COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Thanksgiving get-togethers with family and friends are just days away, an exciting time of year that also comes with health concerns for some families.

RSV and flu cases are high this year, and doctors are offering advice on how to protect some of our most vulnerable loved ones.

Families with babies might be approaching the holidays a bit differently since some are too young to be vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19. Doctors said it can be a challenge and comes down to what parents are comfortable with.

Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season are usually about gathering around the table and being together, but doctors said doing that while looking out for the health of a baby can be a tough balance to find.

“A lot of it when you’re in those younger ages, it’s about exposure and doing as much as we can to limit those exposures which is really, really hard when it comes to the holiday season,” said Dr. Derek McClellan, medical director with Central Ohio Primary Care.

The younger ages McClellan is referring to are zero to six months, when they are too young to receive a flu vaccine. Meanwhile, there is no vaccine against RSV.

“We can’t do anything medically to protect those kids, birth through 6 months, birth through 12 months, so it really is up to the family to be that protection for them, whether its masking or staying home when we’re sick or eating in the other room or whatever measures they’re comfortable doing,” he said.

Those zero to six months are also too young to be vaccinated against COVID-19. McClellan said much of what has been considered throughout the pandemic also applies to keeping little ones safe around the holidays.

“It’s just really having those honest conversations with your family that, ‘Hey, the higher risk person in this group is the newborn,’” he said.

From a COVID perspective, OhioHealth Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Joseph Gastaldo said this holiday season is much different than last. According to Ohio Hospital Association data, COVID hospitalizations statewide are around 830 right now, compared to more than 3,000 at this time last year.

“I think all healthcare workers are very thankful we’re in a much different place today than we were last year,” he said.

McClellan mentioned possibly having those conversations with family members sooner rather than later before Thanksgiving day gets here.