My whole family gets flu shots every year. Of course, my kids don't look forward to that prick, but it's over in a second and then they're totally fine. Yesterday, my 8-year-old got FluMist for the first time and she couldn't believe how easy it was. Kids who have asthma or a history of wheezing can't get this nasal-spray version of the vaccine, and Jane's pediatrician had worried when she was younger that her chronic cough might be asthma. But she's been fine for the last couple of years, and so she was eligible for the spray.
When we got to the pediatrician's office, there were a few other kids waiting for their vaccine and the nurse called them all back at once. "I'm just going to spray a little water into each nostril and then you can sniff in," she told Jane. Afterwards, Jane said, "That's it?"
When we were getting ready to leave, I heard a boy say, "That was fun!"
FluMist Quadrivalent (which means that it now protects against four strains of the influenza virus instead of three) is covered by most insurance plans, and it is available at chain pharmacies such as Walgreens and Target. Some children who have certain chronic health conditions or egg allergies shouldn't get the nasal spray, and it is approved for children ages 2 and up.
If a flu shot is your only option, get it. Influenza makes kids truly sick and can keep them home from school (and you out of work) for a week or more.
However, if you can opt for the nasal spray, your kid will thank you.
Photo of girl at doctor via Shutterstock