A new public service campaign speaks directly to the concerns of Kentucky parents about COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 – 11 years old. “High Five for Health,” by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and supported by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicaid, addresses concerns voiced by parents in focus groups, offers answers to frequently asked questions, and provides five steps for parents to consider when getting their child vaccinated.
“High Five for Health" is a multi-faceted education and awareness effort that includes animated videos, social media graphics, message points and materials for use in doctors’ offices, youth organizations and various other locations. Health care professionals, community-driven entities and the public are strongly urged to download the free toolkit to improve outreach, spark critical conversations and equip parents with the facts about COVID-19 vaccines.
The “High Five for Health” action plan is as follows:
1. Talk with your pediatrician or family doctor
Meet with your pediatrician or family doctor to share your concerns and schedule your child’s vaccine. Your doctor can provide a personalized recommendation that best meets your child’s and family’s health care needs.
2. Talk with your child
Discuss with your children what are the vaccines, their importance and what might happen after they get it. They may have arm pain, a headache, feel tired, or have achy muscles. These should go away in a day or two. Help them understand the getting the shot protects them and other from getting sick, including any young siblings or grandparents. Other benefits may include participation in after-school programs and organized sports or not having to quarantine if they’ve been exposed to the virus. Talking through can relieve anxiety and fear about getting a shot in the first place.
3. Schedule your child’s vaccine appointment
Pick a location and time that is convenient and fits in your child’s schedule. No matter where your child gets the vaccine – doctor’s office, school, church, pharmacy, etc. – all locations report their vaccine record to the state registry. That means even if you don’t get it at your doctor’s office, they can still access the information for your child’s medical record. Also consider upcoming sports and activities and try to find some downtime in case your child has any minor side effects. Winter break from school is a perfect opportunity!
4. Prepare your vaccine-ready kit
Hydration is key. Doctors recommend hydrating before and after the vaccine. Also, have on-hand a non-aspirin child’s pain reliever in case your child has pain at the injection site, sore muscles or a headache.
5. Get your child vaccinated
When you’re at the doctor’s office or immunization clinic, be calm. Remember kids pick up on how the adults around them are feeling. And consider a reward or special activity for “being brave.”