Pediatric Viral Infections Prevention
Common sense helps when it comes to keeping your child safe from viral infections: make sure he/she gets plenty of rest and fluids and washes his/her hands often. They should not share eating utensils, toothbrushes, towels, and drinking cups. Also, your own health practices make a difference – from not smoking in the house to making sure everyone gets his/her annual flu shot.
Reminders for Preventing Viral Infections
- Wash hands
- Avoid sharing anything with a sick person
- Wash dishes in hot water
- Don’t smoke around your child
- Get a flu shot yearly
- Teach your child to avoid rubbing his/her nose
- Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and fluids
- Use common sense around buffets during cold season
Yearly flu vaccination should begin in September or as soon as vaccine is available and continue throughout the influenza season, into December, January, and beyond.
There are two types of vaccines:
- The "flu shot" — an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use in people older than six months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.
- The nasal-spray flu vaccine —a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu (sometimes called LAIV for "live attenuated influenza vaccine" or FluMist®). LAIV (FluMist®) is approved for use in healthy people two to 49 years of age who are not pregnant.
The seasonal flu vaccine protects against three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. The flu vaccine for the 2010-2011 season will protect against 2009 H1N1, and two other influenza viruses (an H3N2 virus and an influenza B virus). About two weeks after vaccination, antibodies that provide protection against influenza virus infection develop in the body.