Let’s Talk About Immunizations and Whooping Cough Outbreak

Many of us are aware that it is flu season, that lovely season when kids go back to school and everyone is fighting off the sickies. If you do recall, I was sick for four days straight unable to eat, drink and do anything beyond laying in bed. It was horrible, none of my kids got it as bad as I did. Probably because I push myself harder and well do a whole heck of a lot, thankful that I got it worse because I hate to see my kids that sick. I ended up in the ER with all sorts of x-rays and tests done as well as had an IV of fluid put into me to help me recoup; and it did help.

Most of us think about the flu but few of us are probably aware that according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report more than 29,000 cases of whooping cough this year, totaling 10,000 more cases than reported in all of 2011. Yes, people I have also been made aware that almost 40 percent of people haven’t received a whooping cough immunization (the pertussis vaccine) in the past 5 years, according to the Walgreens Immunization Index.

I am all for parent your kids the way you wish to parent them. Make your own choice on giving immunizations or not, I get it, you all have your reasons for why you do or do not allow your pediatrician to give you kids immunizations and you will not hear me bashing you for that decision, however, please keep in mind that most of the vaccines we have have been around for years and are there for a reason. Did you live through the plague? Did you watch as people were dying from various diseases that we now have our children immunized for? Then I suppose we should trust, at some level, the immunizations that have been put in place as a way to keep America healthy.

I am not a medicine sort of Mom, I would much prefer a natural remedy over any medicine, if that’s possible. I refuse new vaccines for myself and my children, rather waiting until they have been out long enough to trust them. All three of my children are up to date on immunizations and I believe they would not be able to attend any form of public or private school without the up to date immunizations, that’s a requirement before my kids can even enter the school building each year. I must provide up to date immunization records.

The Walgreens Immunization Index reveals a dangerous disconnect between consumer perception and consumer behavior when it comes to immunizations across the board. Overall, 89 percent say they believe that vaccinations help protect people from viruses and preventable diseases, yet 40 percent aren’t aware of which immunizations they need to stay healthy this flu season and year round.

It’s hard to gauge what we need and what we don’t need when it comes to immunizations because let’s face it, we turn to our doctors and pediatricians who 9 times out of 10 are going to push a vaccine regardless because that is their job and they firmly believe all immunizations are there for a reason. My biggest fear is that those who are not up to date on proper immunizations are going to turn America into a sick place. We are going to start seeing things, like the whooping cough, return and a world wide epidemic will hit. You see, back in the old days the world was a smaller place, you had to travel longer to get places. It took a long time for sickies to travel but now with air travel, we are able to spread illness from place to place at a faster rate.

Those who travel and have not been properly vaccinated for such diseases as the whooping cough can certainly catch it in another country, fly back to the US and bring it to us.  All I say to those who choose not to get their kids immunizations is to really research the history of these diseases and ask yourself this; do you really, really want to be part of a world wide epidemic of bringing back these diseases that killed so many? I would love to hear the opinions behind why you choose to or not to immunize your child, because I am just curious.

One area I am also confused on is which immunizations we need, truly need, to keep us and our families healthy all year round.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

New Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe

As a parent, you never stop worrying about your child’s health and well being. Fortunately, there are new medical advancements being made every day that are improving the outlook for children living with chronic medical conditions and decreasing the risk that others will fall victim. Unfortunately, children are not immune to life’s illnesses and are often more at risk because of their underdeveloped immune systems.

Here are three medical advances that have been made in recent years to protect the health of children:

Cord Blood Banking

Until the 1970s, the placenta and umbilical cord were discarded after the birth of a baby. Today, parents can opt to collect and store the blood from the umbilical cord. It can be used as effective treatment options for childhood cancer, blood disease and immune disorders because of the unique nature of the blood.

Umbilical cord blood is rich in blood-forming stem cells that are found in bone marrow. It may also have the potential to raise other cells in the body and is capable of developing all three types of mature blood cells, including red cells, white cells and platelets. While a beneficial treatment option, you must make the decision to bank your child’s blood before he or she is born.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations may not be new, but the research surrounding them is. There has been a heightened sense of awareness – and fear – when it comes to having children vaccinated because of the supposed link between immunizations and autism. However, these studies have been discredited, and some were even found to be fraudulent.

Not only should parents follow the standard immunization schedule, but also they should take advantage of newer immunizations such as Gardasil, a vaccine for preventing the HPV virus in both boys and girls. The side effects for immunizations, most of which are rare, are far less severe than the suffering and pain children will go through if affected with a childhood disease.

BPA-Free Products

In 2011, Bisphenol-A or BPA was removed from baby bottles and many baby products. Studies show that this chemical agent may cause harm to the reproductive and nervous systems, especially in young children since they are underdeveloped. Some scientists fear that long-term exposure to BPA can cause cancer and other diseases.

Fortunately, we made headway by having BPA removed from baby bottles, but it’s still being used in other products. It’s important to evaluate the products that your children are using, including canned foods and water bottles, and opt for products that say BPA-free on their packaging.

When it comes to keeping our kids safe, you can never use too much precaution. Our jobs as parents is to keep them safe, and if that means taking the extra time to choose the right products or consider further medical options, then so be it.

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