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Flu Shot (Vaccine) for Children

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Several types of viruses cause the flu. The viruses change over time, so new vaccines are made each year. Your child should get the vaccine as soon as recommended each year, usually in September or October. The vaccine begins to protect your child about 2 weeks after he or she gets it. The vaccine may cause mild symptoms, such as a fever, headache, and muscle aches. Your child may also have mild to moderate soreness or redness at the area where the shot was given. Your child may still get the flu after he or she receives the vaccine.


DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • Your child's mouth and throat are swollen.
  • Your child is wheezing or having trouble breathing.
  • Your child has chest pain or his or her heart is beating faster than normal.
  • Your child feels like he or she is going to faint.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your child's face is red or swollen.
  • Your child has hives that spread over his or her body.

Call your child's doctor if:

  • Your child feels weak or dizzy.
  • Your child has increased pain, redness, or swelling around the area where the shot was given.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's flu shot.

Apply a warm compress

to the injection area to decrease your child's pain and swelling.

Follow up with your child's doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.