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Kansas City-area mother being cautious in keeping premature baby healthy during holiday season

Jenna Rosales and her baby
Posted at 4:51 PM, Nov 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-22 19:28:44-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jenna Rosales is a new mother and this holiday season, she'd rather be safe than sorry.

"Flu season is bad, RSV is bad (and) COVID is bad," Rosales said.

Her 7-month-old son, Halston, was born prematurely and is more prone to getting sick when viruses spread.

Rosales spoke with KSHB 41 via Zoom as she is taking every precaution that she can.

"We're taking a couple precautions this year," she said. "I know being a NICU mom, there's a lot of trauma and anxiety when it comes to gatherings and festivities."

Rosales told KSHB 41 about the precautions she is taking.

As soon as you walk through her front door, she has a station set up for visitors with hand sanitizer and masks.

Rosales is asking friends and family to wash up upon arrival and before they get in the food line for Thanksgiving.

"I want to be involved, and I want to do things," Rosales said. "But also at the same time, the anxiety that comes with 'Is my kid going to get sick,' is always in the back of my head."

Children's Mercy Hospital tracks infectious disease testing.

In the last week, 34 people tested positive for COVID-19, 325 for RSV and around 1,100 for the flu.

"Those young kids, you know, I would include all babies under the age of a year," said Dr. Natasha Burgert, with Pediatric Associates of Overland Park. "But especially those under the age of 6 months and that are premature. We've got to make smart choices; we cannot be around large gatherings. People who are going to be ill need to stay away."

While a small gathering might not be what many have hoped for, Rosales said it's better than spending the holidays back in the hospital with a sick child.

"It's hard to not go and do these things because you want to make memories, but it's more just setting these boundaries," Rosales said. "So that you're able to have these gatherings, instead of having a baby sick in the hospital during Christmas time or Thanksgiving."