If you’re a mom, you already know that part of being a mother is constant concern about your child’s well-being. During my son’s first three months of life, I was always worried that he had a fever. (I think it was because if a baby under 3 months has a fever, you are supposed to go to the ER so they can make sure it is nothing life-threatening because once he hit the 3 month mark, it was like the obsession with his body temperature just vanished.)
Until, however, this flu season hit. According to the CDC, “flu season” is typically December through March. It wasn’t until this month though (January) that I became aware of how devastating the flu has been this season.
It seems that every time I read the news, I read an article about deaths from the flu. And not deaths of elderly or immunocompromised individuals, but of otherwise seemingly healthy CHILDREN.
So, now my constant worry about my son running a fever is back, and more specifically, that he is going to get the flu.
I am afraid to take him around large crowds of people.
I am afraid that the person standing next to us in line at the grocery store may not yet know they have the flu, but is spreading the virus.
I am worried that he will get the flu at his baby play class.
Does this mean that we stay isolated for the next month or two? That we don’t go to public spaces? That we limit who comes over to visit? Honestly, part of me wants to say “Yes!” But another part of me knows that the flu is a concern every year, not to mention other illnesses, and we need to live our lives (in the company of other people, preferably). I also realize that since he is exclusively breastfed, he does have another line of protection (the antibodies passed on through breastmilk- so if you want to kiss my baby, you have to kiss me so I am exposed to the same germs! Ha, kidding, sort of…or just resist the urge to kiss my baby as cute as he is with those chubby cheeks- I read that idea somewhere once and hey, whatever it takes to keep our babies safe and healthy, right?) Also, I give him Vitamin D drops and infant probiotics to give his immune system a boost. Not to mention, I take a slew of vitamins and supplements myself.
So, I am finding a happy medium for us. One that doesn’t put my son at unnecessary risk in my opinion, but does not require us to live in quarantine.
Do we still go grocery shopping? Yes (but I wear him so he people aren’t getting too close to him).
Does he still go to his baby play class? No- we put a hold on that, but do extra music and movement activities at home.
Does he go around large crowds of people? Yes and No. We went to a baby shower, but again, I wore him so he wasn’t being passed around. We decided to forego the plane trip in March we were considering, because that confined space with so many people for hours was too risky in my opinion.
Does anyone come over to visit? Yes and No. If they are sick or just coming off the tailend of being sick (even if it wasn’t the flu), we are taking a rain check.
(And of course, I am always washing my hands and wiping his down.)
I don’t have all the answers, but I am doing what I can and making the choices I feel necessary to hopefully keep my baby healthy and happy, not just during this flu season, but for all of his life.
If you have any tips on keeping your little one healthy during this flu season, please feel free to share. Or, if you are like me, and are especially worried about your little one getting the flu, I would love to hear from you.
**Note: This is not a place to discuss or debate vaccinations. Any comments related to vaccinations will be removed, as it is not the focus of this post.**