Childhood Diseases Game

Wendy Baker



A game to teach children about immunization.

Equipment: 32 cue cards, one bean bag

Preparation: Write the answers [given in square brackets] to the following questions on 3 x 5" cue cards. (Include a few "wrong" answers to make it trickier.)

Set-up: Have Guides (no more than 7 or 8) sit in a circle, and scatter the answer cards, face up, on the floor inside the circle.

To Play: Read the first question, give everyone a moment to think, then toss the bean bag to someone. That girl must choose the correct answer card from the answer pool, and hold onto it. If she chooses a wrong answer, let her try again - after all, this is a learning game! Give clues like "it starts with a "d", if they need help.

Read the next question, then have the first girl toss the bean bag to someone else, and so on. You can keep track of how many turns each person has had by looking at how many cue cards they are holding. If you have time, finish with the questions under "further discussion." Allow 15 to 25 minutes total, or choose only a few questions, for a shorter game. Reference:

1. About 2.4 million children around the world, under the age of 5, die every year from 6 vaccine-preventable diseases. What are they? - one answer per girl - [diphtheria, measles, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, tuberculosis (T. B.), tetanus]

2. In 1977, only 5% of the world's children under one year old were immunized. By 1990, what percentage were immunized? [80%; wrong answer: 90%] - Discuss what "80%" means, i.e. 8 out of every 10.

3. The cost of everything needed to vaccinate one child against these 6 diseases is? [$15; wrong answer: $50] - Discuss what $15 means, e.g. the price of a large pizza!

4. The disease which cripples by paralyzing arms and legs, or kills by paralyzing chest muscles, is ? [polio]

5. Children can die from diarrhia because it ___? ["dehydrates the body"] - Discuss what "dehydrates" means.

6. Doctors treat diarrhia with ORT - oral rehydration therapy - which contains __? ["water, salt and sugar (glucose)"; wrong answer: "water and salt"] - Discuss why all 3 components are needed.

7. A deadly disease, which is caused by bacteria in the soil, and which gets into the body through puncture wounds (e.g. stepping on a nail), is ___? [tetanus]

8. A disease of young children and infants, that infects the lungs and causes uncontrollable coughing and breathing difficulties, is ___? [whooping cough]

9. Another disease of the lungs, which slowly deteriorates the lining of the lungs, causing you to spit up blood, is ___? [tuberculosis (T.B.)]

10. Measles can have serious complications, such as a lung infection called ____ [pneumonia], or a brain infection called ___. [encephalitis]

11. A bacterial infection which can kill because it obstructs breathing, or infects the heart or nerves, causing heart failure or paralysis, is ___. [diphtheria]

12. In Canada, you receive immunizations at age 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 18 months, and 5 years against which 4 of these diseases? [diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, polio; wrong answer: tuberculosis (T.B.)]

13. At age 12 months and 5 years, you get vaccinated against which 3 diseases? [measles, mumps, rubella (German measles)]

14. Which disease can seriously injure a baby before it is born? [rubella (German measles)]

15. Which 2 diseases do you need vaccinations against, every 10 years for your whole life? [diphtheria, tetanus]

16. What disease has been successfully eradicated (gotten rid of) from the world, by vaccinating everyone ? [smallpox]

Further Discussion:

1. How does a vaccine work?
2. Which organizations are trying to prevent children around the world from catching these diseases? (UNICEF, and ?)
3. Why is access to clean water and sanitation so important?
4. Do you think we in Canada have more than our share of the world's clean water?
5 5. How can we help people in other countries obtain clean drinking water?
6. Why don't we in Canada get immunized against tuberculosis? What do they do instead? (screen, and treat active cases)
7. Why is it more difficult to immunize children in developing countries than in Canada?
1) Vaccines need to be kept cold, to stay effective. Some countries don't have adequate refrigeration.
2) Vaccines (usually made in industrialized countries) have to be shipped.
3) You have to educate parents that this is a good thing - after all, it is their children, and these agencies are outsiders.
4) ?