Being a responsible parent often means being proactive. This is true when it comes to your child's education, their safety in a car, and their health. One of the best ways you can be proactive as a parent is by properly immunizing your children against vaccine-preventable illnesses. At Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics in Jacksonville, Florida, Dr. Alexandra Kostur and nurse practitioners Lori Barnhart and Julie Stephens believe in working alongside parents to provide the best care for their children.
Prior to the routine use of vaccines, parents lived in fear of their child acquiring a crippling or life-threatening illness. Diphtheria, a bacterial toxin that causes inflammation of the mucus membranes, claimed tens of thousands of lives in the 1920's. Contracting polio, a virus that leads to muscle wasting, paralysis, and even death, was a very real possibility for children in the 1940's and 1950's. Even measles was considered a rite of passage at one time. As immunizations became available, these diseases have, over time, been eradicated from the United States and beyond. The last case of polio was reported in 1979, while there have only been five cases of diphtheria in over a decade. Tetanus, rubella, and mumps are also exceedingly rare thanks to childhood immunizations.
The importance of immunizing
Many parents wonder, "If polio, diphtheria and other diseases aren't a threat, why do I need to immunize my children?" While the vast majority of people will never be exposed to many of the diseases we vaccinate against, it only takes one person traveling from a place where vaccinations aren't as common and these illnesses still exist to make them a possibility again. There are also illnesses that are still circulating in our country, including influenza, meningitis, and pertussis, that can have devastating consequences without vaccines. As the saying goes, it's better to have something - in this case, immunizations - and not need it than to need it and not have it.
To schedule your child's immunizations or boosters, contact Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics in Jacksonville, Florida to make an appointment with our pediatric staff today!