Vaccines are a strange topic.
People are very opinionated about them; whether they should get them, whether they shouldn’t, whether other people should make them, whether it’s safe to go to Disneyland because MEASLES.
Here at DudeMom’s house, we are a vaccinating family.
I am not going to spend this pots trying to convince those who are not or justifying my choice. I don’t feel like I have the authority or the responsibility to do that.
I mean really, if you won’t listen to a medical professional who has spent years educating themselves and researching the topic, one who now earns hundreds of thousands of dollars to give you this sort of advice, you’re not going to listen to me (although, if you don’t trust them on the vaccine issue, what would you do if a cancer diagnosis came your child’s way? Curing cancer isn’t really an exact science either is it?).
Also, I don’t need to.
My choices, jut like yours are the ones you have to live with. And, as mine aren’t the ones that will potentially sicken or kill another person’s child or allow harm to befall my own, my ability to sleep at night is only disrupted by the fact that my donkey kicking kid keeps creeping into my bed.
That being said, I would like to share some info I got from a discussion (and by discussion I mean an email followed by a Twitter chat which like the 2015 version of an in person meeting) I had with those from the Centers for Disease Control regarding the flu.
We of course get the standard childhood vaccines to stave off those age old diseases like measles and mumps and stuff I’m not sure how to pronounce.
But, we also get the flu vaccine every year.
Personally, I think that not vaccinating my children would be risky enough to be deemed irresponsible.
My son’s asthma is so bad, that something as common as the flu could realistically kill him. I honestly couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do everything I could to keep him safe from this fate. So, just like I give him his rescue inhaler and spend time I don’t have dusting under his bed and washing his stuffed animals, I get him vaccinated once a year.
I realize that there is no sure fire way to prevent the flu, but to me, it’s kind of like wearing a seatbelt. Of course you could still be killed in a car accident, but that doesn’t stop you from buckling up every time you get in the car does it? And, just like sometimes, airbags injure people, they actually save enough people to make installing them in cars justified and worth it. Same for me when it comes to the flu vaccine.
But, let’s just put aside the things that I think I know and talk about the facts (all courtesy of the Center’s for Disease Control) you need to have about preventing the flu.
Real Talk About the Flu #FightFlu
Ugh, it’s just the flu. Why the fuss?
Whenever I hear people say that I want to LOL. And I don’t mean just type it, I mean actually look at them and laugh out loud at that silly little thought process. And I know, the virus has been around for always, and people have been beating it forever, and your grandma is 99 and she’s never gotten a flu vaccine. But, eh, maybe not really. The flu kills or hospitalizes thousands of Americans every year and it used to be even more when your grandma was a baby. Kids, especially young kids are disproportionately repped in that thousands as are pregnant women, chronically ill people (like those with asthma, diabetes, and heart or lung disease), and people over 65. These people are considered high risk for complications and those complications mean FUSS.
Hmmm, okay, crazy lady, so what should we do about it?
The single most important thing you can do to fight the flu is to get the flu vaccine. Vaccination prevented about 7.2 million flu illnesses last flu season.
But it’s like February, isn’t it too late because flu season is ending?
No! It’s not too late to get the vaccine. Seasonal flu peaks between December and February but can last into May! If you’ve not been vaccinated, go ahead and get on that yo!
I don’t know, the last time I got the flu shot I got sooooo sick.
Well, don’t look at your flu shot! It’s not the reason you got sick. According to CDC, the flu shot can NOT cause the flu. There may be mild side effects, but none of those side effect are: gives you the flu.
But I heard it doesn’t always work?
True. That’s true. Flu vaccine protects against the three or four viruses that research suggests will be most common each flu season. That means that of course you can still get the flu, however being vaccinated can help to reduce the likelihood and the severity of it if you do.
I’m still not convinced. But, I don’t want to be sick, so what other precautions can I take to keep my kids safe?
Teaching your children proper hand hygiene is another way to help eliminate the transmission of the flu. At my house, The Dudes know the kill-icky-things routine. We have hand sanitizer right by our door so shoes off, sanitize, hugs for mom is our afterschool routine. Also, if you or your child do get sick, STAY HOME. You get better quick and you don’t spread your icky all over the rest of humanity.
After all of my hard work we got it anyway! Make it go away! Please make it go away!
If you get diagnosed with the flu, antivirals are what’s up. CDC has recommended the use of antiviral drugs as an adjunct to vaccination. They’re the only medicines that can specifically treat flu. CDC scientists have looked very carefully at the use of influenza drugs in the clinical setting, and the conclusion is clear, they work but they aren’t being used nearly enough.
Now, go wash your hands!
*Disclosure: This post is part of the blogger program by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)and The Motherhood, who compensated me for my time. Opinions shared here are my own.