I like to think of my generation as the last one that lived a life where parents were more worried about our grades than our health. I remember wading through floodwaters to reach school. We never had an extra change of clothes at school and would sit under the fan to dry it off.
I also remember going to school with a high fever and sneezing all day. Neither the teacher nor my fellow students really bothered about it. In those days of illness, I used to participate in sports and all other activities at school.
We had a general practitioner who would recommend different coloured pills, we would pop them and sleep off the illness – at night only. Day time was for studying, playing and getting scolded for being naughty.
Truly, those were the days of total freedom; things changed when I became a mother. Recently, my child’s school had an awareness drive around flu vaccination.
It led me to start wondering: does my child really need the flu shot?
I live in one of the most crowded cities in India, the bustling city of Mumbai. Sure, it is the city of dreams, but it is dotted with filth everywhere. Even five-star hotels are right near dumpsters. Crowded trains, buses, high traffic on the roads is common. The flu virus could be carried by anyone of the many million citizens of this city, with the potential to affect my child or me.
I read an article in the Times Of India that spoke of the importance of getting the influenza shot for my kids. In the same article, it was mentioned that “According to the recent National Family Health Survey, as many as 72.5% of children were not getting immunized in the age group of 12 to 23 months which is considered an important period in a child’s development and immunity-building. Flu is preventable. Prevention is simpler and a better option, than having to suffer the anxiety and discomfort of illness. Everyone should speak to their doctor to check if they should get a flu shot.”
I thus realised that my kids need flu vaccines even in India. As a mother of two kids, I work really hard to ensure that they get the right nutrition and their immunity is built. However, one needs to add an extra layer of protection through a flu vaccine to prevent Influenza.
A kid’s life is divided into exam time and fun time; flu is bad news in either of these. I, therefore, got the flu vaccine for both my children to ensure that they continue having fun and being naughty through their childhood.
#IPromiseToStopFlu and therefore hope that this post will help other mothers to take a positive step towards their child’s safety and health.