Battling Flu Begins With Good Defense

Armen Hareyan's picture
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The holidays are approaching, and that means flu season is upon us, but doctors at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC are reassuring parents that a good defense will go a long way toward keeping their kids healthy this winter.

The good news is that the flu vaccine is in abundant supply, according to Marian Michaels, MD, MPH, an infectious disease specialist at Children's Hospital.

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"Developing the right habits for kids is a key to preventing the flu. Toddlers and young children are the major spreaders of respiratory illnesses, including influenza," said Dr. Michaels, also an associate professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "It is important for parents to remember that underlying diseases and very young age, particularly infants, also equal higher risk factors for more severe influenza."

Because of this, Dr. Michaels recommends that family members of infants and those children with underlying diseases be immunized as well. "This is particularly true for families that have infants less than 6 months of age, who are too young to be immunized themselves," she said.

Dr. Michaels said that aside from vaccination, there are several other things children can do to help avoid the flu, and parents play an important role in helping kids understand the importance:

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