At the present, there is no flu vaccine that is sanctioned to be given to infants below six months old. Just like with adults, the flu shot for infants has been linked to certain side effects. With this in mind, it is important that you are well aware of the possible side effects and what to do. By enrolling in a class on first aid, you are prepared to handle these side effects as well as provide comfort to the child.
Reactions at the injection site
Among infants, it is recommended that the flu shot must be administered on the front exterior part of the thigh. Based on studies conducted, a reaction on the injection site is considered less common among younger children than the older children.
Children six months to three years old have experienced pain, swelling and redness. Even though the swelling and redness are apparent, the pain among infants can be difficult to identify and might be shown by irritability and fussiness.
In both children and adults, the flu shot is often linked with a flu-like condition. Unlike with the actual flu, the symptoms are usually mild and transitory. Nevertheless, parents might want to consider these side effects in determining the suitable time to schedule a vaccination for infants. In studies conducted, the usual symptoms among children below three years old include runny nose, irritability, coughing, appetite loss, fever, vomiting or diarrhea, generalized muscle aches, sore throat, headache, muscle pain and ear pain.
When it comes to the severity, most of the symptoms are usually mild. In case of severe fever, it is considered uncommon.
Anaphylaxis is considered as a life-threatening allergic response of the body that is a recognized complication of the flu shot. The symptoms of anaphylaxis in both children and adults include hives, difficulty breathing, throat tightness, vomiting, hoarseness of voice, diarrhea, abdominal pain, rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure and even cardiac arrest or death. Anaphylaxis can occur on or after the second exposure to an allergen. Since infants will receive two flu shots, anaphylaxis is more likely to occur during the second vaccination.
It is important to note that acute disseminated encephalomyelitis is considered a rare but severe side effect of the flu shot and other vaccines include diphtheria, rabies and polio. This usually occurs among children including infants. The condition presents itself with a sudden onset of fever, increased or diminished reflexes, weakness, impaired balance, visual changes and other symptoms within three months of receiving the vaccine.
The fever usually resolves within a span of a few weeks. Nevertheless, the neurological deficits can last for months and even years. Take note that this condition is very rare and believe to involve an interaction between the flu vaccines and the immune system of the individual.