may be a great option for the frightened child. Vaccine options include:
- Recombinant protein
When heading to the doctor or a walk-in clinic for vaccination, you may find that only one option is available. So, you might want to "shop around" once you've decided which variation is best for you and your children. Regardless, it is highly recommended than anyone over the age of 6 months get a flu shot.
Children and the flu
Many wonder why it's so important for children to be vaccinated for the flu. Kids are at a greater risk for catching the virus, since their immune systems are not fully developed.3 It is most important for children who are 6 months to 5 years or who suffer from a chronic health condition to be vaccinated.
If your child comes down with the flu, you need to treat him or her appropriately. Using a suction bulb, you can clear aggravating mucus in children who are younger than the age of 2. A cool-mist humidifier can also help ease the ability to breath. It's always best to consult a doctor if:
- You want to provide your child with an over-the-counter medication
- A child is having trouble breathing or breathing too quickly
- Your kid is unable to drink enough fluids to stay hydrated
- The skin has a bluish color to it
- Flu-like symptoms worsen after having improved
Risks during pregnancy
It is also important for expecting moms to get vaccinated for the flu. During pregnancy, the immune system constantly undergoes changes, which may put a female at greater risk for getting sick.4 If you are pregnant and get the flu, consult your health care provider immediately. Seek medical attention if you:
- Have difficulty breathing
- Experience pain in the chest or abdomen
- Become dizzy or confused
- Run a high fever
- Feel a decrease in movement from the fetus
The main recommendation from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for fighting the flu is vaccination. With between 135 million and 139 million doses of the vaccine available in the U.S. this year, it is likely that we will not be faced with a shortage.5 However, people can do much more than get a shot to prevent the spread of the flu this season. It's important for those who are sick to stay home, and everyone should make it a point to regularly wash their hands and cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing.
Health care professionals and private parties can turn to Medex Supply for a variety of medical supply equipment. Some offered products include:
- Surgical instruments
- Diagnostic supplies
- Respiratory equipment
- Blood pressure monitors
- Items for hospital infection control
- Wound care products
- Disposable gloves
1 USA Today, "More kids protected from flu; CDC says keep it up" September 26, 2013
2 USA Today, "More types of flu shots available this year than ever" September 10, 2013
3 Flu.gov, "Who's at risk: Children & infants"
4 Flu.gov, "Who's at risk: Pregnant women"
5 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "What you should know for the 2013-2014 influenza season" September 4, 2013