Flu Shots?? Do We Do Them on Our Children or Not?

Updated on October 13, 2008
S.C. asks from Effingham, KS
51 answers

I would love to hear opinions on flu shots and kids. I am vehemently opposed to doing it to myself due to such severe illnesses on the years I did get the shot. My husband says no because he doesn't trust them either. Our doctors want all our kids to have them. What do we do? I feel like I loose either way in this if they get a severe case of the flu. As for my kids, they are all healthy, active, and they do get the flu each year, just manageable cases of it. But these new flu strains are quite scary.

Any input would be great!

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D.K.

answers from Lawrence on

Absolutely get them. The new Health Department guidelines suggest that 6 months through 6 years of age are the new group they are looking to get shots..really through 18 years of age. I am a Preschool Director and we just received the guielines last week.

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R.G.

answers from Kansas City on

My family has never done the flu shots and we haven't had the flu ever. From what I understand the flu vaccine are strans from last years flu. This years flu could be a whole new flu and they don't know what will be different in the flu stran until next year. I may be old fashion but, orange juice every day and washing hand while singing happy birthday 2x's. Oh Yeah, and I would clean with peroxide instead of bleach and gargle every day.

On a personal note- I have horses too! Husband, 2-kids, dogs, cat and bunny.

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D.A.

answers from St. Louis on

The vaccine can't protect them from every strain out there, so even if they get the shot, they may still end up getting the flu. One of my children is allergic to eggs, so she can't get the shot. The other one gets the shot. However, neither of my children have ever gotten the flu, so it may be pointless that I'm making my older daughter get it. I run a home daycare, and I've never gotten either the shot or the flu.

Just my thoughts...

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K.L.

answers from St. Louis on

I loved the first response that suggested trusting you own instincts. There is a difference between unreasonable fear and instincts. My instincts saved my child more than a few times. I also appreciate the nurse who told you to avoid the live virus (mutated) and the thimerasol (mercury). Most flu vaccines still contian mercury, even though congress demanded that it be removed from the 'required' childhood vaccines.

I have read an enormous amount of research on the issue of vaccines from all camps on the subject. My conclusion is that they are largely more harmful than helpful.

If we understood the history of how our popular notions about germs were tainted by dishonest reports of scientific findings, we would all trust our instincts about injecting these toxins into our bodies. I trust science, but I trust pure science, real science. Too much 'science' has been twisted by those who profit by it and too many laws passed because of special interest lobbyists. Too many observable adverse reactions to vaccines are dismissed as 'anecdotal evidence'.

It took many years of pleading to get congress to take action and get the vaccine industry to stop using mercury in the 'required' childhood vaccines. Many doctors will tell you that such a small amount of mercury is not harmful because we get more mercury than that in our foods. This is not a reasonable statement and I will get a little techy here because I feel parents need to be informed enough to not be fooled with flimsy arguments. Foods are absorbed in the intestines and go directly to the liver. If mercury is present and the liver is functioning properly, the mercury should bind with a cytochrome (metallothionein) and be sent back into the stomach with the bile. Once bound to that cytochrome, the body should be able to send it out of the body with the feces. So, under normal circumstances, at least most of the mercury found in our food has a very good chance of being filtered back out of the body without allowing it to find a home in nerve tissue. Mercury is highly toxic to nerve tissue and will naturally gravitate to such tissue because of the high levels of fatty acids in nerves. If mercury is injected directly into the blood stream, there is little to prevent it from causing neurological damage, especially if there is a deficiency in certain nutrients, such as B vitamins.

So, if the above scientific information is correct, the doctors who tell us thimerasol is safe either don't understand it or they are not being completely honest with us. Something is not right about all this. This is not an argument about 'beliefs'. This is an argument about being willing to scientifically observe the the facts.

I know many of us are working very hard to be good parents and we want to be able to trust the medical industry. I am not anti-medical. MDs have saved my life 4 times and saved my son's life as well. But too many children are being harmed for us to not ban together to get to the truth on the issue of vaccines. Knowledge is powerful. I started with my instincts and decided to conduct my own fair-minded research. The information about mercury is only one of the aspects of vaccines that need to be investigated. We also need to question ingredients like alluminum, MSG, multiple antibiotics, animal (and human) proteins, ethylene glycol (aka antifreeze), etc.

My general conclusion after years of reading all sides of this ridiculous debate is that we need to avoid toxins and increase the body's natural strengths and immune systems. Nutrition, stress modification, and exercise are part of this, but so is letting our children's immune systems develop skills by getting sick once in a while. This does not mean we don't treat them when they are sick. But, whenever possible, the treatment should encourage the body's natural defenses to do the job itself, rather than using toxic and invasive procedures to 'cure' it for them. Our knowledge base about treating illness has been distorted by commercials and I feel we need to learn more in order to make more informed decisions. You don't need to go to medical school to read books! I think it would help if parents were willing to talk about this more and share real information with each other.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I am able to recognize corruption when it is there. I hope sharing my experience and thoughts are helpful to you and hasn't just complicated things. We live in great times and technology affords us much. I just think we need to realize that, just like a teenager who gets the keys to the car for the first time, we tend to get a bit wreckless when technology is new. Historically, vaccines are pretty new. We have been wreckless with them and it is time we got honest and assessed the damage. A whole generation of children need us to take this responsibility seriously.

My appologies to anyone who feels I am soapboxing, here. I just know that when my son was an infant, I very much appreciated someone taking the time to inform me. Best of luck to you and your precious children.

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K.B.

answers from Kansas City on

My son is 6 years old, almost 7, he has never had the flu, barely even a cold. He has seasonal allergeries and that's about it. I do not get him the flu shot, I feel his body has been doing just fine with defending itself on it's own, why interfere. He's kind of a germ phobic anyways, he always makes sure noone has drank out of his cup or ate off his plate. He regularly washes his hands without being told.

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J.S.

answers from St. Louis on

It's obviously your choice but here is my story. My kids are 1, 4 and 7 and have always been very healthy, not sick much and hadly ever need antibiotics to get over being sick. I get them the flu shot every year. Then this summer, we got a virus going through my house (that was like the flu) that caused everyone to get pnemonia. The 1 year old I was still nursing so he got over it with antibiotics. The 7 year old got antibiotics and had to do breathing treatments for 2 weeks and the 4 year old who was never sick before--he ended up in the hospital for 5 days to get superstrong IV antibiotics and wear and oxygen mask for 4 days. So am I getting my kids flu shots? You bet! I want to try and avoid them getting that sick again. They are going to get exposed to the flu from school, walmart, the grocery store and if the flu shot can build up their immunity so they don't go through a week or so of being sick, why not I say. Not to mention the fact that I'm still paying off the thousands of dollars in hospital bills, prescriptions and doctor visits. My insurance pays for flu shots so they are free.

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T.S.

answers from Kansas City on

If your gut says no, then please dont do it. You know what is best for your babes...

Trust yourself!

:)

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L.C.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi S.,

We don't get flu shots and we very rarely get sick. I think that eating healthy and making sure we get all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to keep our immune system healthy is the best thing. I also think that getting sick and then taking care of ourselves while our body heals from the illness makes our immune system stronger. Granted, there are illnesses that can damage and kill humans but the flu doesn't kill or damage generally healthy people. And getting it gives our bodies a chance to strengthen our immune responses. That's what I think, anyway.

I also think that companies developing vaccines for common illnesses that really don't damage people who get them are making a lot, a lot, a lot of money on unnecessary vaccines. It seems like medical and pharmaceutical people feel compelled to build fear and undermine our body's natural healing abilities.

Off my soapbox now...

I wish you well with your decision.

L. C.

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T.M.

answers from St. Louis on

I am an adamant supporter of flu shots. Having worked in middle schools for 5 years, I know how unsanitary (let's face it, how gross!) kids can be, and since the flu is an airborne virus, washing hands may not be enough to fight it off (others may not be as careful, or may cough/sneeze near your child). I get the flu shot each year and have never had any negative side effects. My son received his first shot this past week and, aside from the initial pain from the sting, has also had no side effects (he is 15 months old). If your children are around other children, such as in school, I highly recommend the shot.

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M.A.

answers from St. Louis on

S., if you and your husband feel strongly about not getting the flu shots, don't! I have never gotten one, even though my doctor pushes it because I'm diabetic. I get a cold a few times a year, but never a strain of the flu...should I knock on wood? Your children go to school, I assume, so they will be more in contact with others who might get it. If they are healthy, their immune system should be all right. Don't listen to the doctor who pushes any medicines you don't want!

www.seinfeld.org
www.watercuoe.org
are good sites to go check out...Keep Your Children Healthy!

Jan in Salem MO ____@____.com

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K.J.

answers from Wichita on

I believe it is quite unusual to get the flu every year. When you say your kids get it every year, is it the REAL flu? Your doctor has to swab your nose and test it to be sure it is actually the flu. A lot of people call the stomach virus the flu. I get the flu shot every year and get my kids vacinated also. My 2 year got Influenza Type B last year and he got the flu shot. The flu he got was a different strain of the flu he was vacinated for, which is always a possiblity. I say get the shot to be safe.

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B.S.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi S., everyone will have a different openion on this I am sure. I personally believe in keeping the imune system strong naturally and would never give my kids a flue shot, my husband and I neither one take them but we do take good multi-vitamins from a good health food store. I purchase a great multi-vitamin for our grandkids as well, a couple of our kids are on tight budgets and can't really afford them but they did not even get sick last year since we started them on them. If you are in the Kansas City area Nature's Pantry off of 40 Highway in Independece has an excellent selection! Also Whole Foods in Overland Park off of 87th and MetCalf has an excelent selection too. We get all of our organic meat there. Good Luck!!

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E.S.

answers from St. Louis on

S.,
I vehemently oppose them for anyone, but especially for my children! I would never put anything into my body or theirs that contains the ingredients that are in the flu shot. I work for an alternative medical doctor and he's done tons of research on the flu shot and has provided me with a vast amount of information on the topic. There are so many strains of the flu out there that one flu shot cannot possibly come close to covering all of them. A comical view of the flu shot can be seen on youtube (showed to me by my boss)...go to youtube and search for "funny flu shot vaccine video". Although humorous, it's so true!! I even have a daughter with a chronic respiratory condition and her dr. always pushes us to vaccinate her, which we aren't willing to do. I'd rather give her natural immune boosters and cover her in prayer!! Overall, I feel that if you aren't comfortable taking the vaccine yourself, definitely don't give it to your children. I would highly recommend researching the topic online (mercola.com) and trusting your gut as well.

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J.G.

answers from St. Louis on

I would NEVER get a flu shot for me or my child, EVER. My son's immune system is so strong because of lifestyle/eating habits - there is no need. Also, so many natural remedies. Excellent health is the foundation for not getting flu shots or things like vaccines.
We use our Shaklee supplements over drugs always.
J.
http://www.jessicagrimm.com

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K.W.

answers from Kansas City on

Get them. I just saw a video posted by moms whose children died of the flu. One of those moms is on a PTA with me. She lost her infant son several years ago. He was too young to get the shot (under 6 months). His older brothers got the shots and didn't even get symptoms that year, whereas he got the flu and died. I don't know her well, but to see that was heartbreaking.
Also, your experience shouldn't deter you. The flu shot is no longer made with live virus, so it cannot possibly make you sick. If you did get sick when you got the shot, it was probably a coincidence, or maybe before they starting using the new shot formula. It could have also been somewhat mental, because you were afraid you'd get sick from the shot. Your brain is a very powerful thing.

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J.M.

answers from Kansas City on

yes. I googled why people need the flu vaccine:

The flu vaccine reduces the average person's chances of catching the flu by up to 80% during the season. Because the vaccine prevents infection with only a few of the viruses that can cause flu-like symptoms, it isn't a guarantee against getting sick. But even if someone who's gotten the shot gets the flu, symptoms usually will be fewer and milder.

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C.W.

answers from Kansas City on

If you trust your doctor this is a good conversation to have with them. Ask them about the risks and all the facts. There are two strains of the flu and companies try to pick the one they think is going to be dominant that year. The shot can only protect against one strand. Last year they happened to pick the wrong strand and that is why so many people end up with the flu. My son gets it every year and I really think it helps him. He does get colds but not the flu. The flu can be a very serious virus in kids and most of the time people think they have the flu when they have another virus. I get the vaccinine because if there is anything I can do to protect my son I will. If your husband and you feel very strongly about not getting it then you don't have to. I would set up an appointment with your doctor when your husband and you can both go and write down a list of questions that you want to ask about it. Make sure you find out all the side effects and what can happen if your child does get the flu. Medical professionals don't try to scare you into getting things that are uneccesary but you have to understand that they are medicine based and they heal and treat with medicine and when they find something that works and can help they want to help thier patients. If you ask your doctor should be truthful with you about the risk. There are some vaccines out there that I would not get for my son because the side effects are more than scary, but for me the flu shot was not one of them. Best of luck!

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T.S.

answers from Kansas City on

S.,

I can appreciate your concern about doing what is best for your beloved children and will say that there is a myth that somehow you can contract the influenza virus from the vaccine. It is an inactive form of various influenza strains. Yes, at time there may be side effects To read more about the flu and other vaccines, may I suggest the following web sites:
*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm
*Familydoctor.org: http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/healthy/vacc...

Best of health, wellness, and family time.

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J.V.

answers from Topeka on

Our daughter gets one every year and has since age 2 due to having a history of asthma. If your child has asthma, diabetes, or any kind of immuno problems, then I'd definitely consider it. If your child has no problems like that, then I would not see a reason to really do it. That is your call and your doctor's call though. You should always take your child's medical history into account before making a decision. Every year that our child has gotten it, she has only had a slight fever if anything. Fever is normal because it's your body's way of creating antibodies for the vaccine so that your body can fight off the foreign invader in the future if ever infected.

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S.W.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi S. - I am like you and opposed to flu shots. We do not get them in my family. Me and my husband have never gotten them and we do not get our girls flu shots either (they are 7 & 5). My doctor told me not to worry about it, there are other ways to decrease your chances of getting the flu (like washing hands often). None of us have ever had a serious case of the flu. Also, my Grandparents and mother never get the flu shot. Also, never a serious case of the flu. I got the flu shot one time about 6 years ago (just me) because we get them free at work. I was sicker that winter than I have ever been. I never got another shot and I haven't been really sick since. I'm not saying that we don't get sick, but it's little stuff. Colds and sinus infections. Talk to your doctor and teach you kids to wash hands before eating all the good stuff that most of us already teach our kids.

Good luck!

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H.L.

answers from St. Louis on

It is up to you. Last year was the first year I gave my youngest the flu shot, and that was just on a whim. I have 5 myself. Last year was the first year thought it got bad where the 2 of the my stepkids were down for a little over a week.(their mom didn't make them take tamaflu because it tasted bad) My two daughters took the tamaflu and felt better pretty quickly. My son didn't get sick, and myself who took care off them all and didn't get the shot...didn't get sick at all. The mom of my SD, she got it pretty bad. I think it's all a matter of chance. How I got so lucky, I'll never know. God was looking out for me knowing someone had to stay healty to take care of everyone! :-) If you are against the flu shot, the tamiflu does help lesson the length of time the flu lasts, but you have to get in to the doctors within the first day or so. I still am not going to give my kids the shot,because they are overall petty healthy. If they get it bad again this year, I may reconsider. Good luck with whatever you decide. There is no right or wrong answer.

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J.B.

answers from Wichita on

I share your same concerns. My kids go to a large school and infections spread like fire, so I have gotten my kids flumist the last several years. I have had the shot when flumist was not available. There is clear medical evidence that getting the flu SHOT several years in a row can predispose you to alzheimers among other things, due to the thimerisol, the preservative (mercury-based). Also, there are always risks with live viruses which are active infections (although altered to make the virus far less dangerous). I learned recently that there is a great alternative to all these risky things. A local health food store can get small sugar-like tablets that you take a few times per week thru flu season that contain molecules that are formulated to be next to identical to the flu, so it triggers the immune system to create immunity and protect from flu. This method is so safe, it can be administered to infants, because it is of the same principle as mother's milk. Not all health food stores carry it, but start asking around, and I hope you'll find one. The people who use this swear by it. These formulas come out later in the season, like November on.

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R.M.

answers from Topeka on

I work in a pharmacy..and we have a flu shot clinic every year...we are not allowed to give flu shots to anyone under the age of 18....but I do know that our pharmacist has said that our flu vaccine does NOT contain live viruses...so it is not going to "cause" anyone to get sick. I read in some of your other responses that there is a choice between live viruses and dead viruses...I would say to opt for the dead virus vaccine....but I would trust your pediatrician...to tell you whether it is a good idea for your child to receive the vaccination or not.

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K.M.

answers from Springfield on

Hi S.,
here are a few links to info on flu shots and vaccines.

http://www.herbalhealer.com/newsletters/n1100.html
scroll down to vaccines.
http://www.herbalhealer.com/breakingnews.shtml
scroll through and you will find many articles on vaccines, in breaking news. also includes links to 2 websites to help you keep an eye on the flu this year. Interesting to compare maps.

http://www.naturalnews.com/022139.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/flu_vaccine.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/022652.html

I hope this helps give you the info you need, to help you decide. Have a wonderful day.
K.

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R.C.

answers from Wichita on

Hi, I don't have time right now to read all the responses, just wanted to say that we do not do vaxes of any kind in our house. I don't believe the safety and effectiveness has been adequately proved, and reactions are probably more common than the MDs would like us to believe. A healthy immune system is a person's best protection, and vaccines do not help the immune system, they impair its normal functioning.

You can find a huge amount of information on this subject at mothering.com on the discussion board.

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K.O.

answers from Wichita on

Yes! Yes! Yes! Get the shots for any family members six months old or older. It isn't worth the risk of death. It is painful and sometimes a hassle to get everybody done, but it is worth it; it could mean your life or someone in your family's life. Good luck! K. O.

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J.C.

answers from St. Louis on

I don't inject my kids with anything that is not required by law for them to go to school & I even question those. Chicken pox vaccination, hello, you have more of a chance of getting killed in an auto accident than dying of chicken pox. The shots may not even cover the new strains of flu. Many of these injections only cover certain strains of things & leave you falsely believing you are 100% protected. Building your own immunity to illnesses is the best way to go.

I just wanted to add this to my response because I believe one day people will see this is possible & I hope other peole will read:

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."
Thomas A. Edison

I copied this from a list of quotes from Thomas Edison I googled on the internet. It also hangs on the wall in my chiropractor / NAET provider's office. I believe if Dr's would start focusing on the cause of disease we would not be experiencing so many side effects to the drugs they like to put kids & adults on.

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H.H.

answers from Kansas City on

the doctors always push them but I have never had one and my kids haven't had one and hardly ever get the flu. My husband had to get them every year in the military and would get sick everytime and get it worse than any of us ever did. In fact I never got the flu in my life until he got the shot, got sick and gave it to me a few times. Now that he is retired and not required to get the shot he hasn't been sick and we aren't exposed to it every year like we were before with him getting it from the shot. A few times I had to take him to the ER because he got so dehydrated from having the flu from the shot.

The doctors tell me that when we do get the flu we could get a bad case than if we had the shot but I keep my stand and tell them that I will take my chances and don't want to inflict that virus on myself by getting the shot and that I haven't seen anyone as sick with the flu like my husband got after he received the flu shots.

If your kids have a weak immune system and seem to catch every bug that goes around then you might consider it.

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K.S.

answers from Kansas City on

I always worry about shots, too. I did a little research and here is the guideline that I now go by. If the flu shot has Mercury/therimosol or a live virus (the nasal mist one does) I absolutely 100% will NOT give it to my child. However, our Pediatrician at LS Physicians Group does not have the ones with Mercury/therimosol in it, but does have certain ones that contain live viruses. So, I will only give him the one without either of those. Goodluck!

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M.S.

answers from Kansas City on

Everyone I know that has gotten the shot, has gotten sick. No one in my family has ever gotten the shot and known of us have had even a sniffle. If your family is healthy, then I would personally elect not to get the shot. There is no guarantee that it will keep you from getting the flu and regardless of what pharmaceutical companies say, vaccines of any kind are not completely safe.

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S.H.

answers from Wichita on

Hi, S.
I would get the shots both yourself and the kids. The new flu shots do not cause illness. The only thing you have to worry about is if you are allergic to eggs. I have gotten the flu shots for myself and my 4 yr old twins since they were born and we have never had the flu or any problems from the shots. The old flu shots did sometimes cause flu or sickness, but the new shots do not and they are well worth it.

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M.P.

answers from St. Louis on

From my understanding the new strains that are out there don't have a vaccine yet so even if you decided to get the vaccination your children could still get a different strain of the flu. They just pretty much try to predict which strain they think it will be and go with that--sometimes they are right and sometimes they are not. I don't like them personally either, my husband gets one every year. Good luck and stick to what you know is best for you and your family.

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K.C.

answers from Wichita on

My boys & I get the flu shot. I know there are many strains of the flu every year & they can only make a shot for the ones that are the most likely to prevail over the other strains. I would rather take my chances on getting the shot, then have my boys either getting very sick (hospital) or the possiblility that the strain going arround my be fatal to them.

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C.M.

answers from St. Louis on

I can almost guarantee that your children have NEVER had influenza (and you or your husband have probably never had it either). Influenza is not like a cold and it doesn't cause diarrhea. It is a severe respiratory illness with fever/chills/headache/cough. There is no runny nose when you have flu either. It lasts for 3-6 weeks. It drives me crazy when people say that they have had the flu because they had a bad winter cold or a case of diarrhea. So, bottom line is that all children should be vaccinated against the flu. I am a physician and my entire family gets vaccinated every single year with no negative sequelae. It is a very serious illness that can lead to all sorts of additional problems (hospitalization, dehydration, pneumonia) as that previous poster said.

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W.H.

answers from Springfield on

Get them for your kids. It's not worth the risk to them.

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C.M.

answers from Kansas City on

We have never gotten the shots in the past. Why give them a small dose of something that will make them feel icky just to prevent the possibility of them getting something that really could be the same symptoms. Their immune systems will be healthier if they have to fight some of this stuff on their own. Having said that, I do think that there are some reasons to get the shot. If they are exposed to sick people on a regular basis (grandparents maybe) or people who are more likely to get sick, then it might be a good idea. For instance, I think that healthcare professionals should get it.

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T.I.

answers from Kansas City on

Wow! Many posts for you to read here S.. I realize everyone has their own opinion. I have three children (9, 7, 2) and we have never received the flu shot...until this year! My two year old had flumist and my other two are scheduled to get theirs next week. The strains that are coming out are getting more serious each year. My children both have had classmates already have the flu which resulted in missing over a week of school. Our daughter had a terrible case of the flu last fall and we are getting prepared now. One of your posts was from a doctor who stated the facts on what the flu really is...a very serious illness which can lead to hospitalization, dehydration, among other things. I'm not crazy about getting vaccinations either...and my husband is also a physician and we are all getting it this year. Best of luck in your decision.

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D.M.

answers from Kansas City on

I have never had the shots nor would I have them given to my children. We feel there are too many risks. The shots being offered usually have no effect on the strains of flu going around anyway. Who is to say the chemicals in the shots are not causing serious side effects

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K.K.

answers from St. Louis on

Dear S.,
I wasn't sure what to do at first either. Then I saw a "Dateline NBC" story about a 4 year old who came home from school on a Friday with what her parents thought was a cold. She died on that Sunday. She had the flu. She was otherwise healthy.

Once I thought about it and read more about it, I realized that the flu is a VERY serious illness. Many people die from it each year.

The side effects are not serious.

To me, it is worth the shot.

One of the places I looked was the CDC's website.

Best of luck.
K.

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S.D.

answers from Topeka on

I don't plan on getting the flu shot this year for my kids or myself and i'm pregnant.My son goes into the dr every sept for his annual and she usually tells me to come back in for a flu shot but didn't this time I also have a 20 month old daughter who seems to get the yuckies no matter what every now and then my son has never had the flu just slight colds and he is 5.They recommend good hygeine which I do and keep the kids on a good diet,I also disinfect my home regulaly all over the house.Keep hand sanitzers handy and kleenex.

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S.G.

answers from Kansas City on

Dear S.,
From the medical standpoint flu shots are very important. Influenza causes illness, but beyond that more significant infections often result in hospitalization due to dehydration, pneumonia, respiratory failure. More severe complications include brain infection (we had a 10 month old get this 2 years ago in my office...she never regained her developmental milestones though she did survive it) and death. We see these things. They happen. And when they happen to the individual family they are beyond devastating. The shot itself can NOT cause influenza. It can cause soreness or low grade fever but will not cause the disease itself. It can cause concern for allergy for folks who are egg allergic so should be avoided in folks who are egg allergic. Keeping the immune system healthy naturally is wonderful but this will not prevent influenza encephalitis (brain infection) or death. Only good luck or bad luck will affect such outcomes without the flu vaccine. Clearly I feel strongly about this only because I have seen the tragic outcomes. I don't EVER want to tell another family, when they ask me "was this illness/death preventable"...yes...it was preventable. That won't bring their child back. Please think strongly about this. And consider flu mist...the nasal spray version. (of note, both my 3 year old and 9 month old get their flu shot)

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J.J.

answers from St. Louis on

Our children get the flu shot until they are 4. At that point, the risks of the shot outweigh the benefits (in our opinion). THey have worked for us, my husband and I do not get the shot, and there were two years where we have the flu and our then 1-2 year old did not catch it from us. Last year (she was 5) all three of us got the flu (no one had the shot). This year, only our infant will be getting it.

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M.M.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi S.,

My kids are 5 and 1 and I recently had the same questions about the flu vaccine. Although I have never had my 5 yr old receive the flu vaccine in the past, this year both of my kids will get vaccinated. I trust their pediatrician, and he highly suggests both of them get vaccinated. My son got a bad case of the flu last year, and their pediatrician also told me about a very severe case of the flu he saw last year (the boy had to be hospitalized and needed a chest tube to drain the fluid from his lungs). Although the flu vaccine cannot guarantee it will cover every strain, I think it is worth giving it to them. Everyone has their own opinions about it though...but I am going to try it with both of my kids this year! Hope this info is helpful.

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A.P.

answers from Kansas City on

Wow, lots of good responses!

Just to add another thought (like you want to read yet another... hee hee)

I took my daughter in last year and she was swabbed and confirmed to have the flu--only it wasn't the strain they offered a vaccine for that year. So a vaccine doesn't necessarily mean you'll be safe from the flu anyway. The healthy eating/vitamins/exercise seems like sound advice either way...
:)

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S.T.

answers from Kansas City on

My kids have always had the shot I even get it every year. Last year we all came down with the flu but luckly it only lasted 9 hours for everybody. I'm also very germ aphobic so if you do things around your house like spray Lysol and use sanitizer (washing hands) often that should help prevent sickness somewhat. I have my son use germex as soon as he walks in the door from school.

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V.M.

answers from Kansas City on

My family and I use a wonderful product that is rich in antioxidants and so good for us. Berries have been proven by independent studies, (not by the FDA of course) to be effective in fighting off the flu viruses. My kids and I are living proof! Two of my children are in school and I have one at home with me. The product we take contains blueberries, cranberries, elderberries, black currant, pomegranate, plum and chokeberry extract. I've never taken my kids in for the flu shot, and I haven't taken the shot in a long time, I'm not willing to take that risk. In addition to regular handwashing, a healthy diet and taking antioxidants everyday, your family has a great chance of not catching the flu. We may still catch a cold or 2 but we recover faster. You can find more information on this product at www.marketamerica.com/2bewell search for ORAC
Take care,
V.

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F.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Our children get manageable cases of flu too. And, they have gotten the bad ones. And, my husband also got the only case of the flu that time really bad the time he got the flu shot. He never got the bad flu this past year. I would NOT ever vaccinate children with it unless you would like to see them get last years flu, and they will still probably get this years. They are children, and little germ holders. That is just being a child.

There are many reasons to not vaccinate, which I won't cover here, but this flu shot thing is just about money, not really to protect the health of people. Did you know that in MO the year that we had the lowest case of flu cases was when they were low on vaccines and not everyone who wanted them could get them? Makes ya think. Kymberli

D.H.

answers from Kansas City on

I am a teacher and diabetic and I get the flu shot every year just so I don't get it from my students. My kids on the other hand have never gotten the flu shot, at least not that I remember. They haven't had the flu either. Of course this will probably be the year, and if it is, oh well, it happens. I think it is more of a personal decision. I am more susceptible to getting it than my kids are because of my health. Just keep your kids hydrated thru the flu season and getting lots of vitamin C. Good luck and God Bless.

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A.L.

answers from Kansas City on

S.:

For the first two years of my son's life he recieved a flu shot and...got the flu (pretty severe both times). Last year, I said no to the flu shot and he was perfectly healthy. A big cooincidence...maybe, but I don't think so. So, we will not be giving him a flu shot this winter. However, we WILL make sure that he has a healthy diet, washes his hands on a regular basis and takes a whole foods multi every day.
A.

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D.B.

answers from St. Louis on

My two cents. My son cannot have the flu shot because he is allergic to eggs and flu shots have egg content. He is never ill. He is healthier than all of us. The doctor attributes most of that to his healthy eating. Due to his food allergies, we cook all the time, no preserved food, fast food, etc. My other son also does not take them either. I didn't think it fair to subject one child to shots and not the other. He too is very healthy. He has been to the doctor twice in the last 3 years, 2 of which were checkups. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. That's the best medicine.

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E.L.

answers from Kansas City on

I am glad you asked this question. I have been wondering the same thing. My dr. always says to do the flu shots and I never have. My kids are 4, 3, and 8months. The firt time my older kids got sick was not until last year when something horrible was going around and every one seemed to have it. Other than that they really don't get sick, minor runny noses. So, I think why mess with a good thing?

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