As parents, we try to do what we feel is best for our children. From the first time we hold them in our arms, their health and safety takes precedence above all else.
Before bringing your little ones home from the hospital, you more than likely spent months preparing for their arrival.
If you were a first time parent who baby proofed the entire house to the extreme that you, yourself had trouble opening the cabinets and drawers, you are not alone.
When thinking about your little ones’ health and safety, it's important to consider that one of the best ways to protect your children is to ensure they have all of their recommended vaccinations.
Benefits of Immunizing Infants & Toddlers
All medical procedures have a risk of side effects. Whether getting wisdom teeth extracted or having a heart stent put in, there is always risk of complications.
Vaccines are no different, however, the risk of serious side effects is minimal compared to the advantages vaccinations provide.
Reasons to consider keeping your child on their recommended vaccination schedule (Courtesy of vaccines.gov)
1. Immunizations can save your child’s life- Today, children can be protected against more diseases then every before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children, have been eliminated completely, while others are close to elimination- primarily due to safe and effective vaccines.
2. Vaccination is very safe and effective- Although vaccines can cause some discomfort immediately upon injection (pain, redness, tenderness, etc.), it typically doesn’t last long and is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent.
3. Immunization protects others you care about- Children in the U.S. still get vaccine-preventable diseases. Over the past few years, we have seen reappearances of measles and whooping cough (pertussis). Unfortunately, some babies are too young to be completely vaccinated and others may not be able to receive certain vaccinations due to severe allergies, weakened immune systems from conditions like leukemia, 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.
4. Immunizations can save your family time and money- Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in extended disabilities that can create financial hardship because of lost time at work, medical bills or long-term disability care. But, getting vaccinated against these diseases is a good investment and usually covered by insurance
5. Immunization protects future generations- Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago For example, smallpox vaccination eradicated that disease worldwide. Your children don’t have to get smallpox shots anymore because the disease no longer exists. 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.
Vaccines for Children Program (VFC)
The Vaccines for Children Program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families.
This program was created to help ensure all children can receive their recommended vaccinations beginning from infancy through childhood. To learn more about how the CDC can help keep your children from falling behind on their vaccination schedule, click here or ask your child’s health care professional.