With all the snow outside, I find myself thinking back to my childhood and some of the ways I would keep myself busy if it was too cold to play outside. I remember reading the book Matilda and watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with my family – like all children, I was amazed at the idea of a wondrous world made of chocolate. Have you read your children any of Roald Dahl’s classics yet? Or maybe watched the most recent movie version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?
While Roald Dahl was well known for so many children’s classics, many never knew about his personal loss – one where his daughter died at the tender age of 7 from measles complications in a time when a safe measles vaccine wasn’t available. His heartbreaking story led him to plead with the public to vaccinate their children against this potentially deadly disease in order to avoid further tragedy.
With new measles cases breaking out across North America, it’s becoming clear that a disease that was close to eradicated in the western world is making an unwelcome comeback, even in Ontario. But you can help protect yourself, your family, and those around you.
Getting vaccinated with the safe and highly effective Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best way to ensure you’re protected against the measles. While people born before 1970 are considered immune because measles was in circulation at that time, if you were born in or after 1970 you need to make sure you’ve had two doses of the MMR vaccine.
If you can’t remember if you’ve had a second dose of the vaccine, check with your doctor or call the Health Department (311).
Children should be getting their first MMR vaccine at one year of age and getting their second dose between four and six years old.
In order to protect yourself, your family and your community, it’s critical that everyone knows their immunization status and has all their immunizations up to date. Have you done all you can to protect yourself and those you love from measles?
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For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.