2012-10-05 / Top Stories

Goldfeder: Keep Children Immunized

As parents, there are many things that my wife and I think about every day to help protect our children. We want them to look both ways before crossing the street, not talk to strangers, eat well, and stay healthy. We are very lucky that today we do not have to worry about our children contracting debilitating and potentially life threatening diseases like Polio that our parents and grandparents feared, but that is only because vaccines have been developed to keep them healthy.

We often forget or take for granted that once deadly diseases normally found in children such as Pertussis, more commonly known as Whooping Cough are now completely preventable through vaccinations. According, to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whooping cough infections are at a 50 year high in the United States and children who are not immunized are 8 times more likely to contract the disease.

Immunizations are essential to ensuring a healthy and safe start to the school year, for your child and their classmates. Following age-appropriate vaccination guidelines will help your child be well and stay in school rather than sick at home with an illness that could have been prevented.

It is known that contagious diseases spread easier and quicker in large settings such as our child’s classroom, on the playgrounds, in gym class and in lunch room. Therefore, it is important to do everything we can to keep them and their classmates safe and healthy. As children are going into elementary school, it is recommended that they need to be immunized against Polio, Measels/Mumps/Rubella, Chicken Pox, the Flu, Tetanus, and Whooping Cough. As children become preteens they are recommended to be immunized again for Flu, Tetanus, and Whopping cough. It is also recommended that they receive additional immunizations for Meningitis and HPV.

There are many advantages to getting vaccinations early in life and we have made great strides when it comes to affordable healthcare to ensure our children get the medical attention they need. Many basic immunizations are covered under Child Health Plus. In addition, there are other programs, like the Vaccines for Children (VAC), that offer free vaccines for children 18 years and younger.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a website where parents can see what immunizations their children need at every age. Go to http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/ easy-to-read/index.html to see what immunizations are suggested for your children.

Make sure that you check in with your pediatrician and have all your children’s immunizations up to date for the school year. Physical health is critical to a child’s healthy development and a safety aspect for all children going back to school this fall. I wish all parents and children a productive, happy, and healthy year.

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