Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Should You Get Your Teenagers Vaccinated?
Vaccines are not just for young children. I've already written about how homeschoolers are required to maintain their child's immunization record, now I want to take a moment to encourage those of you who are Latina moms and/or have older children, to talk to your doctor about vaccines for preteens and teenagers.
Do you have an 11 to 18 year old? If so, it may be time for a booster shot to update any childhood vaccines that may have weakened. In addition, as kids get older, they are more at risk for catching certain diseases, like meningococcal meningitis, so they need the protection that specific vaccines provide. Remember that vaccines are designed to work WITH a body's healthy immune system to protect it from certain diseases. The bodies of most older children and adults can use vaccines effectively.
But the most important thing I want to do in this post, is encourage you to get your children the HPV vaccine. The rate of cervical cancer is two- to three-times higher among Latinas. The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine protects against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers. It also protects against HPV types that cause most genital warts, as well as the HPV types that cause anal cancer. So both boys AND girls should receive this vaccine around the ages of 11 and 12.
To learn more about vaccinations for preteens and teens, take a look at this article from the CDC.
We can't always protect our niños from the dangers in this world. But this is one area where we as parents have the power to keep our children safe.
Con mucho cariño...
Disclosure: I was compensated for writing this post. However, I am very passionate about the health of our children and all opinions expressed in this article are completely my own.