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.
—Amy Lysy, MD, FACOG, OB/GYN at Prevea Health
To help protect your newborn from the flu, Dr. Lysy recommends the following steps:
- Avoid sick people and crowded areas.
- Encourage caregivers and family members to be vaccinated against the flu before visiting.
- 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.
- Practice good hygiene and regular handwashing.
- 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.”