Protecting Our Family and Others During Flu Season

Rowan came down with his first double ear infection in September. It wasn’t his first illness, he had had a little head cold around 4 months old last January, however, watching him fight a double ear infection for a week was exhausting for both him and Dusty and I. Thankfully, we took him into our Pediatrician’s office early and they found the ear infection before it could get worse. He had a terrible stuffy nose, slight fever, obvious pain in the ears that we couldn’t soothe with any home remedy.  His illness had kept me from going on a “girls trip” to Charleston, SC with my friend Andrea, but of course, there was nowhere else I’d rather be than rocking my little boy to sleep, humming every lullaby I could think of to help distract him from the discomfort he was feeling.

One of the worst things a parent can go through is having to watch their child suffer in discomfort or pain. It is the most helpless feeling I’ve ever felt. I wish I could have just taken the discomfort away and put it on myself. But the world doesn’t work like that…and viruses don’t discriminate. Soon after Rowan came down with his double ear infection I started feeling under the weather too. Once Rowan was on the mend and we were all feeling better, Dusty reminded me that it was time to get our flu shots. Dusty gets one not only to protect himself and our family but because he works in the hospital around young, elderly, and fragile patients. Getting the flu shot is our best defense against getting and spreading the flu virus to others. The flu is more dangerous than the common cold for children. Each year, millions of children get sick with seasonal influenza; thousands of children are hospitalized and some children die from flu. I was discouraged to read that Michigan ranks as the 43rd lowest or worst out of the 50 States for immunization coverage among children 19 to 35 months of age. (Source: 2015 NIS data)

This winter, Rowan will want to get out and explore more so we will be indoors a lot and around other children. We have a peace of mind knowing that he is vaccinated and protected against the possibility of catching a serious illness. Our family got the flu shot early because we learned recently that it takes about two weeks after the vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protects against the flu virus. The CDC recommends the end of October as the prime time to get your flu shot. Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later.

For those interested in more information, I Vaccinate is a great resource that provides information and tools based on real medical science and research to help Michigan parents protect their kids. Find out where you can get the flu vaccine here – click here.

I partnered with I Vaccinate to share my story. This content is sponsored by I Vaccinate, however, all thoughts and opinions on this topic are my own! 

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