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Vaccinating Your Child: Risks vs. Benefits

There are many decisions you as parents will be making in the life of your child. One of the most important, early on, is whether or not to vaccinate. For each family, this is a very personal decision, and it is something you should discuss with your pediatrician or family doctor in order to understand the benefits and risks of either vaccinating or not vaccinating your child.

Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind:

How vaccinations have helped.

Giving children vaccinations over the years, for all manner of dreaded diseases, has vastly improved their quality of life. Diseases such as smallpox and polio were virtually eradicated from the United States; only to reappear because parents here and there decided against such immunizations.

Should I vaccinate my child?

There is no greater protection you can give them against illness and diseases that you don’t want them to catch. Chances are you’ve never seen a child sick with polio, whooping cough or meningitis; these are seriously life-threatening illnesses. They are all preventable through the use of immunizations.

Receiving childhood vaccines is safe.

Children have been receiving vaccines on a regular basis since the 1940s and 1950s. Immunizations have helped to stem the tide of deadly diseases in the U.S. and in most of the rest of the world. Your child may experience a small side-effect, such as a slight fever, or they may not. It’s a small price to pay for staying healthy long-term.

What about autism?

There is a vaccine known as MMR which is administered at the same time that autism is often discovered in young children. Consequently, some parents have been led to believe that there is a direct link. Autism is a developmental disorder which begins in the womb, and to date has no known cause. Scientific research shows that autism has nothing to do with being given any immunizations.

Finding a good doctor and why it’s important.

Every child has a right to good health. Even those with special needs can be well taken care of in our country today. Find a good doctor, someone whose expertise and experience you can trust, and discuss any concerns regarding vaccinations that you may have with him or her.

National Infant Immunization Week (April 18 – 25, 2015) has just passed. You can visit their website at NIIW for more information on why immunizations are vital to your child’s health.

Posted in Blog on July 7th, 2015