Are your children's vaccinations up-to-date?
Did you know that whooping cough, which is also called pertussis, is very contagious and most serious for babies? People with whooping cough usually spread the disease by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others, who then breathe in the germ. Many babies who get whooping cough are infected by parents, older siblings, or other caregivers who might not even know they have the disease. When babies catch whooping cough, the symptoms can be very serious. Young babies could get pneumonia (lung infection), and many have trouble breathing. About half of babies younger than 1 year old who get whooping cough end up in the hospital, and a few even die from the disease.
Vaccines save lives!
Vaccines can protect children from 14 serious diseases before they turn 2! It's easy to think of these as diseases of the past. But the truth is they still exist. Children in the United States can—and do—still get some of these diseases.
You can also provide extra protection to your children by making sure those around them are current on their vaccines. When family members and caregivers of children are vaccinated, they are not only protecting their own health from vaccine preventable diseases, but they are also helping to limit the children's exposure to these diseases. This is especially important in the children's first few months of life when they haven't been fully vaccinated.
Talk to your health care provider to make sure you and your children are up-to-date with their vaccinations.
To learn more about vaccines, visit Vaccination Myths and Facts.