As I sit here with my searing sore throat, persistent dry cough and achy, mucus filled head, my thoughts wander ahead to the upcoming holiday season. I have been asked by many if California is going to sit on Santa’s lap. The answer is “NO, NO, NO”. Oh, I have heard it all, “but that is a part of the magic of Christmas” and “he is going to miss out on a big part of his childhood”…sorry, but I care more about California’s health than a photo op. Does Santa Claus get a seasonal flu shot and an H1N1 shot each year? I decided to do a little bit of research into this matter and the answer is “NO”. The United States does not have many policies at all regarding Santa Claus and there are no health related policies for Santa Claus. Canada, however, has issued a strong advisory to all Santas to get the swine flu shot, wash hands often, change his gloves every two hours and bring hand sanitizer with him to the mall. Children with flu like symptoms will also be asked to see Santa some other time.
So, the Santas here in the United States will see hundreds of children who, will sneeze, cough and wipe their runny nose all over Santa’s sleeves, gloves and beard. Santa will return to the mall day after day wearing the same suit, beard and gloves…unlaundered. For some people that is fine. It isn’t fine with me and it shouldn’t be fine with any parent who has a child with asthma or any other chronic medical condition. For parents with healthy children, I would advise you to bring your own hand sanitizer with you on your trip to Santa’s lap and to make sure your child does not have any flu like symptoms to protect the other children who will visit Santa after him/her. It’s no fun to be sick during the holidays for any child and for asthmatic children, being sick often means hospitalization. We know from experience; California has been hospitalized four times and he is only four years old. So be smart and ensure that EVERYONE has a happy holiday!
P.S. My favorite hand sanitizers are Burt’s Bees Aloe & Witch Hazel Hand Sanitizer Spray 2 fl oz (59 ml) and EO Products Hand Sanitizer Spray Organic Lavender, Organic Lavender 2 Oz I like these because they smell great, are non-toxic and you can spray surfaces as well as hands with them. They come in handy while shopping and going to restaurants.