Kids & Parenting
Stephen A. Peterson
Deadly diseases have been historically the most significant destroyer of human life, especially the very young. For nearly eighty years many infectious diseases have been controlled by many methods. These include: improved nutrition, sanitation, housing as well as the modern development of antibiotics and affordable medicines as well as the delivery of mainly immunizations.
Modern immunizations are one of the most significant contributions to the control of disease. One of deadliest diseases to children, indeed humankind, is smallpox. With immunizations, smallpox was eliminated from the earth initiated by a worldwide campaign by the World Health Organization. Diseases such as smallpox has been coming back mostly due to complacency.
Like smallpox, polio used to cripple more than 20,000 children a year in the United States in the early 1950ís. polio presently affects a relatively small number of children a year. The reduced number of this disease was due to immunizations.
The America is at a critical period with regards to immunizations. As previously stated, many people have become complacent about immunizations. Some in the allied science community believe the rarity of diseases have made parents as well as adult not protect themselves. Additionally, the failure of some immunizations to protect their children caused parents/caregivers to question their usefulness. However, the risks of vaccines are generally minimal when the risks are considered.
The idea of immunization is to develop and strengthen the bodyís immune system to the point that it will be capable of defending itself against any attack by a particular agent. To do this, a small dose of a modified or weakened agent is injected or given orally to a person. The bodyís defense system builds up immunity to the agent.
Some parents/caregivers believe avoidance or chance will work. Because bacteria and viruses are responsible for causing infections, illness and occasionally death, parents/caregivers should understand that these vectors may be spread by contact with people, animals (pets) and by airborne droplets. Avoidance is often impossible and very risky. On the other hand, protection by the use of immunizations is the most practical solution.
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