It’s important to remember that children are more likely than adults to get sick from flu.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that flu may be more serious than the common cold for children and can lead to serious complications that require hospitalization. Children are likely to be exposed to flu in a classroom or day care setting, and millions get sick from the flu each season.
The first step to protecting children from the flu is to make that they and the people around them are vaccinated. DHEC and the CDC recommend that everyone aged 6 months and older get an annual flu vaccine. And, remember, even healthy children — and adults — can get sick with flu.
Some children are at high risk
The CDC stresses that some children are at especially high risk of serious flu-related complications. According to the agency’s website:
- Children younger than 6 months old are too young to be vaccinated. The best way to protect an infant from flu is for the expecting mom to get vaccinated during her and to make sure others — parents, grandparents, siblings and caregivers — around them are vaccinated.
- Children aged 6 months up to their 5th birthday — even those that are healthy — are at high risk of developing serious flu complications.
- Children aged 6 months through 18 years with certain long-term health problems, such as asthma, diabetes, or neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions also are at high risk for complications from flu.
Visit the CDC’s website for more information on protecting children from the flu.
Where to get your flu vaccine
Flu vaccines offered at DHEC Health Department clinics are available by appointment. Call 1-800-868-0404 to make an appointment or go to www.scdhec.gov/flu/fluclinics to find the location closest to you. To find a non-DHEC flu vaccine provider near you, go to flushot.healthmap.org. You can also find more information about preventing the flu on the DHEC website at www.scdhec.gov/flu.