December 1-7 is National Influenza Vaccination (Flu Shot) WeekAccording the the CDC, the Flu isn’t a “bad cold” and can result in serious health complications, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, and can lead to hospitalization. Flu can sometimes even lead to death.
- Most people who get flu will recover in several days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop serious flu complications
- All people are at risk of developing serious flu complications and certain groups are at higher risk. For people at higher risk, flu is more likely to lead to serious flu complications that can result in hospitalization or even death.
- People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, and people 65 years and older.
- Anyone who gets flu can pass it to someone at high risk of severe illness, including children younger than 6 months who are too young to get a flu vaccine.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Did you know August is the month for getting up to date on your immunizations? Especially if you have school-aged children or kids heading off to college, you’ll want to make sure everyone has the proper and required immunizations before they go back to school. Vaccinations (or shots) help prevent dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases. Vaccines aren’t just for kids – adults need to get vaccinated to stay protected from serious illnesses like the flu, measles, and pneumonia. National Immunization Awareness Month is a great time to promote vaccines and remind family, friends, and coworkers to stay up to date on their shots. National Immunization Awareness Month How can National Immunization Awareness Month make a difference? Let’s raise awareness about vaccines and share strategies to increase immunization rates in our community. Here are just a few ideas:
- Talk to friends and family members about how vaccines aren’t just for kids. Shots can protect people of all ages from serious diseases
- Encourage people in your community to get the flu vaccine every year
- Invite a doctor or nurse to speak to parents about why it’s important for all kids to get vaccinated
Important reasons you should immunize your child. With the recent measles outbreak, news outlets have been flooded with talk about how you should immunize your child. We understand you want to do the best for your children, but it’s also really important to know the importance of immunizations. Like car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep your kids safe, immunizations are just another way to protect them from harmful viruses that your child’s immune system may not be prepared to handle. Immunizations can save your child’s life. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children, have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction– primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. Vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent. Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children. Immunization protects others you care about. Children in the U.S. still get vaccine-preventable diseases. In fact, we have seen resurgences of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) over the past few years. Since 2010, there have been between 10,000 and 50,000 cases of whooping cough each year in the United States and about 10 to 20 babies, many of which were too young to be fully vaccinated, died each year. While some babies are too young to be protected by vaccination, others may not be able to receive certain vaccinations due to severe allergies, weakened immune systems or other reasons. To help keep them safe, it is important that you and your children who are able to get vaccinated are fully immunized. This not only protects your family, but also helps prevent the spread of these diseases to your friends and loved ones. Immunizations can save your family time and money. A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or child care facilities. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll because of lost time at work, medical bills or long-term disability care. In contrast, getting vaccinated against these diseases is a good investment and usually covered by insurance. The Vaccines for Children program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families. Find out more by talking to your doctor. Immunization protects future generations. Immunizations have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago (example smallpox). By vaccinating children against rubella (German measles), the risk that pregnant women will pass this virus on to their fetus or newborn has been dramatically decreased, and birth defects associated with that virus no longer are seen in the United States. If we continue vaccinating now, and vaccinating completely, parents in the future may be able to trust that some diseases of today will no longer be around to harm their children in the future. Still have questions about immunizations? Talk to your doctor and find out more.
Back to school is just around the corner. With the summer full of fun, most children need help transitioning back into a routine with deadlines for a successful start to the school year. It's also a good time for kids to visit the pediatrician, dentist and eye doctor to make sure their health makes the grade. Sleep Routines: No more staying up late and sleeping in. Start with getting your kids back into their school year sleep habits. To help your child transition back to waking up early, establish a new sleep routine. Consider starting to go to be one hour earlier every night and waking up early until the new routine is established. Start a week or two in advance, to get your school year sleep routines established. Get your vaccinations and Sports Physicals: Pediatrician's office are full of patients the week before school starts. Annual checkups should be done by a pediatrician before each new school year to ensure that your child's medical records and vaccinations are up to date. Additionally, if your child participates in athletics, they will need their yearly sports physical in order to participate. Eating Schedules: With the summer packed full of activities, eating schedules may be different than those at school. Before the new school year starts, get your child back into the habit of eating three regular meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Consider sitting down for meals together to help the child reset the routine. Backpack Basics Backpacks full of books and school supplies can put strain on your child's neck, shoulders and back. Make sure your child’s backpack fits properly and is strong enough to carry a heavy load. Also make sure your child is carrying their backpack over both shoulders, according to the, single backpack over the shoulder can strain muscles. Talk to your pediatrician about additional tips to help you get your child back into the school routine.
Did you know July is the historic month that the rabies vaccination was the first given to a human? On July 6, 1885 there was a major step forward in modern medicine. Although not certain the vaccine would work, French microbiologist Louis Pasteur successfully gave the first anti-rabies vaccination to nine-year-old Joseph Meister, who had been bitten by an infected dog. Pasteur, who had first tested the rabies vaccine on dogs, was a pioneer in using vaccines to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Look where we are now? Rabies is a serious disease. It is caused by a virus that mainly lives in animals, but if humans are are bitten by an infected animal, the virus can have serious consequences. At first there might not be any symptoms. But weeks, or even months after a bite, rabies can cause pain, fatigue, headaches, fever, and irritability. These are followed by seizures, hallucinations, and paralysis. Human rabies is almost always fatal. People at high risk of exposure to rabies, such as veterinarians, animal handlers, rabies laboratory workers, spelunkers, and rabies biologics production workers should be offered rabies vaccine. Interested in learning more about the rabies vaccination? Ask your doctor.
Planning an upcoming summer vacation? Or perhaps you have already planned it? Either way, it happen to be going somewhere outside of the United States, make sure you check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website to ensure you have all of the proper vaccinations required or recommended to visit your country of choice. Many countries recommend that you are up to date on your routine vaccinations, including the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. The CDC also recommends specific vaccinations per country, for example if you are planning a trip to travel to Indonesia, Hepatitis A and Typhoid are recommended because you can contract both through contaminated food or water in Indonesia, regardless of where you are eating or staying. Other countries recommend the rabies vaccination if your trip includes outdoor physical activities such as camping, hiking, biking or adventure travel. While others recommend malaria medications for areas where you may susceptible to mosquito bites that have seen cases of malaria. Even if you are staying in the United States you may still want to check with your doctor to ensure you are up to date on your vaccinations, especially if you are going places where outdoor and adventure activities are on your checklist. And if you are traveling outside the United States check the CDC website and call us to schedule an appointment for your vaccinations at least 6 weeks to a month prior to leaving for your trip.