When does my child need a flu shot?

Flu season lasts for a significant portion of the fall and winter, but can start even earlier in most cases. The CDC estimates that flu season peaks in October and runs into March on average. However, flu season can sometimes last longer and means that parents might not be sure when they should get their child a flu shot. 

Most medical experts recommend getting the flu shot as soon as humanly possible so your children are protected from flu  and cold symptoms throughout the year. But what are some other ways to determine if, and when, your child needs an updated flu shot?

Knowing when to get your child a flu shot is important to ensure that they don’t miss school, work, or other critical responsibilities. Each year, the flu impacts millions of individuals and hospitalizes over 35,000 annually. Getting the flu shot whenever you can is the best way to prevent the virus. 

Follow public health updates to determine if there is a sudden surge in influenza cases

Local news, the CDC, and national health officials are all great resources to determine if your community has an increased risk for the flu, and if there is additional urgency for a flu shot. 

On a state-by-state basis, the flu can rapidly spread between urban and rural communities. Some states could have influenza outbreaks as early as the start of August, while others experience upticks by the middle of autumn. 

A basic internet search, local news stations, and similar outlets can help you find out if influenza is spreading in your community.  

Monitor alerts from your child's school to see if there is a flu outbreak

Your child’s school usually provides immediate updates if there is an outbreak of the flu at their school. If school personnel are aware of any flu outbreaks, then make sure your child gets the latest flu vaccine. 

Each year, patients require an annual vaccination in order to protect against the flu. This is because the influenza virus adapts and changes annually, which means a new vaccine needs to be made. 

If your child doesn’t have the latest flu vaccine, and their school is experiencing a flu outbreak, make sure they get the latest shot. 

Play it safe: get your child's flu shot ASAP

As soon as local medical providers begin to offer the flu vaccination, it is usually the best to get your child a flu shot ASAP. 

If your child has the latest flu vaccine, then they are protected against the disease for most of, if not all, of flu season. Their immune system is able to fight off the debilitating symptoms of the flu including cough, congestion, nausea, and fever among the other symptoms of the flu. 

If you need a local urgent care provider to get your child please contact AFC Urgent Care Castle Rock to get same-day urgent care for your child!