Because of their close quarters in school, kids are at high risk for getting the flu.

Children are at high risk for influenza, and to protect their health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all children from ages 6 months to 19 years be vaccinated against influenza (the flu) every year.

The CDC estimates that each year in the United States, more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 years old are hospitalized due to complications from the flu. "Children spend a large portion of time in communal environments making them much more susceptible to the viruses that cause influenza," said Dr. Jeffrey Greiff, founder of Flu Busters, a third-party preventive healthcare provider specializing in on-site flu vaccinations. "Their developing immune systems aren't capable of fighting the onslaught of bacteria they face on a daily basis."

The flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The viruses can be spread through the air by sneezing, coughing or coming in contact with contaminated objects. Carriers of the viruses can be contagious one day prior to, or five days after, their symptoms appear. Children in schools and daycares are particularly vulnerable to the flu because of the close contact they have with various people throughout their day.

Flu experts are confident about the effectiveness of this year's flu vaccination, which ahas been completely reformulated for the first time in 20 years. The new vaccination will inoculate against three influenza strains the CDC and World Health Organization anticipate will be prevalent. Children must receive this reformulated vaccine to be protected from the illness.

Yearly flu vaccinations typically begin in September, no later than October, and continue throughout the influenza season. Vaccine manufacturers are estimating that 143 to 146 million doses of flu vaccine will be produced for the U.S. during the 2008-2009 flu season. This record high supply of vaccine will make it possible for more children to receive protection from the flu.

As part of a new campaign called Lets Fight the Flu Together, Flu Busters, in partnership with the National Parent Teacher Association and Novartis, is establishing flu shot clinics on-site at schools across the country with active PTA programs to provide convenient flu vaccinations to children. "Flu Busters has developed a strong relationship with schools systems across the country," said David Greiff, president of Flu Busters. "Our on-site vaccinations provide convenience and offer parents peace of mind knowing that their children are being cared for by registered health professionals."

While people of all ages run the risk of getting the flu, children are especially vulnerable to catching the illness due to close contact in communal environments and developing immune systems. By getting the influenza vaccination and educating children on healthy habits, parents create the first line of defense to protect their children against the virus this flu season.
For more information about preventive flu services, or to see if vaccinations are available at your district schools, visit FluBusters.net

HEALTHY HABITS TO REDUCE THE RISK:

In addition to getting a flu shot:
Avoid close contact. Avoid bringing your child into close contact with people who are sick. Stay home when you are sick. Keep your child home when s/he has the flu. Bed rest will aid in faster recovery. Cover your mouth and nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Clean your hands. Washing hands or using alcohol-based sanitizers will help protect your child from germs. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are spread when a person touches something that is contaminated and then touches his /her eyes, nose or mouth. Keep commonly used surfaces and objects (door knobs, telephones, toys) clean..
About Flu Busters

Flu Busters, founded in 2002, is a leading third-party provider of preventive healthcare for companies nationwide. Headquartered in Roswell, Ga., Flu Busters specializes in flu vaccinations, health screenings, business travel immunizations and pandemic planning for companies of almost any size. For more information, visit FluBusters.net.