School is back in session, and with it comes the annual battle against an influx of sick children coming home after being confined to classrooms all day full of other sick children. No one enjoys sick days (when they are actually sick, anyways), especially parents who have to miss work to stay home with their children. Years ago, instead of a little cough or fever, parents had to deal with things like measles, mumps, polio and a host of other debilitating and sometimes life-threatening ailments. Fortunately, science and medicine have joined forces over the years to create some incredible vaccinations to combat the heavier hitters in the germ and disease world. Vaccination has come under fire in recent years, due in large part to social media and celebrities making assumptions based on anecdotal evidence and emotional reaction as opposed to regarding decades of scientific study and medical research, along with the dramatic decrease in cases of polio, measles and other contagious diseases since vaccinations became readily available.
This year, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) won a National Health Information Award for their 64-page guide, “Parents Guide to Childhood Immunizations”. The CDC’s mission, taken directly from their website, is to work “24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.”
The Parents Guide helps parents and caregivers learn about the role vaccines play in helping keep children healthy. The color booklet includes a glossary and list of resources and is illustrated with children’s artwork. If you are interested in learning more about what immunizations the CDC recommends your child have from birth to 18 (including how to catch them up if they’re behind schedule), you can visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/tools/parents-guide/index.html and download or print out the guide for free.