Many children are catching diseases that are preventable. For example, so far in 2013, there have been over 130 reported cases of measles – more than double the number from 2012. One 2013 measles outbreak, in New York, is the largest outbreak in 15 years in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most of these cases occurred in people who were not vaccinated or did not know their vaccination status. In the wake of these outbreaks, there is a timely need for education about the importance of vaccinations for vaccine-preventable diseases.
That’s why March of Dimes and Sanofi Pasteur are working together on a new campaign – Word of Mom: Celebrating 75 Years of Healthy Advice – to empower moms to help make the best health decisions for their families, including ensuring they receive vaccinations for vaccine-preventable diseases. As a part of the Campaign, a new national survey revealed interesting statistics and health tips from generations of moms across the country, including the importance of vaccinations for preventable diseases.
Survey findings include:
- Interestingly, the survey of more than 500 U.S. moms found that nearly 85 percent of moms and other female relatives sometimes, usually, or always relied on advice from the female relatives in their family when it came to the health of their children.
- In addition, nearly 80 percent of moms agreed that immunization is one of the best ways to help keep their children healthy and help protect them from vaccine-preventable diseases. However, many of these moms were unaware of some diseases that have not yet been eradicated that they and their families still need to be vaccinated against.
Some health tips from generations of moms include:
- Ensure your children get regular check-ups, such as dental and eye exams.
- Vaccinate your children to help keep them healthy and protect them against vaccine-preventable diseases.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday) in clean, soapy water to help prevent the spread of infection and illness.
To better understand this issue, we interviewed Siobhan M. Dolan, M.D., M.P.H., a medical advisor to the March of Dimes.
Momtrends: Why are so many people today reluctant about vaccinations?
Dr. Siobhan Dolan: Parents and caregivers should consider that a child is far more likely to be seriously injured by an infectious disease than by a vaccine, and that the benefits of getting your child vaccinated far outweigh the risks. Although many one-time common diseases have significantly decreased, they haven’t disappeared. It's important to have accurate information and facts so you can decide what's best for your child.
Momtrends: What are some simple ways parents can prevent the spread of infection and illness?
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Dr. Siobhan Dolan: As part of the Campaign, a national survey was fielded to moms across the country to rank tips they thought were most important in helping to keep their families healthy:
o Vaccinate your children to help keep them healthy and protect them against vaccine-preventable diseases.
o Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday) in clean, soapy water to help prevent the spread of infection and illness.
o It’s important for adults and caregivers to stay up-to-date on their vaccinations to help protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases.
Momtrends: What is the Word of Mom: Celebrating 75 Years of Healthy Advice Campaign?
Dr. Siobhan Dolan: March of Dimes is working on the Word of Mom: Celebrating 75 Years of Healthy AdviceCampaign with Sanofi Pasteur to help moms make the best health decisions for their families. The campaign provides resources, tools and advice from moms across generations, including the importance of vaccination for vaccine-preventable diseases, which can be found on Vaccines.com/WordofMom.
Momtrends: How often should children see a doctor?
Dr. Siobhan Dolan: I recommend that parents speak with their child’s health care professional to confirm the schedule of preventative care visits. The American Academy of Pediatrics has published preventive pediatric health care recommendations. Typically, there are more frequent visits in infancy and early childhood and then annual visits starting at about 3 years of age. Beyond well-child visits, additional doctor’s appointments may be needed if your child is ill or if recommended by your child’s health care professional.
For more information, please visit: www.Vaccines.com/WordofMom
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