I can’t believe how time has flown by and it’s been almost 11 years since my hubby and I became parents. And I’m glad our kids are getting older, stronger and more confident as the days pass. I clearly remember the day my husband and I brought our oldest home from the hospital. It was a cold and gloomy day and we didn’t yet own a car. We didn’t really need one since we lived in downtown Toronto and everything we needed was either within walking or TTC distance. My safety-conscious husband had of course brought a car seat for our little one to be strapped into the taxi. I remember the taxi driver’s face as my husband clipped not only the infant car seat but also the car seat base into the back of the taxi cab. Now for those of you who have done this before, you know how long it takes to strap in the car seat ALONG WITH the base!
A lot has changed since that morning 11 years ago. We’ve moved across the country from Toronto to Calgary, and back again, and had another little pumpkin in the meanwhile. What hasn’t changed over the years is our desire to keep our kids safe. And healthy. And happy.
Almost every decision my hubby and I make about the kids is directly connected to their health, safety and happiness. This brings me to vaccines.
How The HPV Vaccine is helping me sleep better at night
Without immunization, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infects approximately three out of four sexually active Canadians. That means that within my household of 4 people almost 3 could be infected by this virus at some point in their lives. What is even scarier though is that an infection from this virus can lead to cancer.
Fortunately, infections caused by the most common types of HPV can be prevented with the HPV vaccine. Because of the serious risk of cervical cancer associated with HPV, girls in Grade 8 in Ontario have been receiving the vaccine for more than 10 years.
Now the province of Ontario is expanding its publicly funded immunization program to offer the HPV Vaccine to all children in Grade 7 – boys AND girls. Other provinces and territories offer the vaccine from Grades 4 to 7 so Ontario is aligned with most of the country. Australia rolled out their HPV Vaccination program around the same time as Canada more than 10 years ago, and they have seen a sharp decline and a ”90% reduction in infections in the 10 years the programme has been running.”
So when the time comes my kids will be standing in line to get this cancer-fighting HPV vaccine. Much like teaching kids road safety before crossing the road or making sure their car seats are securely fastened before starting the car, my hubby and I are doing all that we can to make sure they remain safe and healthy.
Disclaimer: This post was developed in association with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The opinions of the author are their own.