symptoms from flu shot in toddlers

  • 4 min read
  • Des 03, 2019

Side Effects of the Flu Shot in Kids
Side Effects of the Flu Shot in Kids

Vincent Iannelli, MD, is a certified pediatrician and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Iannelli has been caring for children for over 20 years.

Illustration by Cindy Chung, verywell

There has long myths and misconceptions about the flu shot, especially when it comes to children and toddlers. One of the most common is that it causes the flu, is impossible because the vaccine is not made with a live virus.

Even when it is delivered to the nasal spray FluMist (which is a live vaccine), was created from a weakened form of the virus that can cause the flu.

In general, children tolerate them well, but may have side effects that are usually short and mild. The benefits of flu vaccination far outweigh the discomfort one can experience. This is especially true for children who may develop serious complications if they catch influenza.

flu shot does not cause the flu. Side effects may occur but they are rare and the risk of these side effects are outweighed by the benefits of these precautions provide.

There are no side-stepping the fact that flu shots can cause side effects, especially in young children who might get their shot for the first time. Most usually lasts one or two days and almost always mild.

If the side effects appears to involve you, follow your instincts and call your pediatrician. In the case of a fever, do not take aspirin because it can cause a rare but serious condition in children called Reye’s syndrome, a disease characterized by inflammation of the liver and brain.

Although rare, allergic reactions can sometimes occur, including potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis. If there is facial swelling, difficulty breathing, vomiting, itching, dizziness, rapid pulse, or unconsciousness, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room immediately.

To avoid a needle, some parents opt for the FluMist nasal spray for their children. Introduced in 2003, the FluMist vaccine is approved for use in people ages 2 to 49. However, it is not used during the flu season when it does not contain influenza strains expected to circulate that year. While easier and faster to manage, the spray does have some possible side effects.

Children should not be given if they are allergic to eggs or gelatin. As with flu vaccination, both children and adolescents should be given aspirin to treat fever.

If your child feels unwell after, it is understandable to assume that it was related to the shot. However, it may just be a coincidence, especially if your child is in daycare or sick children around the other.

It is important to distinguish this because some parents will attribute the symptoms or illness with flu vaccination and vowed never to use it again. This will increase the child’s risk of catching influenza and develop serious complications. Before drawing a conclusion, ask yourself some questions:

In the unlikely event your child has a reaction to the same year after year, then it probably is not a coincidence. You may need to avoid the flu shot and talk to your pediatrician about using FluMist as an alternative.

You also have to report to the reaction, safety surveillance program is managed by the Administration and the US Food and Drug Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Get expert tips to help your children stay healthy and happy.

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U.S. Food & Drug Administration, “”

United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), “.”

The Committee to Review Adverse effects of vaccines; Institute of Medicine; Stratton K, Ford A, Rusch E, et al, editors:.; August 25, 2011.

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