Friday, May 01, 2009
Don’t let your tots miss their shots: Online tracker a handy helper
If you're a parent, you're no doubt familiar with the seemingly endless trips to the doctor to have your child vaccinated. Even if you can rattle off the alphabet soup of names of the vaccines your child has received — MMR! DTaP! Hib! — there is a good chance you can't remember which one is next, and when.
While vaccines have been able to keep disease rates low in the United States, missing childhood vaccinations is a bad idea. According to info released as part of National Infant Immunization Week— held April 25-May 2 — more than 20 percent of the nation's 2-year-olds are not fully immunized against infectious diseases they are at risk for.
"The unnecessary death of even one child from a vaccine-preventable disease is tragic," according to Anne Schuchat, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
One of the most common reasons parents miss shots for their kids is the frequent schedule. By the age of 2, children receive as many as 26 shots guarding against 14 diseases, and keeping track of all these appointments on top of everything else going on in your life can be tricky.
So how to keep track of all those shots? Cue CDC's online vaccination tracker, a nifty tool that helps parents plan ahead. Just enter your child's birth date to see which vaccines your child should have already received, and which she or he should receive in the near future.
The CDC tracker will also tell you what all those shots are for. Print out the schedule and keep it handy so that you can look at it when you make appointments and bring it along to your doctor visits. If you use an online calendar such as Outlook or Google, transfer the dates and set your calendar reminders to pop up before the vaccination dates do.
Still need help on vaccines? Contact your local health provider or physician, or read this helpful parents' guide from CDC. Don't let your tots miss their shots!
Image courtesy of the CDC