I'll Be Vaccinating My Future Children, Here's Why You Should, Too

I'll Be Vaccinating My Future Children, Here's Why You Should, Too

They'll have a sore arm for a few days, but at least they won't get polio.

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Come flu season, there are several precautions that I begin taking to avoid getting sick. I was my hands as often as possible, especially when I'm at school or work where I come into contact with a lot of germs. Whenever I feel like I've run into someone who is sick, I pop a few vitamin C tablets for the following few days to help out my body. On top of that, I make sure to eat healthily and stay hydrated so I don't get worn down.

Oh, and I get a flu shot.

Why? Because vaccinations are an important part of protecting ourselves against many preventable diseases. Seasonal vaccinations like the flu shot help to prevent more of our population from suffering from hospitalizations and flu-related complications.

Vaccines are one of the most incredible medical breakthroughs we have. When you receive a vaccination, you are teaching your immune system how to fight a possible infection by training your immune cells to recognize antigens. For example, one kind of flu vaccine contains viruses that have been killed and are not infectious. Your immune system cannot tell that they are inactive, and will still treat the "invading virus" like it would a live one. Your B and T cells create a small and powerful army to engulf the inactive virus and learn from the experience. That way, if any live flu viruses enter your system, your immune system will be ready to go on offense right away.

Influenza can be scary, but we also have a dozen other preventable diseases that can be stopped by vaccinations. The prevalence of polio, measles, whooping cough and more can be lowered when we vaccinate our children at a young age.

Even if you've never heard of a case of measles occurring in your town, all it takes is one person traveling through the area to spread infection. While it is rare in our country, measles is common around the world and unvaccinated travelers can bring the disease back home with them. In the first six months of 2018 alone, a reported 107 people in 21 states were infected with measles and almost all of them were unvaccinated.

Do you care about your community? Do you want to see your friends and family stay healthy? Then having your children vaccinated can help out with that. There are certain people who unfortunately can't receive vaccines such as newborn babies and those with diseases that compromise their immune systems. They rely on the rest of their community to stay vaccinated to avoid preventable diseases from being around them. In order to protect us all, we just need to ensure the new generation gets their vaccinations.

Medical professionals are aware of the concerns parents have for their children. They know how scary it can be to put something into your child's body that you might not fully understand. They may not share the love you have for your child, but they are fully invested in seeing your child grow up healthy and strong. Before vaccines are approved for use, they undergo rigorous testing. Nothing but the absolute best passes through these checkpoints. You can rest assured knowing that each vaccination your child needs is safe and well-regulated.

One day, when I have children, I'll make sure they're as safe as I can make them. Electrical outlets within their reach will be covered, their car seats will be up to standard, and they'll wear helmets when they learn to ride a bike. In order for me to be sure my children will reach the age where they can ride a bike though, I'll be making sure they receive all the vaccinations the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends.

If I can prevent my kids from accidental electrocution and bumps on the head when they ride a bike, I can prevent serious childhood diseases. They'll still skin their knees and get in all kinds of trouble, but at least they won't get polio.

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It's OK To Be Your Family's "Emily" This Christmas

Your greatest accomplishment may be learning how to cook something other than ramen noodles and oatmeal and that's okay.
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We all know the feeling, one sibling is getting married, another landed their dream job, someone got a promotion, someone bought a house, and another one has a baby on the way.

Everyone has exciting news to share or something to brag to the relatives about, and then there's you.

You’re just a typical college student with absolutely no idea what you want to do in life.

You didn't make a 4.0 this semester or land an internship at some big name company. You aren't dating anyone, expecting a ring, or having a baby anytime soon.

You may not have anything special for your mom to brag about on this years Christmas card, yet you are still content. Your greatest accomplishment may be learning how to cook something other than ramen noodles and oatmeal and that’s okay.

SEE ALSO: 5 Things That Matter Way More Than Having A Boyfriend This Winter

There are years of simply just finding yourself. Years of figuring out what it is you want out of life or searching for something that will finally “fuel your fire.”

Everyone’s path is different, some have more bumps, roadblocks, and flat tires than others, yet despite all of that, we all still get there.

As one of my favorite quotes states, “Don’t compare your life to others. There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon, they shine when it’s their time”

So, no matter how old you are or what stage of life you are in, it is okay to be your family’s Emily this year.

Embrace it, throw your excitement at everyone else’s accomplishments, and be thankful for where you are at.

Your time will come.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter

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A Little Bit Of Gratitude Goes A Long Way

Who knew that a small necklace can embody gratitude?

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When I was sixteen years old, before I was surprised with a car, my parents gave me one single gift-- almost as a test. I was given a small gold necklace with a little medallion that read 'GRATEFUL'. My parents wanted to see my reaction to such a small gift on an 'important' birthday. My reaction is not what they expected. I was ecstatic over the gift, because I had always found pleasure in the small, meaningful things in life. I wore the necklace every single day, to the point where others had noticed the staple piece of jewelry. The next year, my father had told us he was being deployed to Syria for the duration of my senior year. He pulled me aside one night and told me that he was glad I loved his gift so much and it made him realize how grateful I was for him and everything he does. Thankfully, my father ended up not being deployed, and instead sent to Virginia for medical testing due to an injury in the pre-deployment process. The necklace did not leave my neck until about two weeks into college, when the chain broke. I try to show gratitude for everything in my life.

When you are in a tough situation and you feel as if you are at your lowest, having something to remind you of what made you the person you are is extremely helpful to boost your spirits. For me, this was my necklace. It made me realize that materializing something in that manner is an even more rewarding feeling than just being grateful itself because it makes you realize that there is so much to be grateful for. I'm not saying that materialization is the key to happiness and being grateful. But finding a moment in life that you will never forget because of the immense amount of gratitude you had experienced and capturing it in an object, whether that be a necklace, or an empty soda bottle from a first date, or a birthday card from your grandmother -- whatever it is that helps bring you back to that moment, will also help you be grateful for events in your everyday life.

With this mindset, I think that I have become more grateful than I have been in the past. I realized that nothing is a given in life. To live to your fullest extent, you must be grateful for everything that is given to you. Telling people that you are grateful for them, at least once a week, is a minimal task that has outstanding consequences. The most important to tell however, is yourself. Reminding yourself of the good in life will not only bring positive energy to you, but also those around you. As James E. Faust once said, "A grateful heart is the beginning of greatness"-- and what better time is there to start appreciating those around you and yourself, other than now?

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