Many kids of all ages find their hearts racing, their breathing labored, and their hands clammy when they hear the word “shot”.  The nursing staff at Champaign Health District understands this and recognizes that each person is unique and will react differently.  The staff strives to create an atmosphere of trust at the beginning of each appointment as explanations are provided and questions are answered.  Parents are encouraged to hold their child during the immunization process while the parent and the nurse offer positive words of comfort.  If a child is still fearful, creative techniques can be used to promote relaxation.

     During 2014, the United States had a resurgence of Measles, Mumps, and Whooping Cough (Pertussis), all vaccine-preventable diseases.  Vaccines are still among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death.  They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases.  The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has launched a vaccination campaign, “Born with Protection”, to encourage pregnant women to receive the Tdap vaccine in the third trimester of each pregnancy.  This vaccine enables mothers to pass antibodies onto their babies to help protect them during their first few months of life when they are most vulnerable to Pertussis disease and complications.  Expectant parents and any close relatives who will be caring for an infant are encouraged to receive the Tdap vaccine.

     Every year, the CDC observes one week in April to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs in promoting healthy communities throughout the United States.  This year the National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) will be observed April 18 – 25, 2015.

     As a reminder, your school-aged child may be in need of required immunizations such as boosters for Kindergarten and 7th grade.  Parents are encouraged to schedule these vaccine appointments now instead of waiting to receive a phone call or letter from the school. 

     During the month of April, the Champaign Health District will be showing a storybook video in the lobby to teach preschoolers healthy habits that can help prevent the spread of germs.  Topics to be covered include hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home when sick, and not sharing personal items. At the completion of an immunization appointment, the preschooler and parent will be given stickers and activity sheets that will reinforce the message shown in the video.

     Most parents choose the safe, proven protection of vaccines.  Giving your child the recommended immunizations by age two is the best way to protect from fourteen vaccine-preventable diseases. To learn more about the importance of vaccines, please talk to your child's doctor or call your local health department, Champaign Health District, 937-484-1671.