DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – As we near the start of flu season, health care and child care experts are encouraging parents to get their children the flu shot now so they are protected by the season’s peak.

People who work in child care are familiar with what happens during flu season.

“We certainly invest a lot of money in gloves and tissues during this season,” Victorum Learning Center, Director of Operations Loren Nelson said.

Nelson said when one kid gets sick, it can have a ripple effect across the entire center.

“If you can isolate one child but sick from that environment, you do you save your staff, you save the other children and families and possibly grandparents they go home to,” Nelson said.

To prevent that, Dayton Children’s Hospital, recommends everyone ages 6 and up get the flu vaccine by Halloween.

“We’re hoping to get everyone vaccinated by Halloween so that they have that two or three weeks for their bodies to build up some good immunity and be ready for when the real weather turns cold and people are huddling inside and really sharing germs,” Dr. Sara Guerrero-Duby with Dayton Children’s Hospital said.

After two years with masks, social distancing and virtual learning, flu season appeared to take some time off. With those precautions now lifted, Clark County Combined Health District Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said there are some kids who have never built up natural immunity to the flu virus.

“Those younger kids who are just, you know, in the kindergarten, preschool ages have less likelihood to have been exposed, and that’s why that flu shot really is a good thing for parents to consider,” Patterson said.

Dr. Guerrero-Duby said the vaccine may not stop you or your kids from catching the flu, but does prevent severe cases.

“Influenza can be very serious and plenty of people die every year from influenza, particularly pediatric patients,” Dr. Guerrero-Duby said.

Nelson said he recommends to parents at his center that both children and parents roll up their sleeves to get the flu shot each year.

“When you when you get your children immunized, you’ve got to get yourself immunized,” Nelson said. “You’ve got to make sure that everyone is as safe as possible.”

Just like it is safe for adults, health officials said it is safe for children to get their COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same time.

Dayton Children’s says parents can schedule their child’s flu shot by calling their pediatrician, going to Dayton Children’s pharmacy, or a Kids Express location.

The Clark County Combined Health District will hold a flu vaccine clinic Saturday, October 8 at Honey Creek Presbyterian Church in New Carlisle from 10 a.m. to noon. Call 937-360-5600 for an appointment.