A novel way to boost childhood immunizations: Use baby pictures on personalized calendars

ntment. They were given a new color photograph and additional calendar pages every time they visited and their child received an immunization.

"The calendars served as an incentive for immunization," Dr. Kreuter said. "Programs that reward desirable behaviors can help address public health problems such as low childhood immunization rates."

Some families put the calendars into scrapbooks so they had a collection of photographs of their baby at different ages.

"One mother told us that when her grandmother died, the family put one of the calendars in the casket so she'd always have a picture of her great grandchild. If free studio-type photography motivates parents to have their child immunized, the small investment -about $1,200 - is worthwhile for many public health centers," Kreuter said.

The calendars also include useful information such as the telephone number of the health center, the names and birthdays of the baby, his or her siblings and the parent. The calendar also contains personalized age-specific recommendations for clinical preventive services, as well as home safety and general parenting tips.

The calendar project study was funded by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The ABC Immunization Calendar received a national award at a United States Department of Health and Human Services conference in 2000. Calendars now are being distributed at six health centers through a grant underwritten by the Deaconess Foundation.


Contact: Nancy Solomon
Saint Louis University

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