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Posts tagged ‘Getting Shots’

Shots for Tots and Teens in Aurora Gets Families Ready for a Healthy School Year

If you happen to drive by Fire Station #2 in Aurora on a certain Saturday of the month, you might see a long line of families extending from the entry way. Once a month, immunizations are provided at little to no cost at this fire station through Shots for Tots and Teens program to help ensure that everyone has an opportunity to live a safe, healthy life free from vaccine-preventable disease.

On a recent Saturday, I had the privilege of attending the event myself. Here’s what happened.

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Guest Mom Susan: Making the Right Choice

Guest blogger Susan Wells is the mom to two girls, ages 5 and 8. She is an active mom who hikes, photographs, crafts, lives green, volunteers and explores with her children. She works as a blogger and social media strategist for Steve Spangler Science, a Colorado company dedicated to helping teachers and parents get children excited about science. Susan is also the City Editor for Savvy Source and blogs at TwoHandsTwoFeet.com.

My oldest daughter was born in 2001 amidst the debate that “vaccinations cause autism.” I felt inundated with many claims and stories about the dangers of vaccinations. I began to question my rock solid beliefs that inoculations are a necessity in childhood.

The sheer number of shots a baby begins to receive at two months and continues through two years is unsettling to any new parent. Top that off with claims that the shots could be toxic and parents have a hard time understanding the right path to take.

The torment that both my daughter and I had to endure at each appointment was draining. Nurses handed me packets of information on devastating diseases along with a pages of possible side effects. I had to agree to let the nurses inject her sweet baby legs with what I hoped to be life saving vaccine and not a toxic mixture that would cause her problems down the road. I had to decide, which was worse, the shot or the chance she would come down with one of the life-threatening diseases.

I chose the shot every time.

Back then I was confused about the safety of vaccinations and outside of my doctor, I wasn’t sure where to turn for accurate information. Now that I have found the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition, I have a powerful resource to look to when questions arise about immunizations. I only wish I had a resource like CCIC back in the early days to help me sort it all out.

My daughter had some of the more mild side effects from the injections. She developed large welts where the shots were injected. She had fevers for two days following the shots. The first few injections were tough, but we learned to anticipate and treat the symptoms. I reminded myself over and over that a welt for a week or two was better than a hospital stay and a 101 fever was better than a 104 fever.

The immunizations gave me peace of mind that my baby would stay healthy and protected.

I have done my research and continue to do my research on immunizations. I keep my daughters protected from the potentially life-threatening diseases that are controlled through vaccines.

When H1N1 began making the rounds, I anxiously waited for the vaccine to become available to protect my children. I stayed up on the latest research and news about the safety of the vaccine. I read the CCIC website and I stayed connected to my doctor’s office. And my daughters both received the vaccine when it became available.

Throughout the last decade a lot of misinformation and publicity has surrounded the safety of vaccinations. It has catapulted a trusted and necessary part of childhood into an international debate about the safety of vaccinations.

The claims against vaccinations have led to state legislatures adding provisions that make it easier for parents to opt out of vaccinations on philosophical or religious grounds. With some parents opting out, the occurrence of diseases like measles is on the rise.

Getting your children vaccinated can be a traumatic time for both parent and child, but it is key to keeping your children healthy. I held my breath during those shots but I have never looked back. I believe it was the right decision.

My advice; do the research before you take your baby to the doctor. Organizations like the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition and talking with your pediatrician will help put your mind at ease and help you make the right choice in immunizing your child.

Guest Mom JoAnn: Getting Poke’d

Welcome a lighthearted approach to vaccines from Guest Mom JoAnn Rasmussen

JoAnn Rasmussen writes at The Casual Perfectionist and is also the assistant editor at Mile High Mamas, the Denver Post’s parenting blog and online community.  JoAnn and her husband have a four-year old daughter named Claire.

JoAnn is a self-proclaimed perfectionist, but doesn’t consider herself to be the stuffy, up-tight kind. She’s more of a casual perfectionist, hence the name of her website. She tries her hardest to focus on the positive, learn from the negative, and laugh at both. In fact, she is a firm believer in the notion that if you haven’t laughed today, you weren’t really paying attention.

I’ll never forget Claire’s first trip to the doctor’s office for a shot she would actually remember.  It was October 2007, right in the midst of flu shot season, and I wasn’t sure how things would go.  At 22-months old, Claire was exponentially more mobile than she was last time.  We’d always been really lucky when it came to shots, so I was hoping this time would be no different.

When Claire was a baby, I never hesitated in getting her fully vaccinated on the schedule that our pediatrician had recommended.  As a mother, it tugged at my heart to see the momentary flash of pain in her eyes, but it was quickly replaced by her beautiful smile, and I knew it was worth it.

I was so thankful to have access to these vaccines.  The thought of protecting my child from the deadly diseases that had plagued my relatives only a generation before was worth it.  Knowing that by getting my child vaccinated, she wouldn’t contract and pass along one of those preventable diseases to someone younger or unprotected was worth it.

Still, this was going to be the first time she’d actually remember getting a vaccine, and I wanted it to go well.

That morning, I set the scene.  “Guess where we get to go today! We get to go to the doctor’s office, and he’s going to give you a flu shot. He’s going to give you a shot in the arm. And, it will feel like a poke!” I said as I lightly pinched her upper arm. “Momma’s going to get a flu shot too, and she’s going to get a poke in the arm, just like Claire!”

“The doctor’s gonna poke my arm!” she said excitedly. “The doctor’s gonna poke Momma’s arm!” She didn’t understand that there could be pain involved with a poke in the arm, but I let her run with it. Any chance to go on an adventure was exciting, and I was hoping to use that excitement to my advantage.

When we got to the office, she didn’t want to wait for me to fill out the paperwork, and she headed down the hallway with one of the little chairs. “I’m gonna go see the doctor! He’s gonna poke my arm!” she yelled as she pushed the chair through the doorway.  Luckily, I was able to retrieve her before she got too far.

Claire’s excitement was nearly as contagious as the toys over on the “sick kid” side of the waiting room, and this was quite entertaining for the receptionists. They certainly didn’t see this every day.

Because this was a “Flu Shot Clinic,” there were lots of people in line with us.  “The doctor’s gonna poke my arm!” Claire told a little girl waiting in line in front of us.  Claire didn’t understand why this was so upsetting to the little girl who now had a look of shocked panic on her face. “Oh yes. We’re really excited about getting our flu shots,” I said to the little girl and her mother. What else could I do?

Then, it was our turn. The nurse called, “Next!” and Claire dragged me into the room. “Hurry, Momma! Hurry! The doctor’s gonna poke my arm!”

I got my shot first, and then it was Claire’s turn. It took three seconds, and she didn’t even flinch! She was all smiles and even thanked the nurse. The nurse gave her a big yellow smiley face sticker. As Claire was clutching her newest prized possession she said, “The doctor poke’d my arm! The doctor poke’d Momma’s arm! I got a sticker!!”

Over the years, our experience has remained the same, and I am glad that the hardest part about getting a vaccine is containing our excitement while waiting in line.

Why We Vaccinate

Do you think vaccines are important to the health and well-being of our community?