What You Need To Know About The Flu Shot For Asthmatic Children

As the leading cause of chronic illness in the United States, asthma affects roughly 7 million children. To make matters worse, asthma prevalence is on the rise. If your little one has asthma, chances are, you see your pediatrician pretty regularly, just to keep on top of their essential medications and inhaler refills. It's important to talk with your child's doctor about the flu shot if your youngster is asthmatic, since preventing the flu can actually decrease their risk of severe asthmatic attacks during flu season.

Asthma and the Flu

Research from the University of Montreal published in June of 2018 reported findings on the ties between asthma and the flu. Medical experts involved in the study explained that because the flu affects the respiratory system, when asthmatic children get it, they're highly likely to experience an emergency situation.

Emergency Room Visits

Researchers reported that roughly two-thirds of children who wind up in the emergency room for asthma attacks had the flu. Because typical flu treatments, like corticosteroids and inhaled bronchilators, don't do much for improving flu symptoms, about 20% of the treated children didn't respond.  

Flu Shots and Hospitalization

After evaluating thousands of medical records and comparing results to previous studies, researchers reported that if a child has asthma and doesn't get a flu shot, there's a 40% chance that emergency room asthma treatment is going to fail. As a result, these children wound up hospitalized. 

Respiratory Health

Your pediatrician, like those at Better Family Care, is likely going to suggest that getting a flu shot will help your child, whether or not they are asthmatic. But even though the flu can be particularly devastating for asthmatic children and have an even greater impact on their respiratory health, many parents still skip getting a shot. Part of this is because the anxiety children face when getting a shot is overwhelming for parents.

Squeamish Kids

Fear of pain from injections is a real thing children face. A May 2018 study conducted by the University of California Riverside looked into needle anxiety in children. They found that if your little one thinks that needle is going to hurt, that built-up expectation ensures the shot is really going to hurt. Researchers explained that pain expectation affects pain experience significantly. Parents shouldn't hype up what it feels like to get a flu vaccine, or any other type of shot. Instead of telling your child that the injection isn't going to hurt that bad, put it as a more relatable reference. For instance, tell them that their flu shot is just going to feel like a tree branch scraping across their skin.

In some cases, your pediatrician might even let you get a flu shot first, just so your child can see that it really isn't anything to worry about. The more diligent you are about getting seasonal flu shots for your child, especially if they're asthmatic, the less likely they are to suffer with emergency issues.