Giving kids flu shots; Yoga and back pain

October 24, 2011 1:58:09 PM PDT
Flu season is right around the corner, beginning in November. And now is the time many families are wondering if getting the vaccine right for your family.

Yearly flu shots are recommended for all kids 6 months and up, but despite the benefits, many parents opt not to get their kids vaccinated. Pediatricians emphasize just how important the flu shot is, as a little needle pinch is much better than a child who gets seriously ill.

"The younger the child is, the more likely they are to have more serious complications," said Dr. Elaine Schulte, of the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital. "And I'm just not talking about a day at home taking care of your child from work. I'm talking about a child who could develop dehydration, pneumonia, and land themselves in the hospital."

It can even be deadly. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 115 children died from flu-related complications from September 2010 through August 2011.

Nearly half the children who died were younger than 5 years old, and 30 percent of them were under 2.

If your toddler is terrified of needles, you also have the option of the flu mist nasal spray, which is approved for kids over the age of 2.

Also, for anyone with back pain, there is more proof that yoga may ease the suffering.

It's the largest study to date, involving more than 200 people. Half the people were assigned to a weekly yoga or stretching class. The other half were given a self-help book for back pain that included mind-body methods like meditation and stretching.

After 12 weeks, the yoga half had better function, less pain and used less pain medication for at least six months after.