This post is in partnership with IVaccinate.org
Whenever I look back on our Journey with Otto’s heart health I always crack a little smile of relief with how far we’ve come. When he was a newborn everyone who came to our house hand sanitized and was not able to visit unless they had their annual flu vaccine. When Joe and I even had the slightest sniffle, we wore a mask around the house. It seemed so crazy to wear one looking back. It’s funny how fast things change given the current situation the world is in.
Many of the behaviors and precautions we took when Otto was so little and fragile prepared us well for what the world is experiencing now. I’ll never forget how difficult it was to send Otto to daycare after receiving the green light from his care team. However they gave us so many good ideas for keeping him as well as Joe and I safe and healthy.
It’s been almost two and a half years since Otto started daycare and so far we’ve only had a small handful of sick days. I think with the diligence of following the health and safety guidelines from his doctors we’ve stayed all things considered, really healthy. Looking back over the years there are three things that we do consistently to keep Otto and our family healthy and minimize the risks of illness.
- Keep up to date on our well child visits and vaccination schedule with Otto’s pediatrician. When we were going to one of Otto’s doctors once or twice a week for the first two years of his life we learned a lot about the importance of vaccinations for him. From the ages of 0 – 2 we were able to qualify for a special RSV vaccine that was meant for children with fragile health. As a new parent, it was nerve wracking for me to navigate everything that comes with having a baby including what vaccines were right for us. I learned very quickly that a good doctor will take the time to discuss the reasoning behind each one and what the end goal is. Otto’s pediatrician took the time to answer each of my questions that I had come prepared with. What is this for? What are the known risks? How often will he need this? After I had exhausted the list I brought with me we decided that in the end routine vaccinations were what was best for Otto and his health. It’s perfectly fine to ask questions regarding your child’s health that is all part of being a good parent. For information regarding vaccines I rely on Otto’s care team as well as credible sources like IVaccinate.org. If you choose to the vaccination route it’s important to stay up to date and keep your appointments. Otto’s doctors send out text alerts for appointments and that has been a lifesaver!
- Change out of our daycare clothes right away during cold and flu season. During cold and flu season when germs seem to be more prevalent and contagious we have Otto change his clothes when he comes home from school. The daycare bag also stays in the entryway along with his shoes. This way we are not dragging potential germs to our bedroom, kitchen or anywhere else in the house.
- Wash your hands with soap and SCRUB! We used to have home nurses come and I remember one telling me that hand sanitizer is easy but when you get home every day you need to SCRUB HARD with soap and water. I know we feel like we hear this a thousand times a day now but it’s true. The scrubbing of soap and hot water in between your fingers, up to your wrists and under your fingernails are what is going to get rid of the nasty germs. It’s so much easier to throw some hand sanitizer on but when we get home for the day we all take a turn scrubbing in.
Your child’s health and wellbeing is the most important thing to a parent. We’ve had a different journey than most, but what journey is ever the same. Illness is no joke and these are some things we’ve learned over the years to keep them at bay. It’s important to do what you feel is best for your family. For us part of that is keeping Otto up to date on his vaccines to help ward off vaccine preventable diseases. If you have questions about childhood vaccines I would encourage you to check with your primary care doctor or visit sites like your Local Health Department or sites like IVaccinate.org.