why, fearmongering ad aside, you really do need to know about pertussis

Yesterday I wrote about this kind of silly PSA about pertussis. (At least I think it’s silly– take a look at the video and see for yourself.) Whilst I went about shooting the messenger, though, I hope I didn’t come across sounding like whooping cough itself is something to roll your eyes at. 

I heard from a reader named Tasha, who enlightened me about why pertussis really is something for a mom to worry about. I’m sharing her words here because she explained it so well. 

Pertussis is a very serious illness in children, especially for babies (newborns are not able to be vaccinated for pertussis until 2 months of age and even then they are not receiving the fullest protection a vaccination can offer until they have had the follow up immunizations). Several babies have died this year alone from it and the only way to protect our littlest ones is to get our adult vaccinations – something that isn’t as widely talked about or debated upon as childhood vaccinations. The message of adult pertussis vaccinations is an important one. No child should have to suffer from something like this that is largely preventable through adult vaccination. No parent should have to bury their baby. 

As far as just saying, “If you hear this sound, get help,” it may be too late at that point. People need to know that they can have a “cold” which can turn out to be pertussis and potentially fatal (if not just miserable) for their children.

I never knew this. I never got that information from that PSA either, so thank you, Tasha, for breaking it down for me.  If you’d like more information, visit the sounds of pertussis website.

In the meantime, if you have a little one at home, ask your ob/gyn for the pertussis vaccine (or at least confirm your immunity). Mine did. I’m curious, readers- is that something that was part of your pre-natal care?