Diapers, baby clothes, the crib. All of these are essentials on every expectant parent's checklist. What might be forgotten in the anticipation of a newborn is one of the most important items: vaccines for the parents, grandparents, and anyone else in the family who plans to spend time with the new bundle of joy.

Parents often have questions about vaccinations and immunizations for their infants and children. Some are concerned about the frequency of vaccinations or the number of standard vaccines in the current schedule, but there are important reasons physicians recommend vaccines at certain ages.

Why are vaccines important?

Vaccines are important because they help protect us and those around us from preventable diseases like tetanus, HPV, polio, measles, meningitis and whooping cough. How? By helping our bodies create immunity - which is the body's way of preventing disease.

Why are vaccinations important for children?

At Dr. G's Pediatrics we believe childhood vaccinations are so important because young immune systems are more vulnerable to diseases and illnesses. If your child is exposed to a disease like measles for example, their immune system may not be strong enough to fight it off. And now that travel is easier and more common than ever, there's an increased risk of exposure to diseases that are more prevalent outside of the United States.

Vaccines are made with disease antigens, which trigger your child's immune system to produce antibodies and develop immunity - without getting sick.

Staying on schedule protects others

Immunizing helps to protect the health of our community - especially those who can't be immunized, like children who are too young or those who can't for medical reasons.

Staying on schedule can be a requirement

Oftentimes, daycares, schools and sports teams require proof of immunizations in order for your child to participate. Keeping up with their shots can help make sure they don't miss out. If you're planning on taking your child in for a back-to-school physical exam, this can be a great time to get them caught up on their vaccinations. Or you can schedule a separate immunization-only appointment.