Summer sports are in full swing.
As we get our children’s protective gear — like helmets and knee pads — packed into duffle bags, there’s one more thing you might want to consider getting your child: a vaccination for meningitis.
Twelve-time Olympic medalist Dara Torres hopes to amp-up vaccination awareness, especially among parents of active children.
“Parents like me do all they can to protect their kids from harm, making sure they have the right equipment and protective gear when they’re playing sports,” she said. “But there is one thing parents might be forgetting to guard their kids against – meningococcal disease.”
Torres — who has a daughter, 7, and 13-year-old twins — joined the Get in the Game prevention campaign after finding out that meningitis can kill a healthy child in as little as 24 hours.
The stats were shocking, she said.
For example 10 to 15 percent of the 800 to 1,200 Americans who get meningococcal disease each year will pass away from the disease.
Of those who survive, nearly one in five are left with serious medical problems, including: amputation of arms, legs, fingers and toes; neurologic damage; deafness and kidney damage.
Momaha recently spoke with Torres and Beth Mattey of the National Association of School Nurses about the meningococcal disease and prevention campaign.
Here’s what they had to say: