Willows Pediatrics Blog - We Know Kids
We Know Kids
The Willows Pediatrics Blog

Category: Allergies

Flu Vaccine Update for 2018-2019: Key Facts for Parents

Child receiving vaccine at Willow's Pediatrics

Flu season is upon us, and now is the time to review how to best protect your child.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children ages 6 months and older, including adolescents, receive a flu shot this season with the goal of providing optimal protection against all strains of influenza.  Influenza can be a serious illness, and as many parents are aware, influenza resulted in a record number of pediatric deaths this past year.

Injectable vs. Nasal Flu Vaccine

The AAP recommends the injectable flu vaccine as the primary choice for children and adolescents this season because the injectable vaccine has provided the most consistent protection against all strains of flu virus in recent years.  FluMist, the nasal flu vaccine (also known as the live attenuated influenza vaccine) is also available this year.  FluMist was off market for the past two flu seasons because it did not work as well against influenza A/H1N1, but has been re-introduced for 2018-2019.

When deciding what vaccine to give your child, it is important for parents to recognize the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has approved FluMist. However, after the AAP reviewed the same data, the AAP concluded the injectable flu vaccine is preferred.  This is because the injectable flu vaccine can offer your child better protection.  Based on this, the AAP recommends that FluMist be reserved as a last resort for those who would not otherwise receive any vaccine at all.  However, we do have the FluMist if you would like to choose this option for your child.

As a parent, the best thing you can do to protect your children from influenza is to get them vaccinated. Everyone around them should be vaccinated, too.

Influzena Vaccine and Egg Allergy

This year, the recommendations have changed.  Everyone who has an egg allergy may receive any type of influenza vaccine.  However, children who have egg allergies should receive their flu vaccine as a regular office visit so we can observe them after the flu vaccine is given.  Thus, if your child has an egg allergy please do not come to the flu clinics, but instead please call for an appointment.

Does my child need a booster dose of Flu Vaccine?

The number of doses of influenza vaccine depends on your child’s age and vaccine history. Children 6 months through 8 years of age need two doses when it is the first time they are being vaccinated against influenza. Children 9 years of age and older require only one dose, regardless of prior vaccination history.

Any questions?

Please ask!  We are happy to help, just contact your nurse, PA or physician.

For Families With Food Allergies, Preparation Is Key During Thanksgiving and the Winter Holidays!

photo via Fickr.comIf you have a child with a life-threatening food allergy, you know the importance of planning ahead and carrying an Epi-Pen. You probably cook allergen-free meals or eat out at trusted restaurants, making day-to-day life a little easier on you and your child. However, as Thanksgiving and other holidays that involve a lot of eating approach, food allergies can become a more pressing daily concern. The family is snacking on the fly, attending parties with unfamiliar food and joining in family gatherings with well-meaning relatives who might not completely understand the severity of your child’s allergy.

The doctors at Willows Pediatrics are very familiar with food allergies, and several have family members with life-threatening allergies. Here is their advice as to how to prepare for, and navigate, the “eating” season.

First and foremost, always carry your child’s Epi-Pen and keep it nearby. Don’t leave it at home (where it will be of no use in an emergency) and don’t leave it in the car (where it can be rendered ineffective by extremely cold weather). Likewise, if you are dropping off your child at a party, leave the Epi-Pen with a responsible adult and take the time to train him or her on how and when to use it. Read More