Well, I guess it’s that time of year. See you all next spring.

I must admit, I tried to wriggle out of this one. I went so far as to ask my other quad mom friends if it was really necessary to do this again. While Sean and I try to make sure that we each get a chance to get out, let’s face it, we end up on lockdown too.

The verdict? It is absolutely necessary and quite worth it.

So here we are again with a lockdown sign on our front door. And based on the awful virus, non-stop coughing, and sleepless nights we’ve experienced this week, it didn’t come too soon. I’m hoping that is the worst of it and that the flu and RSV crud skips our house entirely.

So how do we tell when it’s time to call our public appearances quits?

A friend told me about this nifty little tool on the Center for Disease Control’s website. As a retired NICU nurse, she used it to help us monitor illnesses in our area during our first lockdown. Once I got a little more rest and the kids were a bit more stable, she clued me in to it.

And it’s so handy, that I just have to share it with you!

The CDC tracks Seasonal Flu outbreaks across the US and abroad. It provides options to use interactive maps, look at just the US, and check previous outbreaks over the years. By clicking HERE you can look through the resources that it has.

Main Flu Activity Resource Page

The map that I tend to use is the US Map. It shows the flu activity level by state. How awesome is that? So when I check it every week, I’m looking at both Kansas and Missouri since we live right on the border. Want to see how your state is faring so far this year?

As much as we don’t want to do this again, we know that it truly is in the best interest of our kids. It’s recommended to stay on lockdown during RSV and Flu season until preemies reach the age of two. Their little lungs and immune systems just aren’t quite fully developed yet. While it’s true that the RSV and Flu season hasn’t fully ramped-up yet in our area, we feel that the end of November is a good time to curb our losses and shut the front door. Besides, sick kids aren’t fun anyway. 🙂

Thanks for praying for protection for our little guys during this second winter season. By next winter, we should be good to go!

Rebecca of A Beautiful Ruckus is the proud mama of Kansas City quadruplets born on February 23, 2011! Her blog started as a way to keep her friends and family in the loop during her pregnancy and has been continued as a way to document her crazy, wonderful, blessed life!