For parents, there’s no greater joy than watching your child grow up happy and healthy. And so long before Parker ever walked on his own, we were taking steps to help make sure he’d be healthy for life. We knew there’d be boo-boos, bumps, and bad dreams.
We also knew a little love could go a long way. And that we would need a lot of help along the way. Some of that help came from Parker’s doctor. As first-time parents, we worked together with Parker’s doctor to do everything possible to keep him healthy.
We had so many questions about his development and care. And, protecting Parker from serious diseases was our priority According to our doctor, that included getting him vaccinated and sticking to the schedule that the CDC sets.
Our doctor told us that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians also approve the recommended immunization schedule. Seeing that so many medical professionals were on board made us feel more comfortable following the schedule to protect him from everything from Hepatitis B to Polio.
And knowing he was protected gave us something to smile about. Especially since when we took him back for his shots at 4 months, the nurse helped us understand that we were giving Parker the best protection there is from 14 serious diseases before he turns 2 years old.
I’ll admit, we were feeling a little anxious about his shots, but the nurse also explained that we could comfort him by holding him during his shots and swaddling or feeding him right after. So we felt better knowing we could help him feel better.
Thankfully, each time we took him to the doctor, it got a little easier on all of us. And just understanding we were protecting him, made us feel better. Even more so after we heard that kids in the U.S. still get some of these diseases, like whooping cough and measles.
That sounded a little scary, but our doctor reassured us that the immunization schedule is designed the way it is to provide babies protection early in life, before they are likely exposed to life-threatening illnesses.
So, by keeping Parker on schedule, we were giving him the best possible protection. We also learned that to give Parker that protection, we needed to make sure he got every recommended dose of each vaccine. And, after all the research we did, we learned about some of the diseases that vaccines prevent that we hadn’t heard of before we had Parker.
Like we didn’t know that Hib and pneumococcal disease could cause pneumonia and meningitis. Even though he’s bigger and stronger now that he’s a year old, it’s still important to stay on CDC’s vaccination schedule.
He’ll need a few more shots before he enters kindergarten, but in the meantime, he’ll be protected against serious diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox. And each time we take Parker to the doctor, we know we’re doing the best thing for our child by giving him a healthy start.
More than that, we’re not just protecting Parker. We’re protecting his friends at school, his cousins who come over on the weekend, and really everyone in our town. He’s getting more and more independent. And honestly, it’s a little scary to watch him climb the stairs on his own.
At least we’ve done everything in our power to keep him safe and healthy. And the older he gets, the easier it is to see just how healthy he is. And thanks to vaccines, it’s easier for us to not have to worry quite so much about whooping cough, the flu, or any other vaccine-preventable diseases.
Now that we’ve been through the schedule once and we understand how important vaccines are for protecting babies, we’ll do our part to keep our new baby up-to-date on her vaccines too. And even though there aren’t vaccines to protect her from broken hearts or falling off the monkey bars, maybe we can count on Parker to help out with those.
At least we can rest assured that she and Parker will be protected against 14 serious childhood illnesses. And that’s something to celebrate. Help to make sure your child’s baby book is filled with happy, healthy memories. Immunization. Power to Protect. For more information about vaccination, visit cdc.gov/vaccines or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.