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  • Last year, if I had seen a story like my own, I would have prioritized the shot differently. 

    Since Leon passed, I have discovered that there are many wonderful moms out there, including other physicians, who have let the shot slip through the cracks this time of year. The fall and winter months can be particularly challenging for families, with multiple demands on our time and energy, particularly as the holidays approach. As moms, we need to help one another in sharing the information that helps us best prioritize what we and our children need.

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  • It can feel shameful as a physician, losing a child to a preventative illness. As a parent, this experience has been indescribably painful.

    the flu
    Laura Sidari

    There are no words to describe the agony of watching your middle child suddenly become the oldest or having to open Christmas presents for a child who will never be coming home. When we care for our children as parents, we give them pieces of ourselves that cannot be returned. My children have touched every fiber of my being. There are parts of me that I anticipate will always be missing after losing Leon. Like many other parents who have lost children, I feel as if my “old life” ended when Leon died and a different life began. Every day, Leon is not far from my mind. 

  • There are individuals within the anti-vaxx community who have posted quite vocally on my page.

    Laura Sidari

    Based upon the comments on my post, it is clear that the individuals within the anti-vaxx community are passionate about their beliefs, as well as what they think is right for themselves and their children. I am passionate too.

    With the Internet, there are many places that you can turn to for information about health and wellness. However, I choose to place my trust in the research and recommendations coming from those within the medical community. I base the health care decisions for my children on the recommendations from qualified medical organizations and providers. Personally, I do not feel the health of my children is best left to fringe, hypothetical, or observational recommendations from those who do not have the qualifications to be providing medical advice. I want to know from the experts.

    The same doctors who recommend the flu shot are the ones who care for my children when they are ill. My physician colleagues, the ones who have come to my aid in multiple ways since I lost Leon, are the kinds of medical professionals making this recommendation. Organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the flu shot for everyone over the age of 6 months, with very few medical exceptions. They recommend it at this time of the year. This is where I place my trust.

  • Leon is my reason this season, and every season, for getting flu shots on time.

    the flu
    Laura Sidari

    This is the best time of the year to get the shot. Holiday planning and fall festivities can wait, but the flu shot cannot. If Leon or another little person is your reason for getting the flu shot this year, I ask that you consider sharing a family photo and spreading the word so that others may know too.