The Flu Shot

The flu shot is for everyone! Seniors are at a risk for serious complications from the flu, but kids get the flu most often and can easily spread flu germs to friends and family before they show any symptoms. Pregnant women should get the flu shot to protect themselves and their baby. Here are some ways to stay healthy this flu season

  • Get your flu shot EARLY

  • Wash your hands OFTEN

  • COVER your cough or sneeze

  • DISINFECT toys, door handles, and phones

  • REMEMBER: just because you don’t have any symptoms of flu doesn’t mean you aren’t contagious. Most people are contagious one day before symptoms develop and remain contagious until a week after they’re sick with the flu.

Young children can get very sick from a flu infection - it is important to get the flu shot to prevent this. Vaccines work well and protect us against 4 strands of the flu virus. Most children HATE needles, which can stress out parents and caregivers.

  • Parents - RELAX! It is okay to feel nervous, but do not convey it to your child

  • Keep the mood light and easy, and don’t forget to take some deep breaths

  • Children’s fears of vaccinations stem from their parents behaviour.

  • Children pick up on parent’s cues during scary situations

  • A child’s anxiety increases, as well as their pain perception, if a parent tries too hard to reassure them

Honesty is the best policy! Be honest with your child. Do not tell them that the needle won’t hurt. This will cause your child to lack trust. Rather, tell them it will only hurt for a few seconds and then they will get a lollipop!

Distraction goes a long way!

  • Have your child watch a video or do an activity to draw their attention away from the needle

  • Distractions should be the child’s choice, and can include small toys, bubbles or pop-up books

  • Do not spend time dwelling on the needle once it is over. Quickly wipe away the tears and change the subject - talk about the sticker they get from the doctor

Check out this awesome video of a doctor giving a baby some needles.

During the flu season, make sure you integrate some healthy habits into your daily routine

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

  • Stay home when you’re sick

  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

  • Get rest, drink fluids, and eat healthy

Sick and Sports

  • Sports are a fun way to stay active and make friends, but can provide children with many germs

  • Stay home if your child is sick - real team players don’t want to spread any colds to their teammates

  • Don’t share water bottles - this is any easy way that promotes the transfer of germs

  • Wash and disinfect your mouthguard if you are sick

  • Wash hands thoroughly and often with soap and water

References

City of Toronto. (2018). Flu Prevention for 2018/2019. Retrieved from https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/health-wellness-care/health-programs-advice/immunization/flu-influenza/

Mulholland, A. (2016, May 26). 5 ways to make needles painless for kids. CTV News. Retrieved from https://www.ctvnews.ca/5things/5-ways-to-make-needles-painless-for-kids-1.291746

RM Videos. (2018, June 20). Doctor Distracts Baby From Shots with Goofy Song. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m-9itperOw