It’s back to school time for the kiddo’s this month! With back to school shopping and getting everything prepared for a successful school year, it can be easy to let a few things slip through the cracks, such as getting your vaccines. August is National Immunization Awareness Month (#NIAM17), which highlights the importance of vaccinations for people of all ages. Communities use this month each year to raise awareness about the vital role that vaccines play in preventing serious diseases.
As parents, it’s important to remember to keep an immunization record for your kids. This will come in handy when registering your child for school, summer camps, athletic teams and to travel. The CDC has provided this milestones tracker to help track your child’s immunizations, growth and developmental milestones up until they are 6 years of age.
Here are a few fun trivia facts about children’s vaccines:
Did you know that there are 14 preventable diseases from which you can help protect your child with vaccines before the age of two? These include Chickenpox, Diphtheria, Influenza (Flu), Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hib, Measles, Mumps, Polio, Rotavirus, Rubella, Tetanus, Whooping Cough and Pneumococcal.
What are the four vaccines for which your pre-teen/teen should get vaccinated? They are Influenza (Flu), HPV (Human Papillomavirus), Meningococcal and TDAP.
How do vaccines work? Vaccines help lower the risk of infection by working with the body’s natural defenses. This is done by introducing an “imitation” infection that does not cause illness to your body but causes the immune system to develop the same response as it would to a real infection. If a real infection is then introduced into your body, your immune system has already previously built up white blood cells to fight the infection.
Each week of #NIAM17 focuses on a different age group:
- Babies & young children (July 31-August 6)
- Pregnant women (August 7-13)
- Adults (August 14-20
- Preteen/Teen (August 21-27)
- Back to School (July/August)
For more information about NIAM, visit the National Public Health Information Coalition’s website.
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