This post is sponsored by the Florida Department of Health; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
From the moment I found out I was pregnant with our son, I felt the overwhelming urge to research every single thing that had to do with our soon-to-be bundle of joy. I spent weeks reading reviews and safety ratings for car seats, bassinets, cribs, and swings. I poured over the pros and cons of cloth diapering and which kind of bottles I should buy. Almost every decision felt overwhelming. With the amount of noise on social media and "expert" websites these days, it can hard to discern who is sharing an opinion versus actual research.
As a nurse practitioner, I've seen and heard of cases of completely preventable diseases taking the lives of children and adults nationwide. That's why I scoured the studies regarding vaccination before making this important decision for my children. Ultimately, I relied on science to help me decide to vaccinate my kids.
When I look at my children, I can't help but think about all the possibilities in store for them. I wonder what they'll be when they're adults. I imagine the positive impacts that they'll make in our world and I'm already proud of the people they're becoming. I hate when they suffer, even from something as small as a cold. That's why I want to give them every chance possible to remain strong and healthy. I'm not sure I could bear the thought of them coming down with a serious, possibly fatal illness that could have been preventable with a vaccine.
We all want to set our children up for success. Vaccinating our children is one of the most important decisions we can make to give them a chance at a long, healthy life. Vaccines protect children from 14 preventable diseases before the age of two and make them strong from the inside out. I chose to follow the Center for Disease Control (CDC) vaccination schedule and I'm so glad I did. Knowing my children are protected against diseases like measles, mumps, and polio allows me to rest a little easier. Sticking to the CDC vaccination schedule gives your child immunity to life-threatening diseases before they ever come into contact with them.
I also thought about all of the immunocompromised people in our community and how they rely on herd immunity to keep them from contracting preventable diseases. If the vast majority of people are vaccinated it gives protection to vulnerable people such as newborn babies, and elderly people who may be too ill to receive vaccinations themselves. There are children right in our neighborhood that can't receive vaccines due to a cancer diagnosis.
The power to protect your children is yours. So, how do you know if the decision to vaccinate is right for you? I urge you to talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you might have. Spend some time on the CDC website and visit the Florida Department of Health's website to learn more about vaccination benefits and what resources are available for you.