The kids are back in school and the entire family is adjusting to being back on a schedule; doing homework, projects, soccer, dance, and for the most part behaving like respectful, normal children. YAY for school!! But my son has been home sick with Strep throat twice since school started. BOOOO for school!! We all know as working moms, this is not an easy thing to manage. The saying “it takes a village” has never been more appropriate when a kid is home sick for a couple of days.
Things This House Is Doing to Be Proactive
As a mom of two school age children and a medical professional, I thought I would share any and all resources I have at my disposal. Going into cold and flu season in Acadiana, I am HOPING to avoid having the kids home sick with the flu this year for many reasons, but mostly so they don’t have to experience feeling that yucky.
The Flu Shot
Our family chooses to vaccinate with flu shots, but if that is not for you, skip right on over to the next section! The CDC does recommend getting the flu vaccine by the end of October if possible. Unfortunately for the kiddos, they are NOT recommending the flu mist again this year. Shots for everyone! Most pediatricians are just too busy during this time of year to give flu vaccines, so I wanted to include some places around town to take your family in case your trusted pediatrician is not an option.
My family has always gone to Teche Drugs downtown; they are great with the kids and have an amazing collection of stickers to pick from. You can also go to Farmer’s Drugs in Youngsville, both Farmer’s and Teche take children starting at 6 months old, but you will need a prescription for children 7 and under at Farmer’s. There are also several of the walk-in clinics around town that will administer the flu shot. Acadiana Urgent Care takes children starting at 3 years old, and Lafayette General walk-in clinic on Camellia takes children starting at 1year old (and you can schedule an appointment, AMAZING!). The bigger national chain pharmacies will take older children, CVS starting at 9 years old and Walgreens starting at 7 years old. ICare Pharmacy will take children 3-7 years old with a prescription and children 7 years and older do not need a prescription.
Other Ideas to Help
Hand washing is also an important thing for us to encourage our kids to do all year round, as it is the number one way to stop the spread of germs. Kids (and adults) need to wash their hands several times throughout the day; AFTER using the bathroom, sneezing or coughing, playing outside, and then anytime BEFORE they eat. It is important to wash your hands for at least 30 seconds to achieve maximum benefit. Yes, yes I know that it is near impossible to get kids to focus on anything for 30 seconds, but get them to sing “Happy Birthday,” “Yankee Doodle,” or “Row, Row, Row your Boat” and make it fun! And when in doubt, good ole fashion hand sanitizer for the win if you are constantly on the go!!!
A few suggestions from another more natural mom is to optimize your bodies ability to fight the bugs we do encounter through a lifestyle of clean eating, probiotics, humidifiers, oils, cool mist humidifiers, and bee pollen. It is about what we put in our body and on our body (lotions, laundry detergent, shampoos, etc).
When it comes to being sick, my kids are not the best at taking medicine and I hope to not have to do it again anytime soon. The last round of Amoxicillin was traumatic for everyone involved. My son got sick on himself, the dog, and the floor. The clean up, the tears, the laundry. No. Fun. As a mom and decent human being, I don’t want anyone to have to experience that nightmare anytime soon! Bottom line, kids home sick is hard on all parents and I think that is something we can all agree on.
Clearly I DO HAVE TIME FOR THAT! (Insert irony) October 25th will forever be the day I tested positive for strep and flu. I did not share in the enthusiasm and excitement of the physician that diagnosed me, but whatever. I won the lottery, just not the right one. Quarantined for three days with help from my village. So far no one else has gotten sick and I pray that lasts.
So no matter how you choose to prepare, may the force be with you!