For one week each year, National Infant Immunization Week takes place at the end of April. This is an annual observance that is dedicated to highlighting how important it is to immunize your young children as a way of protecting them from a number of vaccine preventable diseases. Also, achievements that have taken place over a number of years are celebrated as are the partners in the medical field that contribute to this event each year. Since 1994 this event has taken place in hundreds of different communities all across the United States. Vaccinating your child helps to protect your children as well as other children in the community and it helps control our public health situation. Let’s take a look at how vaccinations help your infants and children:

Life Threatening Diseases

Vaccinations have been developed over the years to protect infants and other children from becoming ill with life threatening conditions or illnesses that could permanently affect their health for the rest of their lives. The current vaccination schedule that is recommended by the American Board of Pediatrics includes vaccines for things like measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, polio, diphtheria and more. These vaccinations are scheduled throughout the first couple years of a child’s life. Some may be required prior to a child entering daycare at the age of six weeks old and boosters are also needed later on in life to continue a child’s protection against a disease. There are some conditions that for many people, would not be life threatening such as measles. However, there are always complications associated with these conditions and you can never predict what the outcome would be for your child.

Controlling The Population

When people of any age routinely get their immunizations or their booster shots, this will help protect the community as a whole. Without these vaccinations we would not have certain diseases eradicated. This also helps protect the demographics that are more at risk for complications associated with these diseases like infants, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. At one point in time things like polio were very prevalent and many people died or were permanently disabled because of these diseases. Once people began to vaccinate against these diseases it slowed things down and eventually, got rid of these issues. Our country doesn’t see polio cases the way hospitals did decades ago.

Talking With Your Doctor

Some people have concerns with vaccines whether it be because of the schedule involved or because of the ingredients of an immunization. It is important to speak with your child’s doctor in order to find out more so you will feel comfortable with the process. There are sometimes changes that can be made to the schedule if need be and you will be able to work with your doctor’s office to immunize your child properly before they enter school in the future. It is important to have a pediatrician that you trust and that will help keep your children safe as they grow up. Their advice is important and should be able to be trusted.

This year National Infant Immunization Week will take place at the very end of April and everyone is encouraged to spread the word and participate any way that you can. If you have young children or are pregnant you are encouraged to speak with your pediatrician to find out more about the importance of vaccinating as well as the current recommended vaccination schedule in your state. Protecting your infants is important so they will be able to thrive and continue to grow and learn as they get older.