I love fall. I love the crisp air in the mornings, the bright colors of the leaves, and the perfectly ripened apples. Fall brings about new beginnings as my two oldest kids head off to school. It also brings about more germs and viruses that I would rather avoid!
I walk my kids to school along with my baby, who isn’t much of a baby anymore: my 32-weeker is now 16 months old. He picked up RSV at the end of last winter, and while it was never bad enough to put him in the hospital, he has been wheezing on and off ever since. It seems that any tiny cold that gets tracked into our house nails him with a few more weeks of wheezing.
And so, while I love fall, I am also dreading the flu season and the myriad of germs that will come home with my school-age kids. I recently read about a respiratory virus outbreak in the United States that puts infants and especially those with compromised airways at greater risk. Source: http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/ev-d68.html
If you have ever been through the NICU, then you probably have illness prevention steps memorized. Now is the time of year to etch these into stone and live by them.
- Thou shalt wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.
- Thou shalt not touch eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Thou shalt not make contact with sick people.
- Thou shalt disinfect frequently touched surfaces – toys, doorknobs, changing pads – especially if someone is sick.
- Thou shalt get your flu vaccine!
Stay well – for you and your preemies.