Wondering about side affects children can get from the flu shot vaccine? Here’s everything you need to know about the flu shot and more!
I don’t know about you, but I HATE the flu! I’m sure you feel the same way, because no one in their right mind would like the flu.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you buy from my link I might make a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay. See the full affiliate disclosure here.
Every year I get the flu shot, because it’s the best way to help protect me from the flu. My kids and I go to my husband’s office building where nurses come for a few hours to give the flu shot to the employees and their families. It’s wonderful that we can go all together and get it done!
Fortunately, my kids and I haven’t had any reactions to the flu shot. It can be common for children to have mild reactions though.
Here’s everything you need to know about the history of the flu, the flu shot, side effects for children, the nasal spray flu vaccine, and where you can get the flu shot!
History Of The Flu
Did you know that between 150,000 to 800,000 people are hospitalized every year because of the flu? Isn’t that crazy?! I had no idea it was so high. Also, between 12,000-61,000 people die every year because of the flu. That breaks my heart!
Anyone can get the flu, but children 5 years or younger are more likely to become dehydrated or get pneumonia because of the flu.
The flu shot reduces your chance of getting the flu from 40-60 percent! That’s why I think everyone should get the flu shot.
The Flu Shot
Many people think the flu shot contains live viruses, but that’s not true. The flu shot is actually an inactivated, or dead, flu virus. It cannot and will not give you influenza.
People typically get the flu during the cold months of the year. Flu season in the United States is October through May. Try to get your flu shot by the end of October if you can. It’s still better to get it later in the winter season than it is to not get it.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) suggests that anyone six months old and older should get the influenza vaccination every year. The virus slightly changes every year, and a new vaccine is made every year too. You should get a flu shot every year.
The flu shot is either given in the shoulder or in the upper thigh depending on your age.
If you like to travel, you should definitely get a flu shot. The flu can be active in April to September in other parts of the world.
The flu shot isn’t 100% affective, but it still significantly lowers your chance of getting the flu. Medical providers say the benefits of getting the flu shot far outweigh the risks of an allergic reaction.
By getting a flu shot you not only help protect yourself, but you also help stop the spread of the flu and that helps your community.
Benefits Of The Flu Shot
The greatest benefits of the flu shot are that you are less likely to get the flu, you’re less likely to be hospitalized from the flu, and you’re less likely to die from the flu. Plus, the flu shot teaches your immune system to treat the vaccine like a threat.
Aren’t those great benefits? In my mind, it’s totally worth it to get the flu vaccine.
Flu Shot Side Effects In Children
Mild reactions from the flu shot in children are common, but they’re almost always harmless. Here are the common reactions and most common side effects.
- Redness by the injection site
- Discomfort by the injection site
- Soreness by the injection site
- Body aches
- Mild fever of 101 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit
- Pain or swelling 6 to 8 hours after getting the flu shot
A damp cloth on the injection site can help lessen the side effects. Side effects will only last a day or two. If it lasts longer, call your doctor.
Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine
There are two ways you can get the flu vaccine. One way is the flu shot and the other is the nasal spray vaccine. Healthy people ages 2 to 49 can get the nasal spray flu vaccine.
This can be a great option for those who hate needles, especially kids! Here are some of the side effects of the spray flu vaccine.
- Runny Nose
- Sore Throat
- Low-Grade Fever
Severe Side Effects To The Flu Shot
Serious reactions to the flu shot are rare in young children, but they can happen. Reactions are usually because of the egg protein in the vaccine and kids who have an egg allergy. You don’t have to worry about egg protein in new vaccines though. They now make egg-free vaccines!
Even though children can have really bad allergic reactions to the flu shot, but that’s rare. It’s still important to get the flu shot though!
Here are severe side effects:
- High fever of over 104 degrees Fahrenheit
- Crying for more than 3 hours
- Fast heart rate
- Difficulty Breathing
- Throat swelling
If your child is going to have an allergic reaction, it will be within a few minutes of getting the flu shot or another vaccine. Call your healthcare provider or 911.
Who Shouldn’t Get The Flu Shot
Pretty much everyone should get the flu shot! The only people who shouldn’t get the flu shot are:
- Babies younger than six months of age
- Those who have had severe, allergies to the vaccine
Contrary to what you might think, pregnant women should get the vaccine. It can help protect them and their baby.
If you have egg allergies, allergies to any ingredients in the flu shot, or if you have Guillain-Barre syndrome, talk to your doctor before you get the flu shot.
Where You Can Get The Flu Shot
Here are the most common places you can get the flu shot.
- Doctor’s offices
- Places of work
- Community Centers
- Some schools
If your child is allergic to eggs, have them get their flu shot at the doctor’s office in case they have an allergic reaction.
Can the flu shot cause a rash?
No, the flu shot does not normally cause a rash in younger children. It can cause redness, discomfort, or soreness by the site of the injection, body aches, nausea, fatigue, fever of 101 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit, pain or swelling 6 to 8 hours after getting the flu shot, or fainting. Most people usually don’t experience side effects though.
Can the flu shot cause a rash in toddlers?
No, the flu shot does not normally cause a mild rash. It can cause redness, discomfort, or soreness by the injection site, body aches, nausea, fatigue, fever of 101 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit, pain or swelling 6 to 8 hours after getting the flu shot, or fainting. Most people usually don’t experience side effects though.
Should Pregnant Women Get The Flu Shot?
Yes, pregnant women should get the flu shot. It will help keep them and their baby safe as well as help protect the community.
Can you have a delayed allergic reaction to flu shot?
No, you won’t have a delayed allergic reaction to the flu shot. Symptoms will occur within a day or two. you won’t have an allergic reaction after that that’s related to the flu shot vaccine.
What does an allergic reaction to flu vaccine look like?
An allergic reaction to the influenza vaccine looks like redness, discomfort, or soreness by the injection site, body aches, nausea, fatigue, fever of 101 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit, pain or swelling 6 to 8 hours after getting the flu shot, or fainting. Most people usually don’t experience side effects though.
The Bottom Line
The flu shot, like any other vaccine, can have mild side effects in children and toddlers. Side effects are usually redness, discomfort, swelling, or soreness by the injection site, body aches, nausea, fatigue, fever of 101 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit, or fainting. A rash is not a common side effect of the flu vaccine.
However, the risks from not getting the flu shot are much greater than the side effects potentially can be. If you have any concerns or are having symptoms of an allergic reaction, call a medical professional.
Final Thoughts On Flu Shot Side Effects:
I hope you like this post as much as I do! Let me know what you think in the comments.