This is the second post in a three-part series about the influenza virus, vaccine and kids.
This year I have an especially important reason to make sure that I—and the rest of my family—get the flu shot.
A few months ago, I became a grandmother for the very first time. My granddaughter was born four weeks early and despite a good birth weight, she had some breathing issues and had to stay in the hospital after her mother was discharged.
We soon learned that she required assistance with her breathing. She also needed a feeding tube to allow her to receive nutrition easier than through a bottle or breastfeeding. Excluding her parents, only two visitors were allowed per day. If you were lucky enough to visit, you needed to remove your rings, wash your hands well, and wear a gown if you wanted to hold her.
Preventing infection was big in everyone’s mind. I watched her tiny chest rise and fall as the machine helped her breathe and hoped she would soon be well enough to leave the hospital.
Happily, my grand-daughter is now safe at home, getting ready for her first Christmas. This year she will be too young get her flu shot (she will be under six months of age), so that is why it is so important for those around her get the flu shot. After all she’s been through, the fact that she could get sick with the flu is deeply upsetting. It is a preventable disease and getting a flu shot is so simple.
The vaccine not only protects you from getting the disease, but perhaps more importantly, it prevents you from spreading the disease to the most vulnerable in our community: the elderly, young children, pregnant women, those undergoing cancer treatments and those with chronic health conditions such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes.
Almost everyone knows someone who’s at high risk for the flu. This season get your flu shot because it could save someone’s life.
Share your experience:
To share your experience, or to get more information about the flu and the flu vaccine, you can talk to one of us directly:
- Leave us a comment below – we’d love your feedback
- Talk to us on Twitter: @haltonparents
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dial 311 or 905-825-6000 for parenting information or to speak directly to a Public Health Nurse every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
About this guest blogger:
Ann Kubacki is a public health nurse (and a new grandmother). She has worked as coordinator of the Halton Region influenza immunization program for the past 10 years.
We get all three children immunized each year as a precautionary measure. What can you tell me about those that are opposed to the process? My wife and I are not really sure who to believe. We also give them a vitamin supplement which supposedly boosts their immune system by 28% and they rarely, rarely get sick anyways.
Firstly, I would like to say good for you. You are doing everything you can to protect your children and family.
It is often very confusing for parents to know which information that they receive is the best. At times, we are given conflicting advice. I think it best if you check where the information is coming from. Are they trustworthy? Are they the experts? The Center for Disease http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/children.htm and the Canadian Paediatric Society http://www.cps.ca/english/statements/ID/InfluenzaVaccineRecommendations.htm both provide you with information on the importance of influenza immunization for your children.
If you have any more questions or concerns, your local health department would be happy to help. In Halton you can dial 311 to speak with a public health nurse.
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