Stories about: Seasonal flu & cold

Get your flu shot—it’s not just about you

Flu shotFlu season is on its way, which means it’s flu shot time.

I see lots of different responses when I talk to families at our clinic about the flu shot. Some are happy to get it. Others are unsure, worried about side effects. Others plain old refuse.

Plain old refusal isn’t an option for me—as a doctor and an employee of Boston Children’s. I need to get it—and I do every year. But even without being told to get it I would have. Because not only do I not want to get the flu (I got it once, and it was no fun), this isn’t just about me.

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When a common cold turns life-threatening

SmileNo one is born a parent. But when we have our first child, we somehow figure out how to clothe and feed him. We love him, tickle him and sing him lullabies. And then he gets sick for the first time.

As we lie on the floor next to the crib while that gorgeous baby of ours cries, how do we know whether to hold his hand and rub his back or get up and call an ambulance?

Erin and Dan Boudreau can tell you. They’ve been there. The rare scenario that makes for nightmares happened to them.

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It’s Get Smart About Antibiotics Week!

We are entering cold and flu season—that time of year when many of us, and many of our loved ones, get sore throats and coughs and congestion and fevers and feel downright miserable. In our quest to feel better (and to make those we love feel better), it’s natural to want to do everything possible. So it’s understandable that many people want their doctors to give them antibiotics—after all, they have an infection and antibiotics treat infections, right?

Not exactly—or at least not always. That’s why the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has declared November 12th-18th “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week”: to help teach people what they need to know about antibiotics.

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Flu shot facts

It’s flu season. Which means I’m having a lot of conversations with parents who don’t want their kids to have the flu shot.

Most parents do want it for their children. Which is great, because influenza is more than just a bad cold. Every year about 200,000 people in the US are hospitalized because of it–and every year between 3,000 and 49,000 people die from it.

But every year, there are parents who refuse the influenza vaccine.

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