Red Rover, Hopscotch, and Running through the Sprinklers

2 May

Frolicking in the backyard, running under the hose, playing hopscotch, Red Rover, jump rope – all of these wonderful childhood activities that are magically passed down from one generation of kids to the next.  As a parent and then as a grandparent, you get to relive your childhood, by playing these same games with your children and grandchildren. What is different, though, between when we grew up and when our children grew up, is that so many of the diseases that we suffered through are now vaccine-preventable.

 

It is wonderful to know that a child does not have to suffer through mumps, measles, chickenpox, polio, etc.  I remember having mumps, measles, and chicken pox, and how awful I felt.  I know that my mother lost a sister to diphtheria. As a child, I didn’t know that these diseases could potentially be deadly as well.  As a child, why would you even be thinking those thoughts?    However, as a parent who lost a child to a vaccine-preventable disease, I take nothing for granted, and I am so grateful that kids today can be spared from these diseases.  Too many parents think that these diseases are no big deal, or that they are a “rite of passage.”  If only they knew, what it was like to lose a child, and then find out your child didn’t have to die.  We must all be proactive and make sure our loved ones are vaccinated, so that they will be around to teach the next generation the joys of childhood games.

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