DOCTOR CALLING: Help protect your children against the flu

Dr Kevin Hill, chairman, South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Dr Kevin Hill, chairman, South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
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NHS South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging parents of children aged between two and seven to make sure they have a flu nasal vaccination.

With autumn well under way and coughs, colds and flu already starting to circulate, it’s important to protect your children from flu and the vaccination is the best protection against the virus.

Flu can cause severe illness and can even be fatal amongst those with a long-term health condition

Dr Kevin Hill, chairman, South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

Flu can cause severe illness and can even be fatal amongst those with a long-term health condition.

However, the vaccine will protect your child and those they come into contact with against the flu virus.

The nasal spray vaccination is available free on the NHS, it’s quick, effective, painless and available to children aged two, three and four years old, as well as those in school years one and two.

Flu itself can be a very unpleasant illness for children because of symptoms like fever, chills and aching muscles.

Some children may even develop complications such as bronchitis, pneumonia and painful middle ear infections which may need hospital treatment.

We know that children easily spread germs through bad hygiene, such as sneezing and not washing their hands properly.

So vaccinating your child will not only protect them, but also help to reduce the chance of flu spreading to others, especially among the vulnerable such as babies, older people, pregnant women and people with serious long-term illnesses.

If you have young children, don’t put off taking up their free flu vaccination and if you want more information about when and how your child will be vaccinated against flu, talk to your GP or practice nurse.

Children in school years one and two will be offered a flu vaccination anyway as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme.

For more information about vaccines and the alternatives that may be available, visit: https://www.gov.uk or www.nhs.uk/staywell