There are few things more exciting in this world than the arrival of a grandchild. The anticipation of seeing 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!
While flu season is slowly falling behind us, new grandparents should also remember the importance of protecting their grandchild from preventable illnesses by understanding all vaccines. Vaccines are not just important for the newborn, but also for you.
Vaccines Are Safe and Effective
The medical community is in agreement that vaccines are safe and effective and that they do not cause serious harm to children. 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 the illnesses than by the vaccines themselves. The World Health Organization has a useful website debunking myths about vaccines.
Do you think whooping cough is an extinct illness from your childhood? Sadly, because people haven’t been vaccinating their kids, illnesses that were once very rare thanks to high vaccination rates are now reappearing.
Whooping cough (also called pertussis) is one illness that is especially dangerous to newborns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that in 2017, there were 17,972 reported cases of whooping cough. While that number is down from 2014, it certainly shows there is still an issue.
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.
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.
Morgan Gunder is a community and broker liaison for Reid Health Alliance. Born in the South and raised in the Midwest, she is a wife and mother with a passion for traveling, learning, and technology.