As children grow up, we realize that we can’t protect them from everything. We try hard to hold on to those days when they cling to us, need us and demand our presence. We pray for them, over them and with them. All the while, they continue to grow and our tears begin to flow more frequently. I like to call them, the separation tears. You know those tears that flow when we celebrate their birthdays and realize they’re about to be tweens, as they get their immunizations in preparation for kindergarten and when they demand you give them their space…no more pet names and sugar smacks (kisses).
Last Sunday, we gathered at my besties’ house for TJ’s birthday party and I thought about how blessed we are. Yes, he’s getting older, becoming more independent, but most importantly, he’s healthy. Honestly, I can’t imagine not living in America and not having access to the life-saving immunizations that are available to all Americans, especially American children. According to Shot@Life, a United Nations initiative, one in five children outside of the United States doesn’t have access to immunizations that can save their lives. This is my problem. This is your problem. This is a public health disparity that is all of our problem.
I was excited when #Collective Bias chose me as one of the bloggers to share the Get a Shot. Give a Shot® program sponsored by Walgreens. Not only can you get your back to school supplies at your local Walgreens, but you can take your children in for their required vaccines. No appointment is need and most insurance is accepted (call ahead to check). More so, every time you get an immunization for your kid(s) at Walgreens, you are teaching them to pay it forward at an early age. For every child that gets vaccinated, Walgreens donates a shot to a needy child. It’s a win, win!
Currently, the Ebola virus is grabbing headlines but there will always be something. It is our job as parents to protect our children and do our best to protect our neighbor’s children, even our neighbors who are thousands of miles away. It’s our humane duty and it’s important that we have these important conversations with our children. As our global economy expands, our children will travel to these places, do business in these countries and this is our opportunity to teach them the importance of giving back and caring for one another. It’s my desire that all children get the chance to celebrate their birthdays.
Do you discuss immunizations with your children? If so, how do you make it digestible for them?