Monday, November 2, 2009
The swine flu shot: we caved
OK, last you heard from me on the topic, we weren't getting the kids the H1N1 vaccine.
Then a school near us was shut down for a day because kids were getting infected and Dave—who is typically very laid back—started getting on my case about the shot. On Saturday, he called our state's Department of Health and found it was offering the vaccine at a senior citizens center 45 minutes away.
My resistance was weak. Typically, I am not a person who gives in to panic. And there is a whole lot of panic surrounding the swine flu, much of it founded on wrong or irrational fears. But in the end, I felt I would be doing my kids a disservice to not protect them from it. Max is prone to getting sick during the winter. Also, my kids receive the regular flu shot, and from what I've read it seems like the H1N1 version is similar in nature even though it hasn't been tested for very long. Important disclaimer: I am not a medical expert. I almost failed 7th grade biology. Please read up on the vaccination and make your own decision.
And so, we got the swine flu shot. I waited on line in the cold, drizzling rain for 45 minutes [insert mournful violin music] while Dave took the kids for lunch.
Once I was at the front of the line, we whisked the kids in and they promptly lost it. Only I had a secret weapon.
This is the Buzzy, a device invented by Dr. Amy Baxter, a pediatric emergency doctor. It's supposed to "take the sting out of shots." First you put a cold pack (included) near the area where your child is getting the shot. Next you place the Buzzy there, flick on a switch and it starts vibrating. Basically, the buzzing is said to "confuse" the body's nerves and distract attention away from the shot, reducing or eliminating sharp pain. It costs $34.95, plus shipping.
I'd told the kids about the Buzzy before we went, and let them see how it felt. I think it definitely made the shot less painful—they basically quit crying seconds after they got it, as opposed to their typical drawn-out sobbing fits. Although I wish it came with a magic wand to make kids stop wailing in anticipation of getting a shot.
So, this is my favorite new battery-operated vibrating device (snicker snicker). And I have one to give away! Just leave a comment about where you stand on the swine flu vaccine (include a contact e-mail if you don't have a blog). Have you changed your mind, like I did?
Update: I'll pick a winner by Sunday!
Photo by Charlie Charlton