One of the most important things a parent can do to protect their child’s health is getting their child vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule. Whether parents have a baby starting at a new child care facility, a toddler heading to preschool, a student going back to elementary, middle or high school – or even a college freshman – parents should check their child’s vaccination records.
Child care facilities, preschool programs, schools and colleges are prone to disease outbreaks. Children in these settings can easily spread illnesses to one another due to poor hand washing, not covering their coughs and sneezes and other factors related to interacting in crowded environments.
Serious health consequences can arise if children are not vaccinated. Without vaccines, children are at increased risk for disease and can spread disease to others in their play groups, child care centers, classrooms and communities. This includes spreading diseases to babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.
And what about as our kiddos get older? Preteens and teens need four vaccines to protect against serious diseases:
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine to protect against meningitis and bloodstream infections (septicemia).
- HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine to protect against cancers caused by HPV.
- Tdap vaccine to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough (pertussis).
- A yearly flu vaccine to protect against seasonal flu.
Teens and young adults may also be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine. Parents can send their preteens and teens to middle school, high school and college protected from vaccine-preventable diseases by following the recommended immunization schedule.
DHD#10 is here to help answer your questions regarding immunizations in your child’s life (and adults, too).