Friday, November 10, 2006

Advice on keeping kids safe from infections

The best way to keep kids safe from influenza or other infectious diseases is to make sure they are immunized, according to APHA member Jonathan Kotch, MD, MPH, FAAP, who discusses the issue in a new Q&A on APHA's Get Ready Web site.

Kids are at higher risk for infectious diseases both because of their young immune systems and their behaviors, such as their tendency to put things in their mouths, said Kotch, a professor of maternal and child health at the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"I don't think we appreciate how prevalent seasonal flu is in very young children," Kotch said. "They do get it frequently but it's not often as serious in young children as it is in older kids and adults, and it is frequently misdiagnosed as something else, such as an upper respiratory infection or viral syndrome. For that reason, kids are a risk factor for adults getting it, which is why we want kids to be immunized against seasonal flu."

For more advice on keeping your kids safe from infection, visit APHA's Get Ready Web site.

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