You’re not biased…your baby seriously is perfect. They're beautiful, smiley, tiny, and downright adorable. Unfortunately, that also means anyone and everyone is going to want a piece of them, and can you blame them? Unfortunately, this simply isn't safe for new babies, especially during the darkest, germiest days of flu season. If you're concerned about others having a hard time staying away from your little one, this hilarious, to-the-point onesie is what your baby needs this flu season, and frankly every season. As strangers admire your baby from afar, they’ll also get your message loud and clear: Please, admire my perfect specimen but keep your hands to yourself.
This onesie, sold by Etsy vendor TailoredDissent, comes in both black and pink and states in bold letters, "Please, don't touch me." That's right, well-meaning stranger who wants to squeeze your baby's chubby, perfect little thigh: you better keep your hands off! It's nothing personal, of course, it's simply that your tiny human cannot handle the germs that come along with all of these pats, squeezes, hugs, and kisses. Your baby can't speak up and say anything to their adoring suitors, and you might be a little uncomfortable and/or tired of doing it yourself, so let the onesie do the talking. Of course, you'll always be their back-up if people still don't get the point.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2017-2018 flu season was considered a "high severity season," with 181 pediatric deaths reported as of September 29, 2018. Dr. Claire Bocchini, an infectious disease specialist at Texas Children's Hospital, spoke to CBS News about why babies under 2 are so vulnerable to this illness. "Their lungs, their immune systems are still developing, especially the younger ones, and so they have a lot more complications," Dr. Cocchini explained. Tiny babies are simply not equipped to fight off the flu virus like healthy adults are.
80 percent of the children who died during last year's flu season hadn't received the flu vaccination, according to the CDC. However, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies under 6 months shouldn't receive the flu vaccination at all. So, not only are their bodies and immune systems the most fragile, but they can't even receive the vaccine that may help them. In other words, the only protection a baby under 6 months old has against the flu is, well, you.
As this onesie suggests, an excellent way to protect your little ones (and yourself!) is by limiting the contact they have with strangers. As much as people want to hold your precious bundle and sniff their perfect little head, keep them away. This onesie, of course, should help with that. Many people without young children aren't aware of the severe risk their germs pose to your little one, but a quick explanation should help them understand. However, it's also your baby and your rules — you certainly don't need to explain why they can't hold your baby if you don't want to.
Additionally, everyone over six months old who is going to be interacting with your baby should receive the flu vaccination each year, according to the CDC. This includes parents, siblings, relatives, and caregivers. Regular and thorough hand washing is a must, and tell everyone to ramp up their hand washing frequency during flu season. If anyone still manages to catch the flu (or any other illness at all), keep them away from your baby as much as possible.
Another great way to keep everyone's hands off your baby? HealthyChildren.org recommends throwing a canopy or cover over your stroller. These can protect your baby from the elements, help them sleep, and serve as a useful stranger-blocker. Hit the point home by hanging a reminder on the handle, like this one created by Tags4Tots that reads, "Stop! Your germs are too much for me to bear. Please look don't touch. Mommy thanks you very much!"
Your mama bear instincts will undoubtedly switch into high gear when flu season is upon us, but it can't hurt to get a few products to keep others' germs at bay. Because people really do need to be reminded that they can look, but they shouldn't touch.