August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Back-to-school-germs are the one thing I dread each year. Having many children, we always seem to get hit hard, especially in the fall. During the summer we get to enjoy a nearly illness-free existence. We make sure to follow all of the important protocols for avoiding sickness, washing hands, covering mouths when coughing and sneezing, and keeping hand sanitizer around for when it's needed. Sometimes those precautions aren't enough.
We also choose to vaccinate our children. August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). I know not everyone vaccinates, but I personally think the benefits outweigh the risks for my children. That being said, one of the vaccines my children usually get is the yearly influenza vaccination. The flu can be very dangerous for children. Each year about 20,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized from flu complications, like pneumonia. Last year we had a young girl in our community, who was in second grade, die after getting pneumonia following the flu. It was a huge eye opener for everyone. People still do die from these illnesses, and as a parent, I want to protect my children as much as I possibly can.
The Influenza Vaccine is a vaccine that doesn't have to be given as an injection. There is also a nasal spray available (although not for everyone). This may give you an option and your children an option (not sure about you, but I hated shots as a kid)! Vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.The risk of serious flu complications requiring hospitalization is highest among children younger than 6 months of age, but they are too young to be vaccinated. The best way to protect them is to make sure people around them are vaccinated. A flu shot during pregnancy protects both mom and baby (up to 6 months of age) from flu- and I have always gotten mine during pregnancy.
The influenza vaccine is available sometime in the fall, to find out when you can ask yours or your child’s doctor when they expect flu vaccines to be available in their office, and schedule an appointment for flu vaccination. Visit http://vaccine.healthmap.org/ for locations offering flu vaccines near you.
To find out more please visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/parents for more helpful information from the CDC.