Moms know the only way to get something done is to ask a busy person. And who is busier than Kathy Buckworth these days? Award-winning author, public speaker, television personality, and most importantly mom to four kids, Kathy Buckworth joins SavvyMom co-founder Minnow Hamilton to talk about the constant challenges parents face when trying to keep up-to-date with their kids’ healthcare needs.
MH: As a mother of four, how do you stay on top of your kids’ healthcare needs?
KB: I’m always juggling a million and one things, and often worry that I’m not up to date with my children’s health care priorities. I’ve learned over the years to rely on my doctor to help identify what’s important. I keep a list of questions in my purse, so I can check things off when at the doctor’s office. When it comes to things like vaccination, the information is out there, you just have to ask the right questions.
MH: You were recently on television talking about the importance of childhood vaccination. How do we know as parents if our kids are up to date with their vaccines?
KB: In a recent Ontario wide survey, it was found that the majority of Canadian parents might be up to date with their kids’ vaccination schedules, but they don’t know if their children have been vaccinated against serious illnesses, like pneumococcal disease.
Managing your children’s ever changing healthcare needs may seem stressful, but there are resources that are easy to access. It’s really important to talk to your pediatricians and/or go online. Websites like yours’¦SavvyMom offer lots of relevant, up to date information. Just know, as parents you are not alone, we’re all out there doing our best!
MH: You mentioned pneumococcal disease specifically. Why?
KB: Pneumococcal disease is a serious disease that is caused by infection with pneumococcal bacteria. The infection causes illnesses like pneumonia, meningitis and middle ear infections. The bacteria can easily spread and some infections can be severe. I asked my family doctor about pneumococcal disease and decided to vaccinate my kids against this disease. It’s a personal decision, one worth asking about. In Canada, all provinces and territories cover pneumococcal vaccines for children under the age of five. Check with your doctor to see if your child has been vaccinated or may be affected by the recent updates to the provincial guidelines, so it’s important to talk to your doctor and ask lots of questions.
MH: If your child is healthy, eats well and has not had any health concerns, why should parents worry?
KB: In my opinion, it doesn’t matter how healthy your kids are. All children are at risk from a number of serious illnesses. There’s no way to tell who will get sick from an illness like pneumococcal disease. My best advice is to ask your doctor, so you are assured that you have the best information to make informed health care decisions on behalf of your child.
MH: What’s the best resource for keeping up to date with your kid’s health?
KB: It’s really important to use your family doctor as a resource. I trust my family doctor to provide the best information when it comes to my children’s health and preventative measures like vaccination. As I said before, I keep a running list of health related questions in my purse so I have them ready at my next visit. Updates to vaccination schedules are common, so it’s a good idea to make sure you discuss this at your next appointment. There are also great resources out there for parents, like SavvyMom, so thank you!
MH: Well, I for one am calling my doctor this week to make sure my kids are all up to date with their shots! Thanks for your time and your insights, Kathy. It’s been a pleasure.