With flu season in full swing, Driscoll is urging families to vaccinate their children against the influenza virus.
In December, Driscoll saw 477 children with the flu visit the emergency room. Of those patients nine were admitted and hospitalized, including one child in the Intensive Care Unit on a heart lung machine.
“We are more than halfway through flu season. It’s never too late to take your child to your doctor or pharmacy for a flu vaccination. Even a common virus like the flu can cause serious illness in children,” said Driscoll Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Mary Dale Peterson.
Flu shots can be given to children older than 6 months of age, while a nasal spray vaccine can be administered to kids older than 2 years of age.
Children who have received the vaccine can still get sick with influenza, but symptoms will be milder and last less. Studies have shown children who receive the influenza vaccine have reduced risk of flu-related emergency department and urgent care visits. Most importantly, it can be lifesaving for children.
Infants under 3 months with a fever greater than 100.4 F should be taken to the emergency room.