‘Worry about your kids not sleeping, not just for the last few months, but in their 30s, 40s, 50s’

The good news I was all for giving children the vaccine not because I thought it was better than whooping cough (pertussis) or tetanus, but because being protected from those diseases is better than…

‘Worry about your kids not sleeping, not just for the last few months, but in their 30s, 40s, 50s’

The good news

I was all for giving children the vaccine not because I thought it was better than whooping cough (pertussis) or tetanus, but because being protected from those diseases is better than not. That’s like giving your kids ibuprofen, cold meds, or a tummy ache.

To someone not infected, it feels no different than any other medication. I have seen most of the papers with stories of whooping cough popping up, most of them terrible. It strikes me the only difference is my family was vaccinated.

But whooping cough doesn’t strike every family, like scabies or Sjogren’s or measles, but only those families who have shunned the vaccinations. Too many children are not protected. As the New York Times pointed out, there have been at least 2,000 deadly outbreaks of whooping cough this decade. Last year, 2017, I watched a friend in her 20s battle whooping cough. She was so small and weak, I thought she was dying. Doctors advised her parents to put her on more than a dozen different anti-inflammatories, with no success. She was asleep in the crib during those grim days. She died after a few weeks of dying.

We need to have all children vaccinated, of course. Of the nearly seven million people who come to the ER every year in the US, nearly half have a medical emergency, many of them because of exposures they could have prevented by just getting vaccinated. When I am home for the holidays, I always ask my families if they will vaccinate their kids. I usually get a yes or no answer that changes depending on the answer. It’s almost always the no, but sometimes people feel they need to get another opinion.

They worry about their kids growing up, not just for the last few months, but in their 30s, 40s, 50s. They worry that if the measles outbreak continues to have global implications, they’ll turn into those heartbreaking parents, wishing they had done it sooner. (The 2016-17 U.S. measles outbreak has gotten old in the U.S., no pun intended.) Some people, I know, wish the disease would go away forever. We need that wish, too. If we want to be safe, we have to take action.

Other topics…

Infant mental health – The last thing parents need to worry about is their kids having trouble in the crib. The WHO says access to a safe sleep environment should be a primary focus for all parents. But, if you’re worried, you can’t ignore the fact that your baby will look miserable, the night before her doctor visit. The WHO also says the infant should sleep on their back. Sleep position makes a huge difference, so make sure everything is firmly fastened down. If your infant seems unable to sleep, it’s a good idea to get help.

Black ice – We all know it’s a big concern on roads during winter. But the roads look horrible every time I drive across here. I’ve lived in and around this city most of my life, so I understand it. A friend who works in AAA says they spend a lot of time dealing with black ice. They recommend drivers put anti-ice spray all over their car, and slow down to avoid “anxiety slide” (that’s slowing down too fast, falling over) and black ice.

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