When the cold weather approaches, Doc Holiday says it's time to consider the new flu vaccine, potentially a family traveler's best friend.When the cold weather approaches, Doc Holiday says it's time to consider the new flu vaccine, potentially a family traveler's best friend.
When the cold weather approaches, it ushers in the influenza season. Influenza ("the flu") occurs worldwide in yearly epidemics usually beginning in the winter months, and reaches a peak between late December and early March.
Remember, during a large flu outbreak, whether you're at home or traveling, most exposed children will become ill. If your child is in one of these high risk categories, she may have a particularly severe attack.
I would recommend the influenza vaccine to the following:
- people with any chronic lung disease
- children who were born severely premature
- people with congenital heart problems
- people whose immune system works sub-optimally, thereby fighting infections poorly
- the elderly (a concern if you're traveling with grandparents)
The "flu shot" is usually given in late October or November, but may be given throughout the flu season. After vaccination, a mild reaction may occur consisting of fever, malaise, crankiness or a sore arm. These reactions are more likely to occur if it's your children's first year of vaccination.
We may escape the cold weather during our brief family vacations, but it is tough to flee the flu, particularly in crowded terminals, trains and planes.
Consult with your pediatrician about the influenza vaccine for your family members before taking off for the holidays.
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