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Archive for the ‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year….’ Category

If you remember the Staples commercial with the Andy Williams’ song you know what I’m talking about. Parents joyfully pushing a shopping cart picking out school supplies while their children are moping sadly behind them. Parents generally LOVE August, but many kids dread the thought of classrooms, school lunch, and the dreaded homework!

So what does that have to do with health and wellness? A lot really. This is when we should be thinking about wrapping up the kids’ wellness exams, sports physicals and making sure they are up to date on all vaccinations. In addition if you child has asthma or a food allergy, be sure those plans are in place at their school. As far as vaccines go, your pediatrician or family practice provider will have a record of what your child still needs.

Vaccination against preventable disease is a very important part of health over a lifetime. During the early years, parents make difficult decisions regarding their child’s health when they decide to vaccinate or not. Much research is devoted to ensuring the vaccines we use are the safest possible and we must understand the benefits greatly outweigh any risk. We depend on “herd immunity” meaning a whole group of individuals have immunity against a disease and therefore cannot contract it and cannot spread it to anyone who cannot be immunized based on age or other health condition. For instance if everyone in the household including dad, mom, little brother, and grandma are immunized against the flu, then it is very unlikely that the new baby 1 month old (who is unable to be vaccinated due to age) will contract the flu virus.

My message for today is to get those school physicals done, have your kids vaccinated, and enjoy a healthy new school year!

Be well!

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