Tracking all your family's immunizations, health visits, and screenings can be a challenge, but there are resources available to help you.
You might not be a doctor in real life, but at home, you're always a doctor to your children. Between kissing bruised knees, cleaning cuts and scrapes, and staying up to date on their recommended immunization schedules, you work to keep your kids healthy. That's what parents do.
Keeping track of everything can be a challenge, however. For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics indicates that most children should receive around thirty immunizations by age eighteen, not counting annual flu shots starting at six months. (Individual health can also be a factor in immunizations, so you should always check with a doctor before scheduling them.) Not only do you have to make sure your family's shots are up-to-date, but it's important to keep up with your own vaccines as well.
Why Vaccines are Important
While many of us may know that we should get a flu shot every year, it's common for some people to skip it—often citing reasons like, "I'm a healthy person, I never get the flu!" Or, "I got my flu shot last year, so I don't need it this year." In reality, the flu vaccine and many other types of vaccines are updated every year to provide you with the best defense against new or altered strains of the virus. You may not have gotten sick last year, but getting your flu shot every year is the only way to decrease your chance of getting a different strain this year.
The flu vaccine and other immunizations are not only an important way to reduce your risk of contracting common, highly contagious infections but they help prevent you from spreading them to someone else. This is especially important for protecting those around you with compromised immune systems. Babies, young children, pregnant women, aging adults, and those with chronic conditions are among the people who are at a higher risk of complications from viruses like the flu or pneumonia. By keeping up with your immunizations, you're helping those around you stay healthy, too.
Stay up to Date with Your Immunizations
Keeping up with your vaccines is an important health habit—and one you can pass on to your kids. Plus, staying healthy means you'll be able to take care of your loved ones when they need you the most, and it might just save you money down the road. Preventing diseases means preventing doctor's visits, medical bills, and hospital stays—all of which can add up quickly.
Getting your health on track is easy with Rite Aid's Vaccine Central. Take the free questionnaire to determine which vaccines you need, then easily find out if they are available at your local pharmacy. You can also track your immunization history, get important information on necessary vaccines for international travel, and find out more about which vaccines are available for your family in your state. Availability and age restrictions apply in some states, so ask your Rite Aid Pharmacist or doctor for details.
HealthyChildren.org, Recommended Immunization Schedules
WebMD.com, Organizing Your Medical Records
Parents.com, Organize Your Health Records
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Children, the Flu and the Flu Vaccine
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Frequently Asked Flu Questions 2017-2018 Influenza Season