Most Read: Wellness

Are Your Kids Caffeinated?

Find out why caffeine and kids don’t mix. Read more

Chatting About Online Safety

Nowadays kids of all ages are connecting with friends and fa... Read more

Why Manners Matter

Start your children on the right foot by teaching them manne... Read more

Why Yoga is Good for Kids

Little Cecilia Kocan, age 5, sat perfectly still, meditating... Read more

Nuts About Nuts

Holiday vacation time is approaching, and I already feel lik... Read more

Put an End to Bullying

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged ... Read more

Family + Sports = Fun

Fitness starts early—from a child’s first steps! When Mom an... Read more

The Dirt on Dirt

“Don’t track mud in the house!” “Wash your hands before din... Read more

Walking the Middle Path

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a relatively new appro... Read more

Zits for Grown-Ups

Cafeteria cliques may be a distant memory, but if you’re sti... Read more

Mediterranean Diet for Kids

It’s not just for grown-ups! Feed your kids the health... Read more

Infertility Procedures

Discover the latest treatment options for infertile couples... Read more

Make Sleep a Priority

  Parents often use bedtime stories and other peaceful... Read more

Let's Move

Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in Amer... Read more

Fitting in Fitness

When was the last time you played with your children—really ... Read more

Concerned about Fever?

One the most common reasons I see a child in my office is fo... Read more

Girls Fighting Fire

While going on nature hikes, singing songs, and roasting s&r... Read more

Bringing Home Baby

As a parent-to-be, you are probably feeling overwhelmed as y... Read more

Eat Your Veggies!

Summer’s bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables offers a... Read more

To Cell or Not to Cell

My husband and I were sitting on the couch chatting one nigh... Read more

2020 Jun

Don't Delay Vaccinations

Protect your child from vaccine-preventable diseases.

This COVID-19 pandemic has caused serious changes in our lives. First, trying to figure out how to work from home while you home-school your children. Next, where to get toilet paper and how to make a face mask. Stay-at-home orders discourage even the bravest soul from leaving the house for anything except exercise or necessities. Unfortunately, many are forgoing their child’s well exam, leaving those children vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases.

Parents are understandably frightened. Everyone wants to protect their families. Even with states opening and easing restrictions, many are afraid to go to the pediatric office for their child’s well exam. Be assured that pediatric offices are taking every measure to keep children safe. Many have separate office hours and separate areas for well visits. Some allow you to skip the waiting room and check in virtually, waiting in the car until your room is ready. Masks are a requirement for all, except those under 2 years of age. Rooms and equipment are disinfected between patients. Telehealth (online) visits are an option for certain situations.

Why is it dangerous to wait? When children miss those all-important vaccines, it leaves them vulnerable to disease. In this day and time when we are most concerned about disease prevention, missing vaccines increases your child’s risk of having a vaccine-preventable disease. Healthcare providers are concerned that we may see a surge of vaccine-preventable diseases recur due to this climate.

With the extensive testing and years of evidence, today’s vaccine schedule is safer than ever. My mother had to endure measles as a child, but my children did not, thanks to the MMRV (measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccine). My mom feared sending her children to school in the 1950s during the polio epidemic, as children were dying and being crippled by polio, but my children are protected from polio thanks to the IPV (polio vaccine).

Pertussis (whooping cough), known as the 100-day cough, is particularly cruel and potentially deadly to infants. Thankfully, the Dtap (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) vaccine protects children and infants. Vaccines really are the miracle of the modern age. Unfortunately, we will be dealing with COVID-19 until we get a reliable vaccine, which will take some time. Until then, let’s not lose the ground we have gained over other horrible, life-threatening diseases.

Thankfully the COVID-19 virus (SARS CoV-2) does not seem to affect children to the same severity or extensity that it affects adults. You will find that your pediatric office is a clean and secure place to protect your children from disease. It is safe to get your child’s well check and vaccines. Protect your child from vaccine-preventable diseases by making your child’s well appointment today. Do not delay!

Melanie J. Wilhelm, DNP, CPNP

Dr. Melanie J. Wilhelm, DNP, CPNP, is a Doctor of Nursing Practice, and a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner as well as core faculty member at Walden University. Her book, Raising Today’s Baby: Second Edition, is available on


Give Your Child a Healthy Start to the School Year

Sponsored Content

Help ensure your child enters the new school year healthy and without delay with these tips from the Virginia Department of Health.