CLEVELAND, Ohio – With the holidays just around the corner, and a significant flu season underway, it is more important than ever to take steps in maintaining your children’s health.

“Our standard childhood immunizations do a good job of protecting kids against diseases but particularly for our youngest ones, it’s worth mentioning to family members that you’re visiting to see if they are up-to-date on things like their whooping cough or pertussis vaccine,” said Adam Keating, MD, pediatrician with Cleveland Clinic Children’s.

It is recommended that children six months of age and older should get both the flu and COVID-19 vaccine, with the bivalent COVID-19 booster being recommended for children ages five and up by the CDC.

As for disease prevention, it is best to cover your cough, keep away from any sick family, wear a mask if family is at a high risk of infection and practice good hand hygiene.

“Making sure that we are using soap and water to wash hands or hand sanitizer that’s available, particularly before eating or any opportunity before you are touching your face,” he noted. “Encouraging kids and adults to avoid touching their face in specifically what we call the T-zone across the eyes and down the nose and the mouth where we can get our respiratory illnesses.”  

In case of illness, Dr. Keating said to seek additional medical care if the child develops a fever or has difficulty breathing.