Pediatricians urge parents to get flu shot for kids

Pediatricians are now urging parents if you haven't already, get your kids vaccinated against the flu.

We don't know yet if this flu season will be mild or severe but we do know the flu shot is one of the best ways to protect yourself and people around you.

Eleven-year-old Vincent Roberto bravely got his flu shot and so did his older sister Mae Leigh.

Their mother says it's something they do every year.

"Just about 25-years-ago my older kids and my husband and I all got the flu and it was a two-week nightmare so we really are interested in keeping the younger kids healthy and the whole family healthy," said Mary Anne Roberto of Bensalem, Pennsylvania.

It's a message Doctor Scott Tomaine, pediatrician at CHOP Primary Care, Flourtown, is hoping parents take to heart.

The flu vaccine is recommended for all kids older than 6-months-old.

And it's especially important for kids considered high-risk for complications including kids under 5-years-old.

Any child with a chronic condition such as asthma or a congenital heart problem, kids with neurologic problems, and kids who are over-weight.

The flu virus is much worse than your typical cold.

Doctor Tomaine said, "What happens with the flu is often times it will run your immune system down to the point where then you are susceptible to other infections, you can get an infection on top of the flu, something like pneumonia and that's often times what makes kids very, very sick."

This year the CDC approved the nasal flu mist again but the American Academy of Pediatrics still says the flu shot when possible is the best way to go.

"We prefer kids get the injectable flu vaccine, the flu shot but if kids will refuse, parents or kids refuse the shot, say they are extremely needle phobic and will not get the flu vaccine unless it was via the mist, they say go ahead and get the mist," said Doctor Tomaine.

It's also vital for adults who are around young babies who can't be vaccinated, that they get a flu shot to help protect the babies.

And typically, the more people vaccinated, the less virus that ends up circulating.

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