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Seasonal Influenza (Flu) Information for Infants & Children

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Seasonal flu refers to common flu viruses that typically emerge between November/December and March/April, which is known as “flu season.” For infants and children, vaccine and medication use for preventing/treating seasonal flu differs from vaccine and medication use specific to H1N1 flu. For more information on H1N1 flu, please see the Current H1N1 Flu Information.

The CDC explains why seasonal flu can be dangerous to children on its Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/children.htm.

In addition, infants, children, and adolescents should not receive aspirin to treat symptoms of the flu because of the risk for Reye’s syndrome.

The information below should not be considered a substitute for advice from your child’s health care provider. He or she is in the best position to provide specific health recommendations for your child.

For Young Infants (Birth to Age 6 Months)

Seasonal Flu Vaccine Information

  • Should my infant get a seasonal flu vaccine?
    Currently, the CDC explains that seasonal flu vaccine is not approved for use in infants younger than 6 months of age: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/children.htm#children.
  • How can I protect my infant against seasonal flu?
    According to the CDC’s Advice for Caregivers of Children Younger than Six Months Old, the number one way to safeguard infants younger than 6 months of age is for the adults who come in contact with them to be vaccinated against seasonal flu: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/infantcare.htm.
  • Where can I get more information about vaccines and infants?
    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides information about flu vaccines for infants at its Childhood Immunization Support Program Web site: http://www.cispimmunize.org/ill/ill_main.html External Web Site Policy.

Seasonal Flu Anti-Viral Medication Information

For Older Infants and Children (Ages 6 Months and Older)

Seasonal Flu Vaccine Information

  • Should my child, who is older than 6 months of age, get a seasonal flu vaccine?
    Yes. Currently, the CDC recommends seasonal flu vaccine for all children older than 6 months of age, especially those with conditions that put them at high risk for complications of flu, such as asthma: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/children.htm#children.
  • Where can I get information about vaccines and older infants and children?
    The AAP provides a variety of information about flu vaccines for infants older than 6 months of age and for children at its Childhood Immunization Support Program Web site: http://www.cispimmunize.org/ill/ill_main.html External Web Site Policy.

Seasonal Flu Anti-Viral Medication Information

For more information on H1N1 flu, please see the Current H1N1 Flu Information.

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Last Updated Date: 07/30/2010
Last Reviewed Date: 07/30/2010
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