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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Are flu shots really necessary for babies?



Mom_cryingbabyface Is the flu shot really worth it for babies? To some, this may seem a ridiculous question. Chief among flu shot supporters is the Centers for Disease Control, which recommends an annual flu shot for children from six month to 18 years. Yes, I know the folks at the CDC are super smart. That’s why they’re the CDC.  But after three days of dealing with a feverish baby, whose body became racked with coughing and mucus after getting round two of her flu vaccine – yes, first timers get two shots one month apart --  I’m beginning to wonder about the wisdom of this shot business.

Perhaps there’s a better way. A new study out this week shows an alternative to the flu vaccine may be on the way. But it’ll be at least three years before this new treatment is available.

So, until then, I’ll whine on. My daughter’s first flu shot also laid her low with soaring temperatures –- though not high enough to call the doctor -- lethargy and general irritability. And there’s the issue of the stuffy nose. A humidifier only does so much when one doesn’t know how to blow one’s own nose. (I’d welcome any tips on helping my girl learn to blow her nose.) We depend on saline drops, random sneezes, vapor rub and a syringe to help provide relief. When we try to clear her nose with the syringe or saline drops, you’d think we were plucking her toenails. In general, she doesn’t sleep well because she’s irritable. I can’t sleep because I’m checking her temperature every 30 minutes.

This isn’t a gripe. Well, maybe it is. I do know that babies have such weak immune systems that they can have serious complications from the flu and, in rare cases, could die from it or flu-related sicknesses such as pneumonia. So, we got the shots. No questions asked. We trust the studies that say the vaccine is safe for children.We’re also up to date on all of our vaccinations.

But I’m a nervous newbie Momma who worries about everything. The pediatrician says my daughter’s reactions are normal. But what’s normal about being feverish for days and days? I sure hope researchers find a healthy alternative.

-- Sherri Day


[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:59am]


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