I have seen a lot of new families in the office this past month. I love spending time with “first-timers.” Looking into the face of parents falling in love with their child is one of the many highlights of my job.
Another highlight of my job is helping to prevent illness in these cherubs. And this time of year, I feel an increased sense of urgency to do so.
The littlest babies are at an increased risk of illness. Preventing disease in those around them (“cocooning”) is so important. Adults providing care to infants and young children should get vaccinated against illnesses for the babies who are too little to get vaccines. Two very important vaccines to consider in the fall are the influenza vaccine and the tetanus/pertussis vaccine.
The CDC /AAP recommends all people over the age of 6 months get the “flu shot.” For more information on this year’s vaccine, check my blog post from earlier this fall. In addition, everyone older than 11 years should have a tetanus/pertussis booster. This vaccine is particularly important in protecting babies from pertussis.
So, moms and dads, please review your own vaccine status this fall. Consider an influenza vaccine for your kids and yourself. If you have not had a recent tetanus/pertussis vaccine, go get one from your healthcare provider or local health clinic. The fight to protect kids from vaccine preventable illness is one in which we all have to participate.