The leaves are turning brown, the days are getting shorter, the Christmas decorations are in the shops... and the first winter illnesses are starting to appear at nursery. Colds and coughs can be pretty miserable for children (and for their parents!) but at least they can be soothed with a dose of Calpol and a cuddle. Flu is a different matter, however. It is a common infection in small children, and can be very unpleasant for them. Children under the age of five have the highest hospitalisation admission rates for flu compared to other age groups.
All the children at St Mary's Nursery School are eligible for a free flu vaccination in the form of a nasal spray. It is available at your GP, and you should soon receive a letter inviting you to bring your child to be vaccinated. If you have not received this letter by early November, contact your GP to make an appointment. The vaccine is usually administered by the practice nurse, and for most children it is a quick and painless nasal spray (so none of the trauma associated with jabs!). To be effective, the vaccinations need to be given between October and December as this is before flu tends to circulate. The flu virus can also change annually, meaning that your child should be vaccinated every year. By choosing to give your child the flu vaccine, not only are you protecting them from this unpleasant illness, you are also helping to reduce the spread of flu to other family members and the wider community.
If you want to learn more about the vaccination, click here to view the Government's 'Protecting your child against flu' leaflet.