Tag Archives: children


The influenza vaccine is generally safe and effective for most children. Like with any vaccine or medication, there is a possibility for side effects to occur in some children who receive the flu shot. Typically, these side effects are mild and go away on their own within a few days. Some of the most common side effects seen in children after receiving the influenza vaccine include:

Soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site: This is one of the most frequently reported side effects. The area where the shot was given may be mildly painful, tender, red or swollen. This usually disappears within a couple days. While uncommon, a small bruise may also develop at the injection site.

Fever: A low grade fever of up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit is not uncommon after getting the flu shot, occurring in about 1 out of every 10 children. The fever usually comes on suddenly about 6-12 hours after vaccination and typically lasts 1-2 days. It is generally not serious and can be treated with over-the-counter fever reducers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen if needed for comfort.

Body aches: Some children may experience mild body aches or muscle soreness after the vaccination that goes away on its own after a day or two. This is especially common if the child has a fever as well.

Fatigue: Feeling tired and lacking energy for a day is a common side effect in children post-vaccination. This is usually not severe and resolves fully after resting.

Headache: A minor, dull headache may trouble some children in the hours or day after getting the flu shot. It is typically mild and goes away with standard treatment like acetaminophen.

Stomach upset: On rare occasions, nausea or diarrhea may occur in children following influenza immunization. This is usually transient, lasting less than a day.

While rare, more severe side effects in children have been reported after influenza vaccination. These include:

Allergic reaction: True allergic reactions to the flu shot are very uncommon, occurring in approximately 1 in 1 million doses. Symptoms of a potential allergic reaction may include hives, wheezing or difficulty breathing that starts several minutes to a few hours after getting vaccinated. This would constitute a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment and monitoring.

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS): This is a rare neurological disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves, causing muscle weakness or even paralysis. It has been reported to be associated with influenza vaccines in about 1 in 1 million vaccinated people. Recovery often takes several months.

Severe fevers: On rare occasions, children have experienced high fevers of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in the days following immunization. This type of fever requires medical evaluation to check for any complications. Most fevers subside with treatment and do not lead to further issues however.

As a parent or caregiver, it’s important to monitor your child for any concerning or unusual symptoms after vaccination and report them promptly to your pediatrician. The vast majority of side effects from the flu shot are mild, temporary, and not cause for alarm. Most experts agree that influenza vaccines provide important protection against illness for children and the benefits vastly outweigh potential risks in almost all cases. Proper screening for allergies or other precautions may be taken by healthcare providers when vaccinating children at higher risk for adverse events. With close post-vaccination surveillance, it is generally safe for the majority of children to receive an annual flu shot.

As the immune response can vary in each individual child, side effects may occur at different levels of severity even for the same vaccine. Factors such as overall health status, previous vaccination history and age can influence potential side effect risk as well. While uncommon, some children may experience no side effects whatsoever after flu immunization. Healthcare providers should thoroughly review the risks and benefits of vaccination prior to administration and discuss what to expect with parents. With appropriate post-vaccination care and monitoring, most discomfort is mild, resolves swiftly, and leaves children fully protected from seasonal influenza for the duration of the immunity period. The influenza vaccine provides substantial protection and low risk to children when utilized as recommended.


Developing healthy social media habits is important for children and requires guidance from parents. With the rise of social networking sites, apps, and technology, it is crucial for parents to have open conversations with their kids about responsible and balanced social media use from a young age. Some effective strategies parents can use include:

Set Clear Rules and Agreements – Sit down with your child and establish clear rules and agreements about social media before allowing them to participate. Discuss expectations around appropriate content, privacy settings, time limits, not sharing personal information, and consent for posting photos. Have them help create a written family media use agreement they understand and agree to follow.

Be Actively Involved – Don’t just assume your kids will automatically make good choices online. Engage with their social media activities by friending or following their accounts so you can periodically review what they post and see their interactions. Use this as an opportunity for open discussion. Consider locating devices in common household areas rather than private rooms.

Set Time Limits – Establish reasonable daily or weekly time limits for recreational social media and screen time. Be sure to also schedule regular family activities that do not involve screens. Use a tool like Morning Routines to create consistent offline routines before and after school. Respecting time limits helps prevent compulsive or excessive social media habits from forming.

Discuss Media Literacy – Help your child think critically about what they see online. Discuss how pictures and videos can be altered, ads try to influence habits, not everything is true, and people don’t always show reality. Encourage checking multiple sources to verify facts and thinking about intentions and potential biases. Developing media literacy skills is important for safety and making good judgments.

Empower Them – Along with open guidance, empower kids to be responsible digital citizens by letting them provide input and exercise safe choices. Instead of reacting harshly to mistakes, have caring discussions to understand perspectives and do better next time. When they succeed at making good decisions, provide positive reinforcement through compliments and occasional rewards.

Model Appropriate Use Yourself – Children learn from observing behaviors, so be mindful of how you use social media and technology around them. Limit your use when interacting with kids to set a good example of balance. Explain to them if you make a mistake so they understand imperfect role models can still make corrections. Lead respectful online conversations that avoid toxicity, shaming, or excessive negativity.

Monitor Interactions Carefully – As kids interact online, discreetly monitor posts, messages and connections for a while to ensure healthy relationships and catch potential problems early. But be careful not to violate privacy or become overbearing. Communication is important to understand any issues or concerns and provide guidance around managing peer dynamics online.

Encourage Real Connections – Spending extensive time alone online can undermine social skills and relationships. Foster your child’s in-person interactions at home, with family meals, game nights, or supervised playdates. Getting comfortable with socializing face to face helps provide balance to virtual connectivity and limits isolation or addiction potentials.

Prepare for Challenges – Be understanding that mistakes or testing boundaries is normal developmentally and will happen. Have backup plans ready, like parental controls or taking a tech break, to encourage learning from experiences. Seek outside help from counselors or police if truly concerning situations arise like cyberbullying, threats, or inappropriate contact. Consistent involvement and caring guidance enables children to benefit positively from technology and engage safely.

Developing healthy social media habits requires a team effort between parent and child. With open communication, clear agreements, education, empowerment, accountability and modeling good behavior themselves, parents can effectively guide their kids to responsibly manage screen time and interactions online. It is about fostering balance, safety, critical thinking, self-control and real relationships rather than strictly prohibiting use. An ongoing dialogue of care, understanding and mutual respect is most impactful for developing socially-adjusted digital citizens.