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Doctors, health experts share new recommendations for kids ahead of flu season

With flu season approaching and kids back in the classroom this fall, health experts at St. David's Healthcare are recommending children are updated on flu shots.

AUSTIN, Texas — With this year's flu season rapidly approaching, medical professionals with St. David's Healthcare are reminding parents and guardians to take their children for their seasonal vaccination.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released this season's flu recommendations, advising children and adolescents to receive their vaccine as soon as it's available.

Doctors at St. David's Healthcare say all patients six months and above should get their annual flu vaccine. This can include either the live nasal flu vaccine or the inactivated flu shot. 

Health experts say that if your child isn't vaccinated against COVID-19 yet, they can receive the flu and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time. As the fall season continues to progress, so does the increase in flu cases doctors are seeing. 

"We are seeing a lot of flu cases, and that's a bit earlier than we have been seeing them or that we typically see them,"  said Dr. Elinor Pisano Anspaugh, a pediatric hospitalist at St. David's Children's Hospital. "The other recommendation is that to get your flu shot a little bit earlier this year than you typically would. We normally want children to be immunized by the end of October."

According to health experts, flu symptoms typically begin with the sudden onset of a high fever, cough, chills and body aches. As the flu continues to progress, a runny nose and more cold-like symptoms will settle in. According to Anspaugh, if your child has a fever associated with any of the previously mentioned symptoms, it might be the flu and is recommended to keep them home. 

"I think the most important thing that parents can do is if your child is sick, especially if they have a fever, if they have body aches, if they have decreased energy associated with that fever, that's a kid that you probably want to keep home from school for a couple of days," Anspaugh said.

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