32 answers

To Get a Flu Shot or Not for My 19 Month Old

Hi everyone!

My daughter is 19 months old and we go for her 18 month check up on Monday. I know the question is going to be posed on whether or not to give her a flu shot. Last year I opted to not - I didnt think there was any need for it. Since then we have switched ped's but wanted to hear from other parents who have decided or not decided and why they did. My husband and I are on the fence about it so any help would be appreciated!!!!


What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Since I got an overwhelming amount of responses I figured I would let everyone know that I DID go ahead and get the flu shot for my daughter. After talking it over with her ped (who was also my ped as well) I felt more comfortable with it. She wil get her second round of it next month since this is the first time she has received it.

Thanks for everyones help!

Featured Answers

Maybe too late but no, there is no way I would give my little one a flu shot. They are full of toxins and stuff that has no place in a little person's body. More good information can be found at www.nvic.org.

Good luck!

Dear M. -

One of my children has some chronic medical issues. She really needed a flu shot early on, but I was concerned about the risks of the shot vs getting the flu. I did what several folks here have suggested...I got her siblings and myself vaccinated. Now that she is older, I get ALL vaccinated, but for those first few tricky years that she was home, getting the 'others' vaccinated did the trick!

Good luck whatever you decide!

I would definitely get her the flu shot, unless if she is allergic to eggs or has any other condition where it would be dangerous. The flu can be very dangerous for a child!

More Answers

I'll just share my experience. My son is 7 and becuase he had asthma as a baby we did get him the flu. Last year my husband got the flu....it was horrible. It was the first time I'd seen the flu. I don't ever want my kids to go through it so I'm getting my kids vacanated. Good luck and I'm sure any decision you make will be right for your family.

1 mom found this helpful

I have two children, my boy is 5 and my girl is 2. They both have had their flew shots. I believe your daughter would get half now and then the other half in so many months. I am not against because it does help the kids from getting sick. I haven't heard any negative reasons for not getting one. Do a search if are unsure on what to do. Ask the DR.questions. I don't think they would give something to a child that young if they didn't need it. Good Luck on your decision. My two year old hasn't had hers yet this year and I don't know when it will be offered as we are active duty. I did have half given to her last year and I for got to take her back for the other half. Good Luck I hope some of my info. has helped.

My pediatrition strongly recommends it for all children, feels it is extremely important. I just had my 10 month old and 21 month old vaccinated and am working on getting my almost 3 year old done. We have never had any major side effects, the most was a little crankiness the next day. My husband does not like our kids having so many shots, but when he and I got sick last year it was nice not to have to take care of three sick babies, thankfully they did not get sick. I would encourage you to have her vaccinated.

Maybe too late but no, there is no way I would give my little one a flu shot. They are full of toxins and stuff that has no place in a little person's body. More good information can be found at www.nvic.org.

Good luck!

I personally get the flu shot and also get one for my daughter. I got the flu last year and in case you have never had it-it is miserable and can be deadly. I had a fever of 104, chills, aches, throwing up (from the fever), cold symptoms. You name it I had it. I did catch it quickly enough to get tamiflu and get my daughter and husband on it so they did not get the flu. I was also told that if I had not gotten the flu shot my symptoms would have been much more severe and lasted a lot longer (I was only bed ridden for about 3 days). My answer would be yes give your child the shot!! Also since I see that you work you should also consider if you and your husband have the time to take off a week or so if your child gets the flu b/c it is serious and will require the child to be kept at home for quite awhile. I know the shot will not guarantee that you child will not get it but it won't be as severe.

Mercury I would not, but there is a shot they can order that is Mercury free.
One of my children I didn't do shots until they would not let me sign a waver for school, then after his shots and a few years later came down with diabetes which we do not have in our family! Those shot can destroy the immune system then you ahve big problems. allergies etc.
Thanks my opinion!
God Bless

I had my 14 month old daughter get one less than 2 weeks ago. She suffers from chronic ear infections (even through the summer she had them) so I wanted to ward off as many illnesses as I could this winter. She goes to an ENT specialist in 2 more weeks because she currently has water on her ears with no apparent cause.

There is no history of complications with the flu shot on either side of her family but admit being hesitant cause of her young age. She had no side effects however she was given a prescription for an amoxycillin for her ears before leaving which she began taking that same day which the doctor also believed could negate any side effect while not counteracting the purpose for getting the vaccine.

You just have to consider your child's exposure to illnesses and how often she is sick currently as well as whether there is a history of side-effects in her family associated with the vaccine. It is encouraged for children who attend large day cares such as my daughters.

Last year my son was too young, so my boyfriend and I got it instead. This year all three of us will be getting it. As healthy adults we tend to forget how serious the flu really is, but it can be so dangerous for a child. Of course, if your daughter has an egg allergy, it's a moot point, but aside from that, I think it's totally worth it.

My son has gotten the flu shot for the past two years, and he's two years old. The flu shots do not have mercury in them anymore (nor do any other vaccinations--it was removed years ago). The flu is very serious for young children and elderly and can be fatal and there are a large number of cases of the flu each year going around. I personally, do not want to risk my child's life--I could not live with myself if I refused to give him a shot and he ended up violently ill as a result of my decision. He got the shot, my husband got the shot, and I got the shot.

Hi M.,

Is your child in daycare? I would recommend getting the flu shot. I get my children the flu mist where they squirt in the nose painless and so easy. All kids are different in a sense, but there are times when they can have an allergic reaction which I think is pretty rare but since my children get the flu mist "knock on wood" they have not gotten the flu. Like other moms have said it can be very dangerous for children as well. I would talk to your pedetrician and let her/him know your concerns and weigh out your options.
Good Luck, and God Bless

My daughter is two and received the flu vaccination last year. I believe many of the flu vaccines still contain the mercury compound, thimerosal, which concerns many moms. However, many pediatricians offers a thimerosal-free vaccine for young children so you may want to check with your doctor.

I went through the same analysis as you. However, I am a believer now. I saw my friend's two-year old hospitalized over the flu and flu complications last year for a whole month.

I would definitely get her the flu shot, unless if she is allergic to eggs or has any other condition where it would be dangerous. The flu can be very dangerous for a child!

Hi M.,

You may consider it if there is a history of asthma, reactive airway disease, or other ear, nose or throat concerns. Ask your child's pediatrician, then weigh the risk to benefit ratio. Be well.

A good suggestion I received from a friend of mine is based on what you have for child care. If you have your baby in day care or another setting with a group of other children, you might want to strongly consider the flu shot. Yet if the child is at home with one or two caregivers, then it's likely not as necessary. Yet the adult in the home who is out and about interacting with other people throughout the day ought to get the flu shot to avoid coming down with the illness and exposing the child and/or the stay-at-home parent to the virus. Also be sure to encourage lots of hand washing everytime anyone comes in your house from being out there collecting germs.

Hey M.,

My husband and I are of the position to forego the flu shot and let us and our kids deal with it naturally.

Over 15 years ago I had a long discussion with an immunologist who told me that the flu shot that is manufactured and distributed is based on the previous year's virus. It mutates so quickly which is why so many people still get the flu.

My pediatrician was quite relieved with our decision as he is against it. He feels that flu shots are just another convenience for adults - to not miss work if the children are sick or they themselves are sick.

If you and your children are healthy, I'd say pass. Don't succumb to the scaremongering tactics of the pharmaceutical companies.

Good luck!

i am not totally anti-vac, but i think people are getting way way too many shots for their kids, and not sufficiently researching the risks. i would not get a flu vac for a child this age. i'd focus on a healthy diet (lots of fresh local food), plenty of exercise and sleep. a healthy immune system will do more to protect a child than a barrage of killed viruses.

I really reccommed gettingt the flu shot for your little one. My son was born the end of September so that first year he could not get one, but since I was nursing I was told to get one so that he could get the immunity from my breas milk. Last year he was old enough and we got him the shot. Colds are hard enough on little ones, the flu can really take its toll on a little. Sometimes it can be hard keeping them hydrated enough. My son got croup last year and it took three weeks for him to fully recover and get back to drinking and eating. In the process he lost weight and he is a skinny guy to begin with. With the flu shot there is no guarantee that she will not get the flu, but it can help reduce the intensity.

I ALWAYS get my son the flu shot ever since my niece was hospitalized at 3 yrs old with it. The flu can be very dangerous and this may not prevent all types of it, but it does help and the flu virus is everywhere. Even if your child is not in daycare, if you go to playgroups, church (especially church where the adults are sick and there anyway), the grocery store or mall and the dr. office. In fact once I found out I was pregnant my husband and I also get the shot to help prevent bring home the flu. I really fully believe that this is best, that's why they say to give them to children and elderly first, because they need it the most!! Good luck and here's to a flu free winter!!

YES!! Get the flu shot -- BUT make sure you ask for the one that doesn't have any thimerosal in it. I probably spelled that wrong, but they will know what you mean. It is the compound that has not been completely ruled out as a possible cause of Autism.
Every year, kids die from the flu - and there is no reason for it, since we have a very, very safe shot to prevent it.
I have a 17 mo old son & will be taking him to his 18-mo check at the end of this month - and will get him the thimerosal-free shot this year, as I did last year. :o)

M., unless she's allergic to eggs, please get your precious little girl this shot. And you and your husband get them too, so you both stay well and can care for her! The whole family should have them. We tend to forget that flu is a serious disease that can be grave for the youngest and oldest among us.

Remember that the flu can turn very serious quickly with young children, much more so than with most adults, and can land kids in the hospital. Yes, a healthy immune system is helpful, but it will not ward off a virus every time.

Also, kids her age are all over each other, kissing, hugging, playing, sharing. If you work full-time, I figure she's in day care and you can't know whether other parents are sending sick kids to day care who might infect her. Plus, at this age children can't really be told "Wash your hands" and "don't put your friend's toy in your mouth" effectively. Those dirty hands and that sneezed-on toy are going into that mouth way before you can intercept them.

And if anyone says "Oh, forget it, last year's vaccine didn't nail the right viruses so some people got the flu even if they had the shot"-- well, that's true, and I was one of those people, but I truly feel sure that if I had not had a flu shot, my brief flu would have lasted much longer and made me feel much worse than if I had not had ANY vaccine. Even a vaccine that targets a different flu strain from the one you get still offers some protection! If you didn't get it at the checkup today, I'd go back for it.

I always get my children vaccinated, including the flu shot. Yes, some people ahve controversy about thatand/or other vaccinations but nothing has been proven as far as Autism adn rthis is the way I feel: It would be HIGHLY worse for my child to catch the flu or another disease that can be prevented with vaccinations than not to ahve the shot. I hope I ma making sense but I wold rather give my kids the shots and have like a 1% chance of maybe getting Autism than to ahve them catch the flu/etc which is much more common and possibly die/become seriously ill. I get the flu shot for myself as well. U will be vaccinating all of us unitl I ma told I ma not allowed to anymore. I hope this helps

Hi, I know by the time you get this message your appt. will probably be over but if she stays at home with a relative then I wouldn't worry about the flu shot but if she goes to a day care I would have her get the flu shot. I don't get the flu shot myself but for my little girl we've gotten it for her every year due to the fact she's around lots of little ones at day care. Final decision is yours though and if she was healthy all last year and was breastfed, I know they said that the natural milk in place of the formula offers a lot of antibodies to babies so if she had that great start then you might be fine without it. I couldn't breastfeed because my baby was born weighing 3 lbs so she had to be on special formula. She gets sick every year, not the flu really but bronchitus at 8 months in the hospital for 5 days and then RSV/pneumonia at 19 months of age in the hospital for 2 days. So since she gets sick kind of frequently we always get it for her. We're hoping that this holiday season she'll stay out of the hospital for once:) Ultimately the whole vaccine/flu shot thing is up to you and your little girl sounds like she's doing just fine without the flu shot:)

I would not do it! I got my two oldest children (now 5 and 3) flu shots 2 years ago. My daughter had one febrile seizure before her shot, and then not one for over a year - and 2 after that! My kids were sick all winter long!!! I refuse to give any of my children the flu shot ever again.

My oldest has to get the flu shot every year since she had pneumonia at 2 years old. The pediatricians recommended it and I felt comfortable with her receiving it.

Unfortunately, my 20 month old has egg/peanut allergies and cannot get the flu shot for this reason alone. If she could, I would give it to her. But, as long as my hubby, daughter, and myself receive the vaccine; we hope and pray that this will lessen and/or prevent her from getting the flu.

Overall, go with what feels best for you---consider your child's overall health profile, level of exposure to other kids, and your own maternal instincts. I always go with the choice that gives me peace. I hope you find and do the same. :)

I skipped the flu shot till my son was 5 years old. I only did it because of all the illnesses in school. He still got sick. I say don't bother. There's speculation as to whether it is a factor with autism, no proof either way. We only do necessary immunizations. I had the shot last year as well for the first time ever and also got the flu - stomach. Seems the shot does not defend against stomach flu. We will probably have the shots again this year and see how it goes. Not sure about next year.

Dear M. -

One of my children has some chronic medical issues. She really needed a flu shot early on, but I was concerned about the risks of the shot vs getting the flu. I did what several folks here have suggested...I got her siblings and myself vaccinated. Now that she is older, I get ALL vaccinated, but for those first few tricky years that she was home, getting the 'others' vaccinated did the trick!

Good luck whatever you decide!

Do your research. I was told that the flu shot has mercury in it. I will not give it to my daughter.

Hi M.

It is always a difficult decision as to whether or not to get the flu vaccine. I have opted to get the vaccine for my 3 children for the past several years. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends it for all children now, especially for children with any sort of chronic medical problem. The flu sounds like no big deal, but each year there are many children who die from complications of it. Good luck making your decision & I hope you have a healthy winter.

Dear M.,
I say get it. I know there are some moms and celebrity moms like Jenny McCarthy that are totally 'green" and against vaccines b/c their children have autism... But children have been getting flu shots for quite some time now and the "bad" side affects are quite rare. WEB MD, Mayo clinic.com, wikipedia ALL suggest that any child between 6 months to around 59 months should get a flu shot as should you. There is a Flu Mist available but I think 19 months may be too young...
PS here is a copy and paste from the LA Times

"Under the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, children need more than one dozen immunizations to protect against a range of diseases, and some parents grow weary of the overall vaccination demands. Others express concern about safety of vaccines that contain the mercury-containing compound thimerosal, a preservative that some people believe may be toxic to infants and children. (The Food and Drug Administration says there is no evidence to support a link between thimerosal and complications from vaccines, such as autism.)"

Here's another for it from ABC 6 news
"September 27, 2008 (WPVI) -- Flu season is just around the corner. This year, for the first time, Uncle Sam wants all children over the age of 6 months get a flu shot, unless they're allergic. "

One LAST paste from U.S. NEWS Blog
"Flu Shots Advised for Children Ages 18 and Younger
September 22, 2008 02:58 PM ET | Nancy Shute | Permanent Link | Print
Back-to-school time is barely over, and here comes the newest task for fall—flu shots for all.

For the first time, the federal government is recommending that all children ages 6 months to 18 years get seasonal influenza immunizations. That means an additional 30 million children should be dragged into the pediatrician's office for a shot, starting this month. Kids who have never had a flu shot before should get two shots, spaced at least a month apart."

Hi M.,

My son has to get flu shots but hates getting them I'm not sure why. He has asthma but his asthma is mild so we haven't had any problems.My son is 9 and he gets allergy shots and he doesnt have any problem weith those. I usually have to get 3 or four nurses or people that work in the doctor's office to help him cuz he doesn't like getting this shot. I told him his popie is getting one so hopefully that will make him feel better. Does your daughter required to get a flu shot? S.

I'm sure you will get many different opinions about this, even the experts disagree, but here's what I know- Any type of vaccination strips the coating on the nerves, much like a stripped wire. When the coating gets too thin you can have problems like autism and other neurological disorders. This doesn't always happen, but I believe that you can have too much of a good thing. It also bypasses the normal immune system, making them less likely to defend themselves against other illnesses. I saved the vaccines for the most important things that could be deadly. My family has never had a flu shot and never had the flu and rarely gets sick.
There's a lot of compelling research out there, it's just hard to find.
Good luck with your decision!

I would suggest getting the shot. I am also in need of getting one for both my 7 month old and my 7 year old. I say do it because when my oldest was 1 1/2 years she caught it and became extremely ill. She had recurrent vomitting, became severely dehydrated, did not have a wet diaper for 5 days, would not eat or drink anything, had a temp over 103, was lethargic, pale, her lips were chapped and bleeding. All she did was lay in bed. She ended up in the hospital for 5 days getting iv fluids and antibiotics. I had never been so scared in my life. Ever since then we all get the shot.

K.- I am a registered nurse and mother of 2 beautiful girls

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.