August is a wonderful time in central Indiana. Kids are holding onto the fleeting moments of summer by making nightly attempts to extend their bedtime and plugging their ears before the dreaded school bell tolls once again. Parents, on the other hand, are yearning for a little peace and quiet while dragging their kids to the local department store to make sure their children are fully equipped with all the materials needed for the new school year.
Even though their kids may be fully prepared to return to school, parents may be forgetting to provide them with their most important tool; immunizations. The best laid plans to achieve the smooth transition to the new year can go awry if a child is out sick.
August is National Immunization Month and that’s just what immunizations do, keep your child healthy and ensure he or she isn’t falling behind. Immunizations are the gatekeeper to a community’s health. In an immunized community, that gatekeeper isn’t letting any serious illness pass through its gates. When parents immunize their children not only are they protecting their own child, they’re helping prevent the spread of disease throughout the daycare or school their child attends.
That duty to protect the community doesn’t end when the child enters high school since incoming freshmen are required to have boosters and new vaccines as well. Measles especially has been one of the bigger diseases to re-surface, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting 1,109 cases as of July 3 in this calendar year alone. The number, which is the highest figure since 1994, tells a different story than the announcement at the turn of the century of the disease’s eradication.
The CDC recommends that people get an MMR vaccine to protect against measles, mumps, and rubella. Children should get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Teens and adults should also be up to date on their MMR vaccination. All of us lead busy lives carrying too much responsibility to risk get-ting sick or having to stay home with sick children. Vaccines can help everyone stay healthy and avoid missing school or work, and also help prevent illnesses that can lead to hospitalization or even death. If you can avoid getting sick, you will have more time for your family, friends and hobbies.
If you are in need of a pediatrician for your child or a primary care physician for yourself or someone else, please call 317-880-7666 or visit www.eskenazihealth.edu/doctors.