Flu season is worse than last year! It is not too late to get protected!
I try not to add to parent’s worries…we all seem to have enough already! There are times though, that I do resort to a little bit of the fear factor. Recent information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) tells us that we are having a flu season that is worse than last year. We have had more cases now than the entire flu season in 2011-2012 and flu season does not usually peak until February and March. The flu that we are seeing is also pretty serious. We are seeing very sick adults and children, and we have seen some deaths. 18 children have died this season so far, and several have been healthy children who just got the flu. The flu is not just a cold. Trust me; if you ever get true “influenza” most people are first in line for their flu shot the next year, it is no fun. The flu will cause high fever, aches, runny nose, coughs, and complications; it is not just a stomach virus or cold. It is most dangerous for the very young, the elderly, and those with respiratory problems like asthma.
There is great news however, there is an answer to the flu! The flu shot this year is a great match. It contains the flu virus that we are seeing now in over 80% of the states. If you have gotten your flu shot…great! If not, there is time. It takes about two weeks for someone to build immunity after the shot. Get out and get yours now. If your child has just turned 6 months of age, call and get that flu shot now. If your child has not had their 2nd shot, see the recommendations for flu shots in 2012-2013 flu season, schedule it now.
1. The flu shot does not, CANNOT, cause the flu.
2. Research tells us that depending on the year up to 20% of adults and 40% of children will develop the flu.
3. The flu shot works well, but occasionally someone will still develop the flu. The infection is far less severe if you have had your shot.
4. You need a flu shot EVERY year! The flu virus changes and we need to be protected against the most likely strains each year. Immunity only lasts about 6 months from the shot.
5. About 30,000 deaths a year are due to the flu!
6. Even if you have never gotten the flu shot…now that you are a parent, it is part of that parenting duty! You must protect your child and your child needs you to be healthy too.
If you and your child are protected from the flu this year…great job! If you have not gotten around to getting that flu shot, it is not too late. Make the call today and protect yourself and your child. No scare tactics, just facts, the flu is not fun and it can be deadly.
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.