What should you do if your child can’t have a flu shot?

The flu shot not only protects people from the misery of getting the flu, but it can also protect them from the life-threatening complications that can come with the virus. However, not everyone is eligible to get a flu shot, and the guidelines may leave some children without any vaccination to protect them when flu seasons begins. Here is what you need to know about who can and can’t get the flu shot and what to do to protect your child’s health .

Who can’t get the flu shot?

Your child’s pediatrician can provide you with specific information about whether the flu shot is safe for your child. Generally, the shot is not recommended for these patients:

  • Babies less than six months old
  • Anyone who has had previous allergic reactions to flu shots
  • Anyone who is allergic to any ingredients in the flu shot
  • Anyone with a fever of over 101 degrees or who is seriously ill at the time of the vaccination

If your child is sick when he or she was scheduled to have the flu shot, he or she may be able to get it after the illness subsides. In other cases, your child may never be able to get the flu shot.

What can I do to protect my child?

If your child can’t get the flu shot, there are several things you can do to reduce the chances he or she will contract the virus. Try these strategies to keep your child healthy during flu season:

  • Teach your child to wash his or her hands frequently. He or she should wash before eating, after using the restroom, and upon returning home from being in a public space. Consider sending your child to school with hand sanitizer to use when he or she is unable to wash.
  • Tell your child not to touch his or her face. This habit can bring germs, including the flu virus, into your child’s nose and mouth.
  • Keep your child away from anyone who has a known respiratory infection that could be caused by the flu virus.

At Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, our pediatric specialists can help you make the right choice about the flu shot for your child and provide treatment if your child does become ill. Our pediatric emergency room in Thousand Oaks is also available to treat flu-related complications. For a referral to one of our specialists, please call (877) 888-5746.