Top Pediatrician Dr. Jen Explains Why Parents Need To Know More About Pneumococcal Disease, Vaccination

Parents of infants have a lot on their minds, but keeping their babies happy and healthy is at the top of the list. Avoiding childhood diseases is a priority, but out of all of the diseases that put children at risk, people seem to know the least about pneumococcal disease -- one of the 14 childhood diseases that can be much less risky with immunizations. Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg, better known as Dr. Jen, has some important information related to this disease and how immunizations are a life-saving necessity.

The most common childhood diseases, as reported by the CDC, are chickenpox (varicella), diphtheria, flu (influenza), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hib, measles, mumps, polio, rotavirus, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), and pneumococcal.

Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, sometimes referred to as pneumococcus. Pneumococcus can cause many types of illnesses, including ear infections, pneumonia, and meningitis. There are vaccines to prevent pneumococcal disease in children as well as adults. However, children under 2-years-old are one of the groups most at risk for contracting this disease, according to the CDC.

Parents and Pfizer recently published a new survey that showed parents and parents-to-be don't know enough about this infectious disease and how it can be prevented.

"The survey of more than 2,000 new and soon-to-be parents revealed that only 30 percent were knowledgeable about invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), while more than twice as many were up to speed on measles (68 percent), mumps (63 percent), polio (64 percent), and hepatitis B (63 percent). IPD—a group of infectious illnesses including bacterial meningitis and a bloodstream infection—is caused by a bacterium called pneumococcus, which can also cause ear infections," Parents reported.

Immunizations are key to thwarting this disease. In Europe, great steps are being taken to ensure that all children receive immunizations before going to school.

On July 4, France made vaccinations for 11 diseases mandatory beginning in 2018, Newsweek reported. The Italian government also came to a similar conclusion, but in their case, children must receive vaccinations for 12 diseases or the family will be faced with fines.

"Children are still dying of measles," said French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. "In the homeland of Pasteur that is not admissible."

Pediatrician Jennifer Trachtenberg, MD -- better known as "Dr. Jen" -- is one of the Nation's experts on childhood health and is a top advocate on the need for vaccinations. In addition to being a pediatrician in New York City for more than 20 years, she also serves as an assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is the author of two parenting books, The Smart Parent's Guide to Getting Your Kids through Check Ups, Illnesses and Accidents (2010) and Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children (2007). Dr. Jen is a regular contributor to many news programs, including CNN, Fox News, and NBC's Today show. She is also a mother of three.

Dr. Jen spoke with the Inquisitr about the results of the Parents and Pfizer survey, offered more information on pneumococcal disease -- including what it is and how to avoid it -- and offered parents helpful medical tips on how to keep their babies happy and healthy.

See the full interview here

The CDC has created a schedule for parents to use when it comes to vaccinating their babies.

[Featured Image by Cindy Ord/Getty Images]