There are few things more exciting in this world than the arrival of a grandchild. The anticipation to see if the baby has your child’s eyes, the enjoyment of picking out all of those adorable baby clothes, and those precious weekends at grandma’s!
New grandparents should remember the importance of protecting their grandchild from preventable illnesses by understanding vaccines. Vaccines are not just important for the newborn, but also for you.
Vaccines are safe and effective.
Vaccines are the single most important method to prevent diseases like polio, whooping cough, and the measles. Vaccines go through rigorous testing, and children are far more likely to be harmed by illnesses, like whooping cough and the flu, than by the vaccine itself.
Whooping cough is on the rise.
Do you think whooping cough is an extinct illness from your childhood? Sadly, it’s not, and even though it was once rare, it’s now reappearing. Whooping cough (pertussis) is one illness that is especially dangerous to newborns.
Time for a booster?
You may be thinking, “Wait! I was already vaccinated against whooping cough when I was a child.” But the CDC recommends you get a Tdap shot, the vaccine that protects against whooping cough, every 10 years or if you’re 65 or older and in close contact with infants. Don’t forget about your annual flu shot either.
Don’t’ forget to take steps to protect the health of you and your grandbaby. Making precious memories with your new grandchild will be more enjoyable with that peace of mind. Please consult your doctor about any questions, concerns, or comments you may have.
Breck Obermeyer is a community liaison with Health Alliance Northwest, serving Yakima County. She is a small-town girl from Naches and has a great husband who can fix anything and 2 kids who are her world. Like this article? Feel free to respond to VantagePoint@healthalliance.org. Thanks for reading!