School starts this week for most of the nation’s children, and with that come a lot of things to check off your to do list. Things like new backpacks, school clothes, supplies, lunch boxes and even just getting children back into a school time schedule state of mind, from bedtime to scheduling in homework time again. But another vital component of that to do list should be to check and make sure your kids are up to date on their immunizations. While it is a somewhat contested topic amongst individuals, the majority of Americans understand the importance of preventing their child from getting dangerous diseases like chicken pox to polio.
But when parents and kids have so many things to take care of before school starts, vaccines are often pushed back or ignored entirely, and that’s a dangerous procrastination. Vaccines not only protect your child, but they help protect the entire community your child is in, because if your child is immune from these diseases, they cannot contract and spread it either. With the news filled with Ebola concerns the issue of vaccinations for preventable diseases is also becoming a very popular topic.
So get your kids into their pediatrician this month before school gears up. And if your kids are among the many who are scared of shots and doctors, consider ways to make the experience as fun and painless as possible. Bring your children’s favorite portable games with you to play in the car and at the doctor’s office while you wait. Distract them during the actual doctor visit with questions about your children’s favorite things, whatever they may be. Or perhaps pin on a guardian angel pin before they go in, as a way to make them feel braver.
However you handle immunizations, make sure you get in for them during the month of August: National Immunization Month. The more you do to prevent illnesses, the less you and your community has to worry about. And the more time you kids can spend being kids… and doing homework. Ugh.