Parents Have the “Power to Protect” Their Children

During the week of April 20-27, Cascade City-County Health Department is celebrating National Infant Immunization Week and wants to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccines are one of the most successful and cost effective public health tools available to prevent disease. Some of these diseases can be very serious for infants or young children. For example, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than half of infants younger than 12 months of age who get pertussis, also known as whooping cough, must be hospitalized. Of those infants hospitalized with pertussis, 1 in 5 develops pneumonia, 1 in 100 has convulsions, and 1 in 100 will die. In 2012, Montana reported 177 cases of pertussis.

Vaccines are a safe and effective way to protect our children and communities against illnesses such as pertussis. Jill Boettcher, Immunization Public Health Nurse, says, “Parents may receive mixed messages about the safety or importance of vaccinations. Our knowledgeable and helpful Public Health Nurses or your child’s healthcare provider are here to assist parents in understanding the facts surrounding immunizations so they can make an informed choice.” Recently, a new study evaluating parents’ concerns of “too many vaccines too soon” and autism has been published in the Journal of Pediatrics, March 29, 2013. This study can be found on the online and further supports the fact that parents should expect the vaccines their children recieve are safe and effective.

CCHD reminds parents that vaccinations can save their child’s life, protect others in the home and community from harmful diseases, and can save time and money by reducing the costs associated with missed time from daycare, work, or visits to the doctor’s office. If an infant or child needs immunizations, these services can be provided regardless of the ability to pay.

CCHD offers convenient immunization services on a walk-in basis during the following times: Tuesdays – 8:30-11:30am and Wednesdays through Fridays – 8:30-11:30am and 1:00-4:30pm.

For more information regarding immunizations please call 454-6950 and ask for a Public Health Nurse or visit CCHD’s Immunizations program online.