Another Swine Flu Question

Updated on October 28, 2009
M.F. asks from Redondo Beach, CA
14 answers

My daughter is 2 1/2 and sometimes gets asthma when she gets sick. In April she even got pneumonia. She attends preschool 2 days a week and goes to My Gym on Fridays. Basically she is around a lot of children. My husband wants me to take her out of these activities until the cold season goes away because of the swine flu. She has not been vaccinated yet for the swine flu, but I plan to ask her dr. about it when she has her appointment next week. Im debating on what to do. Should I follow my husbands advice? She loves her activities but Im not sure they are worth the risk.

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So What Happened?

So we decided to get the swine flu vaccine for our daughter, but found out from her allergist that she can not get it. She can't get the shot because she has a severe egg allergy. She can not get the mist because of her asthma. We just called her pediatrician and left a message to see where we go from here (pull her out of school). I have been constantly hand sanitizing her hands every time we go somewhere. I am avoiding parks and indoor playgrounds. My friend told me to have faith and live my life. Sounds like good advice, but if something happened I would blame myself. We even skipped a school Halloween party and parade today, but I figure she will have plenty more chances to do that in her life. Thank-you for all of your responses.

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answers from Los Angeles on

This is a very individual decision.
I agree with most of what has been said here, even the conflicting ones:)
We have reluctantly made the decision to pull my almost three year old from her two morning a week "preschool" at the end of the month. Her 14 month old brother has a mitochondrial disease and seizures and is at tremendous risk of complications from any illness or cold, let alone this newest unknown threat. They have both had their two regular flu shots and we are waiting for northern San Bernardino county to get their act together and send some H1N1 vaccine up here. Since they need two H1N1 shots one month apart to be protected, the earliest they will be "safe" is December (if it works). Now, that means that no children in my daughter's class of twenty are protected until then. That is just too long for us and too much of a risk.
I am normally extremely cautious with all vaccines and have been very selective about which ones they get and when they get them. I would prefer not to give any at all to my children, but a mitochondrial disease changes everything for us. In our case the benefits outweigh the substantial risks. I believe that is what everyone needs to decide for their own families.
I have also done extensive research and I strongly agree with Susan that hand washing, sanitizer, vaccines for everyone in the house and common sense are called for here. Stay away from sick people, stay home if you are sick and keep the kids out of shopping carts if you can. I can't keep my son from putting his mouth on the carts, even with a shopping cart cover and my watchful eye. He just moves it out of the way, so I am limiting the number of trips and leaving them home when possible.
We are still living our life, having playdates every week (when everyone is healthy) and spending special "school" time activities with my daughter. In the long run she won't remember I had to pull her from school for a few months and my son has a better chance for a hospital free winter. There are no guarantees in any of this, but as so many have said in other posts on this subject, trust your gut. Do what you and your husband think is best and you can't go wrong.
BTW My daughter's teacher said another child has already left the class because she also has asthma, so other parents are doing the same.

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answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter turned 2 in August and also has asthma triggered by illness and attends My Gym. I do not plan to pull her out of this activity. I know our My Gym is taking the flu very seriously and is not allowing kids with any symptoms (even minor), to attend class. They clean every day. I worry more about the park and Target where parents tend to take their sick kids to pass the time.

I am getting the H1N1 vax today. My daughter cannot have it because of her egg allergy.



answers from Reno on

My daughter has the same issues, but the question is, are you going to keep her away from the grocery store, the park, from visiting family at Thanksgiving, seeing Santa Claus at Christmas, everywhere else there are people? My daughter got the swine flu at the grocery store, from touching a shopping cart before I got it wiped off. There is no set time for the swine flu to be over - it could last well into next spring. I got my daughter both the swine and the regular flu shot. That way she can enjoy life and I don't have to panic about taking her out in public. Good luck.



answers from Los Angeles on

Talk to your doctor then you and your husband can decide. I am getting my daughter the shot-my doctor recommends it. I would not keep her away from all her activities...but I don't know what it is like to be in your position with a child who gets so sick. You could also compromise like someone else said and let her do some activities. I think you are bound to be around sick people at the store etc though. Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

I'd stay with preschool and stop going to my gym for a while.



answers from Los Angeles on

My son also goes to a My Gym and goes to a daycare while I workout.. my ONLY concern is when people start vaccinating their kids and he's around them... THEY are my fear and NOT this flu....



answers from Los Angeles on

I think that with her Asthma you definately want to ask her doctor about getting the swine vaccine shot (not the mist - she can not have the mist). Now swine flu is just one of many many kinds of sickness that go around in winter, so even if she gets one type of shots doesn't make her immune to everything else. I can see the pros and cons of keeping her out of school settings. If you want to pick and choose, I would cut MyGym first. Or go the the class but NOT the free play. I find their sickness policy not really enforced during free play period at all, and there are a lot more kids during free play so more risks. Ask yourself how clean and safe you feel about her preschool. You may decide to keep that for now, and see what happens. Like another mom said, this is a personal decision. Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

I personally am not vacinating my children with either flu vaccine. That said though, neither are high risk. I'd talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of getting it.
I personally wouldn't take her out of anything. I mean, it's the flu, yes it can be brutal, but the fact is, she can get it ANYWHERE, not just school or social activities. Her risk is greater at school, of course, but just keep an eye on her and teach her to wash her hands frequently, cough in her elbow, etc. I think teachers are a lot more in tune with illnesses this year as well, due to all the media attention on Swine Flu.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi M.,
My 1yr old and I just survived H1N1. Which I believe we did get from our Mon/Thurs playgroup. It was not worth it!! She did recover fully but we will not be returning to the playgroup! I have been keeping her out of the general public for fear of having to go through that whole mess again. And I personally don't trust the H1N1 vaccine. It was put together too fast and I have heard of too many adverse reactions in children. I don't know if this helped at all, but my little princess did survive and so did I and it was kind of like the regular influenza. I would agree with keeping your daughter out of activities with a lot of kids around if you can.



answers from Honolulu on

(please excuse me, but below is my response I previously posted on another H1n1 question. But it is relevant here as well).

*I am adding this: I have Asthma. As you know, asthma is a serious lung problem. I get Asthma primarily when I am sick too. BUT, it has gotten so severe sometimes that it has brought me to my knees, and I almost got Pneumonia myself. I even had bad Asthma when I was pregnant with my 2nd child. Because of my Asthma, I have gotten the H1N1 shot already. I have NO side-effects at all. But again that is just me.
Your Husband has a point... and like him, I am abstaining from having my son enrolled in any classes right now until the Flu Season is past. I do NOT want to risk him getting sick, and being around other "sick" kids if I can help it. It is preventative. Both my kids do not have Asthma.
There is so much debate, fact or fiction to it all, and opinions both professionally and as lay-persons.

The bottom-line is: do your research. Even the Seasonal Flu vaccines are created each year and then dispersed to the public without much testing, I believe.

Yes... they "say" that this H1N1 virus is a "mild" flu. BUT... the DIFFERENCE is that is has a different method of operation. The Swine Flu burrows itself into the lining of the lungs differently, than the Seasonal Flu. Thus, more lung complications.... such as Pneumonia and other lung & breathing complications. And, there is no way for sure... to know IF the vaccine does indeed lessen the severity of it, or prevent the sickness.

As for the H1N1 not being tested in children.... that is what I read too. Therefore, there are no confirmed facts of side-effects. But, I had "heard" that that is the same for the regular Seasonal Flu too. Yet, people take the regular Seasonal Flu vaccine more readily....

But again, all these so called 'facts' are hard to pinpoint CONCLUSIVELY. And there are so many differing opinions on it, educated or not. Even medical professionals have different views on it.

There is ALSO the Intranasal Flu MIST. Which has no Thimerisol in it or preservatives, I believe. It is a 'weakened' attenuated virus. IF a person is "healthy" with no medical problems/NO Asthma, it is supposed to be fine for them taking it. The Seasonal Flu, has this version as well.

My Daughter, ... has taken the Flu Mist, for the SEASONAL flu, both this year and last year. She had absolutely NO adverse reactions to it whatsoever. My son, has gotten the Season Flu vaccine this year. My Pediatrician does not care for the "Flu Mist"... because it has a weakened virus. BUT, I have no problem with it. My Daughter did NOT get sick from the Seasonal Flu Mist at all, she is healthy as a horse, and did not get the Flu last year either. BUT... I am NOT going to have my kids get the Swine Flu shot/or vaccinations. Just because. **But, I am now contemplating having my eldest child, my Daughter, get the Swine Flu vaccination or Mist.... because she is in grade school and lots of sick kids there. I don't know yet if I will be getting my son vaccinated with the Swine Flu shot/mist.

IF... a person has a lung disease/illness/condition... then they say that the Swine Flu vaccination is recommended.
- Me, I have Asthma. For this reason, I recently got a Swine Flu shot. Just with a mere common cold, my Asthma has brought me down to my knees & I almost got Pneumonia once... and I know how serious Asthma is. So that is MY reason. My personal reason. And I am not advocating it for everyone, nor trying to stop anyone from taking it.
I have NOT yet... gotten any "side-effects." Yes, sure... side-effects can take years to emerge. The same for anything we take in medically. Even aspirin & coffee can be harmful for some.

Like anything, practice good hygiene to prevent sickness. For me, that includes even when walking around the malls with my kids. I have delayed signing-up my son (who is 3) for any playgroup class right now... in light of the flu season arising, for example. I do NOT want to bring him into close-kid-populated "classes" right now... because as you know, parents ALWAYS bring their kids to a play-group even though their kid is "sniffling" or "coughing". And, young toddlers ALWAYS rub their snot/nose mucous anywhere! I have seen this MANY MANY times. Even though it is thoroughly thoughtless & rude.
My Daughter is in Elementary school, so I can't pull her out of school.

**You also NEED to ask the Preschool and the "My Gym" places WHAT their "policy" is, regarding the Swine Flu and sick kids. I has to be stricter. AND HOW DO THEY CLEAN THE PREMISES DAILY???? That is what I did, when I "was" going to sign my son up for classes. But I decided not to sign him up now.

And, I have "heard" on the news, that the "zone" of contagiousness for the Swine Flu is: 10 feet. So keep that in mind. Mind you, this was the news I heard on 1 TV station. Who knows what another TV station would say... maybe something else. The point being... there are so many "facts' floating around, that it is confusing.

In any event... take healthful precautions about keeping healthy... washing hands for 20 seconds etc., taking Vitamin D, etc.

All the best,

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answers from Los Angeles on

i'm not getting the shot for my son..who is 3.5 but i have researched and they are recommending the H1N1 for people w/ asthma b/c this flu affects the your doc tomorrow..if she gets the shot..don't get the mist ..then i would think she'd be ok w/ the activities but your husband thinks its more safe to not interact then maybe you should go w/ his gut instinct



answers from Los Angeles on

I think your husband is right. She will be happier too with you and grow more secure. And immune system will improve. The swine flu vaccine is dangerous. I would not give it to a child. Look in you tube at the researcher who was interviewed on how the vaccine was made then asked if he would give it to his child, he said no. Mary Tocco also has good info and sources on vaccines.



answers from Los Angeles on

I think this is a question you should ask your pediatrician. My son has asthma and when he was a toddler, my dr. told us to keep him out of preschool until he was 4, so he could have longer to build up his immune system. He's 12 now and is just fine, but we do get the flu shot for him every year, beginning at the age of one year! Oh, and one more thing, it's very important that everyone in your family also receives the flu shot. And I have found the biggest preventer in bringing the flu into our home is hand washing. All the way through flu season, we wash our hands the second we walk in the door after being out somewhere (and we DON'T use antibacterial soap!!). We wash after the playground, the play centers at Carl's, Chuck E. Cheese, etc., and we most definitely wash before eating while at these places. I carry hand sanitizer in my purse for when we can't wash....and my son is definitely sick less often than most of his friends. I'm a firm believer it's in the hand washing...I am almost anal about it! Good luck.

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