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Group of happy kids.

Parenting is an enormous responsibility. And it can be scary to consider all of the dangers in the world, including viruses and other germs. You may want to keep your child in a bubble so you know he or she is always safe and healthy. But with proper immunizations and health screenings, the armor is already there.

Early Childhood Well Visits and Vaccinations

It’s important your child get to his or her wellness visits as recommended. Wellness visits allow your child and you to touch base with the pediatrician. While you’re there, you can talk about your child’s nutrition, physical activity, current BMI (body mass index) percentile and more. For children and tweens, BMI (based on height and weight) is age- and gender-specific. In children, a high or low amount of body fat can lead to weight-related diseases and other health issues.

During well visits, your child will also need certain vaccinations. These vaccinations help prevent diseases like whooping cough, which can be deadly for babies. They also help prevent measles, which is still present in the United States. Measles causes pneumonia, encephalitis and even death. Vaccinating your child according to the recommended schedule provides the best chance to prevent whooping cough and measles, and these other serious diseases:

  • Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib)

  • Diphtheria

  • Hepatitis A

  • Hepatitis B

  • Influenza

  • Mumps

  • Pneumococcal disease

  • Polio

  • Rubella (German measles)

  • Tetanus (lockjaw)

  • Rotavirus

  • Varicella (chickenpox)

Preadolescent Well Visits

As your child gets older, wellness visits are just as important. Some vaccines require periodic boosters. There are also screenings that need to take place for tweens.

Starting at ages 11 and 12, your kids should receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. This vaccine can help prevent several kinds of cancer, including cervical. It doesn’t just affect women, either. Every year, 31,000 men and women are diagnosed with cancers caused by HPV infections that the vaccine might have prevented.

Parenting can be an arduous journey. Staying on track with wellness visits, vaccines and preventive screenings can help ease your worries.

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