Deanna will be back on the blog next week so we’re sharing a post from our Urban Parent St. John’s mom blogger, Sara Dunderdale on a pretty hot topic this time of year.
You may not have noticed, but I have been blog-less for a few weeks now. Why, you ask? Because I have had the flu.
My last three and a half weeks have been spent in bed in a delirious state of fever sweats or bone-shaking chills. I was too sick to eat, too sick to watch television, too sick to even talk. My only contact with the outside world for these three weeks came from a variety of trips to the emergency room. Even then, most of the human interaction was knowing looks at other flu-infected patients above our germ-catching, extremely fashionable masks.
Let’s just say, it was not fun.
Which brings me to my main topic this week – the flu shot.
Now, I am the first Mom to shout from the rooftops that people need to let parents make their own decisions based on what they feel is best for their children and for them. Parents are given so much advice and the pressure can be incredible. But when it comes to things like vaccines, I draw the line.
As far as I see it, we are so blessed to live in a country that makes the healthcare of its citizens a top priority. People in other parts of the world can only dream of protecting their children from a variety of illnesses, including flu, for free. And here, all we have to do is go to the doctor or a pharmacy, and boom – protected. In Canada, I believe we have become incredibly apathetic about this huge privilege. In fact, I would go as far to say we have become spoiled rotten.
We come up with a million different reasons why we won’t let our families get the flu shot: it doesn’t work; it only makes you feel sick; it leads to more serious illness; etc. Despite the fact that Health Canada, Doctors and Pharmacists disprove these myths over and over, we continue to use them to justify our apathy.
And this is not something we can afford to be apathetic about. Flu is serious. As I mentioned, I have been to the hospital four times since catching it. I have been on masks, IVs and three courses of antibiotics. This and I am a normally healthy adult female. So now, let’s think of those who are not healthy and catch the flu. Small babies; sick children; adults with compromised systems; the elderly. You and your children might be able to recover from the flu this year, but by not protecting yourself against it and potentially spreading it, you are putting many other people in danger of severe illness, possibly even death.
So why didn’t I get the flu shot you ask? I was scheduled to get it on a Wednesday – I got sick on Monday. As soon as I am well enough, they will let me have it. In the meantime, all of my children have been vaccinated. As they have been every year since they were born.
I ask you to think about it this way. As a responsible parent would you say: “Well my child does not have a peanut allergy, so I am going to send peanut butter to school. I mean, what is the likelihood another kid will have contact with it and that kid will have a sever allergy? So low. Screw it. PBJ it is.”
Why can we see the ridiculous, dangerous argument here, but not over the things we say about the flu shot? Please, do your research. Be informed. And yes I will say it – get your flu shot!
Sara is bringing the girl power to a house full of testosterone. When she is not scrubbing mud from three little faces, she is a Consultant with her own company, RavenNL Communications. Sara loves to write, cook, laugh and shop for useless shoes. Follow her on twitter @SaraDunderdale