5 Steps to Guard Your Baby from the Flu

Learn how to reduce your infant’s risk of contracting a potentially dangerous infection.

Young children, particularly babies, are at a greater risk of coming down with the flu and are more likely to experience severe complications and hospitalization as a result of the virus.

According to Amy Lysy, MD, FACOG, Obstetrician/Gynecologist (OB/GYN) at Prevea Health, this is the case because babies have weaker immune systems than older children and frequently touch toys and a variety of other potentially infected surfaces before touching their mouth, nose, and eyes.

“Although most infections are mild with symptoms lasting about a week, some are more serious and can result in hospitalization, pneumonia, and even death.”
—Amy Lysy, MD, FACOG, OB/GYN at Prevea Health

To help protect your newborn from the flu, Dr. Lysy recommends the following steps:

  1. Avoid sick people and crowded areas.
  2. Encourage caregivers and family members to be vaccinated against the flu before visiting.
  3. Get your flu vaccination while you are pregnant. This can help provide your newborn with some additional protection until he or she is old enough to be vaccinated.
  4. Practice good hygiene and regular handwashing.
  5. Vaccinate your child annually starting at six months of age.

If you notice your child shows symptoms of the flu, including coughing, sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, high fever, poor feeding, vomiting, and/or abdominal distention, notify your pediatrician immediately.

 Need a pediatrician? Visit the Hospital Sisters Health System Provider Directory to find one near you.

You may also be interested in “Talk with Your Baby to Build Life Skills.”