Every year, the NHS release a new flu vaccine that has been specially developed to cope with the latest known strains of influenza. This is an important vaccine as complications from flu can be serious to those with immature immune systems such as younger children.
2019/20 sees all primary age schoolchildren eligible to receive the vaccine along with children born between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2017. Any child with a long-term health condition is also eligible.
The children’s version of the flu vaccine has been developed as a nasal spray, making it less dramatic for a child to receive than the usual injection. As vaccines contain a small amount of the disease itself in order to allow the body to build up natural immunity, it may be that for a few days following the vaccine, children may show slight symptoms of the flu, often a runny nose, but this is a sign that the body is doing what it is naturally supposed to do.
School-age children will receive their vaccinations at school itself and younger children or children not in school settings will receive notification from their GP or by post.
Along with the flu vaccine, winter is a time of year to ensure that your child is receiving the vitamins and nutrients that the need in order to avoid a whole host of winter-related illnesses. Make sure that they are given a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, boosted by vitamins to ensure they are receiving the optimum nutrition into their bodies.
Teach your child good hygiene by making sure that they always wash their hands in general but especially after coughing and sneezing in order to stop the spreading of the disease. As a responsible parent, if you do feel that your child is showing signs of influenza or indeed a cold, keep them off school. Winter illnesses can spread rapidly amongst groups of children who are not aware of personal boundaries the same as adults are, so it is better to be safe than sorry.