It's a Dangerous World
Parenting is an enormous responsibility. You may want to keep your child in a bubble so you know he or she is always healthy. But, with proper immunizations and health screenings, the armor is already there.
Early Childhood Well-Visits and Vaccinations
It’s important your child get to his or her wellness visits as recommended. Wellness visits allow your child and you to touch base with the pediatrician. While you’re there, you can talk about your child’s nutrition, physical activity, current BMI (body mass index) percentile and more. For children and tweens, BMI (based on height and weight) is age- and gender-specific. In children, a high or low amount of body fat can lead to weight-related diseases and other health issues. During these visits, your child will also need certain vaccinations. These vaccinations help prevent diseases like whooping cough, which kills an average of 20 babies each year in the United States. They also help prevent measles, which is still present in the United States. Measles causes pneumonia, encephalitis and even death.
Vaccinating your child according to the recommended schedule provides the best chance to prevent whooping cough and measles, and these 12 other serious diseases:
- Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Pneumococcal disease
- Rubella (German measles)
- Tetanus (lockjaw)
- Varicella (chickenpox)
When your child is older, you may think wellness visits are going to get easier. Unfortunately, they aren’t. Not only are there some vaccines that require periodic boosters, there are also screenings that need to take place for tweens.
Starting at ages 11 and 12, your kids should be receiving the HPV vaccine. This vaccine can help prevent several kinds of cancer, including cervical. It doesn’t just affect women, either. Every year, 31,000 men and women are diagnosed with cancers caused by HPV infections that the vaccine might have prevented.