Flu Resource Center

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The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is by getting yearly vaccines.

The influenza vaccine is safe and does not cause the flu. 

Plan to get your influenza vaccine early for you and your family for the best protection throughout the flu season, which typically ends in early spring.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone age 6 months and older get a yearly influenza vaccine. 

Children younger than 6 months old are too young to get the influenza vaccine, so the best way to protect them is to make sure other people in their families get their flu shots.

Resources for keeping your family flu free:

Plan to get your flu vaccines early especially if you or your children are part of one of the following groups:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children 6 months and older; consult a pediatrician to determine if your child requires two doses of influenza vaccine given at least 28 days apart
  • Anyone 6 months or older with a chronic health problem such as asthma, kidney disorders, heart disease, cancer or an impaired immune system
  • Adults 50 or older who may be at high risk to get flu complications

“Severe influenza complications are most common in children younger than 2 years old,” according to the CDC.

Each year, about 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized because of flu-related complications.

Flu Symptoms

Flu Symptoms

The flu comes on suddenly and causes mild to severe illness, including death. People who have the flu may feel or show some of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea

In addition to the influenza vaccine, the best ways to prevent flu transmission include prolonged and thorough hand washing using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizers as well as practicing good health habits, and trying to avoid close contact with sick people.

Health Habits to Prevent the Flu

Health Habits to Prevent the Flu

While vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu, good health habits can help stop the spread of illness and help prevent others from getting sick, too.

These include:

  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
  • Stay home if you're sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, or school.
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food such as fruits and vegetables

Flu Prevention Tips

Here are some tips to help protect your child and family from the flu.

Learn more

Is your child in the hospital?

If your child is in the hospital with the flu, there are guidelines you should know.

Learn more