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AimeeM

The flu. The flu vaccine. Extracurriculars :P

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Our younger boys take tap and ballet at a small studio. They are both (DS5 and DS8) in the 5-6 year old class. 

 

They started the season in September, but left shortly after because we had a run-in with Mono in the house that kicked my butt for a solid few months. They just started back up after the holidays.

 

DS8 was born with a number of congenital defects and abnormalities. He spent the first several years of his life needed to be isolated from anybody who "may be" sick, because his ability to go through certain diagnostics (sedation MRI, etc.), pre-op procedures, then surgeries and procedures, depended on him being "healthy" -- then it was the risk of infection after surgery/procedures (and we did end up having to be readmitted once, when he caught something in the hospital or shortly after release from his lung surgery, which collapsed the lung they had operated on, chest-tube site infection, etc.). For a while he wasn't able to have certain vaccinations. 

 

He's been stable for years now. He's always, always had a tendency to be more "frail" (as my grandmother calls it). He's caught up on vaccinations.

 

However, we can't get him the flu vaccination with his pediatrician until February, and then it will take 2 weeks (?) to start working. And I'm told that this vaccination does not seem to protect at all against one of the strains going around this year?

 

Consider him an asthmatic, for this conversation. He isn't, but the lung and vascular deformities he had operated on, required they take out a small portion of one lung, and do some rearranging with some vascular tie-ins. Both lungs are fully functioning, but one lung is only as fully functioning as it can be, considering it isn't a "full lung." His cardiologist equates it to a V6 engine vs. a V8 engine (with DS being the V6) -- they both run well, but relative to the parts and power they have. 

 

Every single time we enter dance season, the boys get sick. All of the other children are in school, and several of the parents are school teachers. Almost every class, there is a participating child who is coughing, or siblings in the parent area of the studio who are out and out sick

 

They would be devastated to miss the season, but I'm worried. I'm hearing about perfectly healthy kids dying this flu season. Vaccinated children and adults dying. I know there are states that are closing down, for longer amounts of time, due to flu outbreaks in their areas. Our state isn't one of them, that I'm aware of, but I know it's considered widespread in our state. 

 

Would you keep your kids out of extracurriculars for the season? Chance it? I know we have to make the decision for ourselves, but I'm curious what others are doing.

 

 

Edited by AimeeM

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I had my daughter skip cheer season this year for medical reasons (not the flu). It turned out that the doctor cleared her but we could not get all the testing done prior to when I needed to let the team know.

 

It’s a bummer but I would rather err on the side of caution than face a serious complication because I was not cautious enough

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I’d skip this year. The flu is a particularly nasty strain and while the vaccination will help, it’s not as effective as years gone by.

 

What I really wish is that places would enforce their sick child policy. If you’re sick, even mildly, you go home. A mild cold for you is likely to turn into something that will hospitalize my toddler for a week.

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I think I'd skip and come up with a new hobby to do at home this season.....maybe online art classes or something. Creating a Masterpiece is great, something like that. They can put on an art show at the end of the year, instead of being in a recital. Or just spend dance time outside riding bikes or something. 

 

We're avoiding a lot of our normal haunts right now. It's just not worth it.

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Is there a reason he needs to wait and get the vaccination from his pediatrician rather than getting it somewhere else?

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I have kids with no known immune issues and I'm even skipping a lot of stuff this winter. We've stopped going to indoor play parks and we're missing church today because I was told by some friends yesterday that a very nasty virus (not sure if it's flu) is circulating through the kids. Most of them attend school together and knowing the ones who don't have it yet, might very well be about to become symptomatic at any moment, is not worth having my kids hang out with them for two hours today. They're little and they don't think about touching and hugging or anything else.

 

Yesterday while at my dd's dance studio, two of the mothers told me their pediatricians have requested they postpone their well child visits for a few weeks because the office is so overrun with flu cases- they are trying to not divert staff for well child visits, and they're trying to protect the children that aren't ill. That was a first for me to hear. 

 

I definitely don't think there is anything wrong with practicing caution by avoiding crowds when possible for the next few weeks, and wouldn't judge it as overly cautious anymore than I would say a parent keeping their kid out of the public pool in the days of a polio epidemic was paranoid. You need to do what you need to do. 

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Such a disappointment, but I would wait. I have one who had "frail" lungs for several years after severe pneumonia - every. single. cold. turned into a raging, weeks-long bronchitis, and we had to just started staying home.

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I also have a medically fragile child. He is just getting over pneumonia and has almost died from it in the past - he even needed a ventilator and was sedated for weeks. I'm severely limiting his activities outside of the home.

 

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I’d pull them for the season. They’re young. Missing a season of dance at this age is not going to have any sort of impact on their future dance development. The risks this flu season are higher than normal.

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Definitely skip. Prairie, in another thread, was explaining that this flu season is so bad because it's a virus nobody has even had close to exposure before. I have mild, intermittent asthma, and I worked SO HARD to beat this stinking flu bug. I took mucinex and C and used multiple inhalers. I was so patting myself like ok you're beating this. I didn't get the ear infections or sinus infections like other people are getting. That virus got in my lungs, even though they were mostly clear (just a mild cough, truly mild) and I STILL got pneumonia. Lungs hurt, fever, ended up on an antibiotic.

 

I can't think of a single reason compelling to put them in that class this year, right now, in the middle of this. Go buy Dance Wii or something. Do puzzles. There has to be something else to do. No way do you want them in it. It's taking out people who normally don't get taken out and it's REALLY HARMFUL on the fragile. You don't want to be near it. 

 

Besides, how long till the next season? Like May? Surely they can do something in a few months when the weather improves and this passes. It's not eternity. Pass. Stay healthy. Not worth the risk.

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For a medically fragile child who is not vaxed, I would.  For a normal kid, I wouldn't.  

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I would skip it. It’s really too bad for them to miss it, but they are young and it sounds like it is likely they would get sick. I don’t know what your commitment needs to be, but I wonder if you could wait and start going again when the flu dies down. I would and the teacher and let him/her tell you if they would be able to join in later or not with the way the class is run.

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Go ahead and skip but then you should probably skip going to the grocery store, church, the library, dh going to work (I assume he works with people with school kids), etc.....

I get it. I had a medically fragile child too. But we didn’t stay home from stuff- we just lived our lives.

But it was a risk I was willing to take so that my older children could lead normal active lives.

If I just had two little kids, dance wouldn’t be that important of an activity worth the risk.

Ymmv

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