Get Smart, Get A Flu Shot

Children and the Flu

Flu season is right around the corner. What are you going to do about it this year?

Remember last fall when you saw everyone getting flu shots and your internal struggle began? ‘If I don’t get the shot I may or may not get sick, but if I do…I have to get a shot!’ We all hate shots, especially our kids, but the vaccination almost guarantees you won’t get sick this flu season. Who doesn’t want that?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all people ages 6 months and older receive the flu vaccine to prevent influenza. That means your babies and young children. The CDC reported more than 100 deaths last year in young children from influenza. The saddest thing about that number is that all of them were preventable with a simple vaccination.

Children, especially those age two and younger, are at great risk for serious complications due to the flu, but who else should be extra careful in the coming months? WebMD says that 90% of flu-related deaths and over 60% of flu-related hospitalizations each year happen in seniors aged 65 and older. Generally, winter flu epidemics can cause illness in 10% to 20% of the population and are associated with more than 200,000 hospitalizations per year in the United States.

So, the shot is extremely important, but it’s not the only way to shield you from getting sick. There are other, although not as powerful, ways to arm yourself this flu season.

  1. Eat Smart. Certain foods have nutritional benefits that can boost your immune system.
  2. Sleep Well. Proper amounts of sleep improve health on so many levels. Not sleeping well or not sleeping enough weakens your immune system
  3. Reduce Stress. The higher your stress level, the more likely you are to get sick.
  4. Wash Those Hands! Did you know that you are contagious one day before and up to seven days after the onset of the flu? Wash surfaces in your house where bacteria could spread as well as your hands.

Plan to get vaccinated. Treating the flu is more expensive than the shot and it lasts a lot longer than than the clinic visit will. Check back within the month for information on vaccinations being offered at a MountainStar Clinic near you. We will be offering flu clinics later in the month through October to get people informed and vaccinated. See you there!

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