Post sponsored by Pfizer
When you become a parent, one of the first things you are struck by is how to keep your little bundle of joy, safe and well.
I have always said you need a flashing pink light on top of your car to indicate you have a newborn baby in the car for their first journey home – perhaps the most nerve-wracking car ride of your whole life!
Once you are home and settled into a routine, you then have the dreaded immunisations to look forward to. It is an uncomfortable thing to watch, however, ensuring your child is protected from, once prevalent, nasty infectious diseases is vitally important.
Vaccines are one of the greatest public health advancements of all time, resulting in the control, elimination, or near-elimination of numerous infectious diseases that were once wide-spread and often fatal.
There is nothing worse than seeing your kids poorly, especially when there is nothing you can physically do to make them feel better and I have a shelf full of potions for every eventuality, including paracetamol solution, ibruprofen, antihistamines and antiseptics.
We are all aware of the risks of meningitis with little ones and at the first sign of a rash, along with a raised temperature, I am there performing the glass test, but, as a parent of teens as well as younger children, did you know that up to 1 in 5 adolescents and young adults can carry the bacteria that leads to meningitis.
The most common types of meningococcal disease are meningitis and septicaemia. Meningitis can be very serious at any age, and survivors can be left with physical disabilities, including scarring or loss of limbs. Long-term impacts of infection can also include hearing impairment and mental or motor skill impairment.
Whilst meningococcal disease is uncommon, adolescents are particularly at risk because of inherent environmental and behavioural factors including:
- Living in close quarters and socialising in groups (e.g., university accommodation)
- Sharing eating and drinking utensils
- Travelling to high risk areas
With Kian currently looking at, and applying for university, it is something that is currently at the forefront of my mind.
I am very aware that I cannot wrap him up in cotton wool before sending him out into the big wide world, but what I can do is make sure we’ve helped to protect him from the disease with the help of a vaccine and give him basic knowledge of the symptoms, so he can get help if he needs it, as early treatment is essential.
Did you know that the MenACWY vaccine is now routinely given to children at around 14 years of age along with a vaccine that helps protect against tetanus, diphtheria and polio and new starters at university up to age 25 are also being offered a catch-up MenACWY vaccination before they enrol on their course.
It is recommended that first year students should arrange to get the MenACWY vaccination from their GP at least 2 weeks before they go away to study and I will be making sure Kian does his before he leaves.
For more info on meningitis visit 24youhavethepower.co.uk