Back To School Vaccines: What Parents Need To Know

back to school vaccinesEven though it’s the lazy days of summer, before we know it the bus stops will be bustling and the school bells will be ringing once again. School means it’s time to figure out if and when sports physicals are due and schedule back to school vaccines for any soon-to-be students in your home. Our office is here to answer questions that you may have about vaccinations, why they are important and which ones are typical.

Staying current on vaccinations is highly important, giving your child the best defense against preventable diseases. We tend to think that disease and illness can’t happen, either to ourselves or those that we love. Unfortunately, complications happen when vaccine-preventable diseases are disregarded and vaccines are neglected. One of the main reasons vaccines are important is because we live in a global society today, and there are viruses that are NOT globally eradicated. As we continue to travel internationally in our society, any viruses can be spread between us.

The risk is real. There are still people that do not believe in vaccinations. Many believe it’s a personal choice to decide if their child should be vaccinated. The reality is, when you decide NOT to vaccinate your child, you are endangering the entire population. Non-vaccinated children and adults can spread diseases to babies that are too young to be vaccinated. People with cancer, transplant recipients, the elderly and sick are all at a higher risk when exposed to people that have not been vaccinated.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has a thorough list of vaccinations that they recommend children need. The AAP recommends that vaccinations begin when your child is two months old, scheduled at the appropriate time in conjunction with a child’s development. Specific vaccinations for school depend on where you live, so it’s best to call your local school and ask the school nurse. Also, you can usually find the information on your state or city website. You can also view a current list of common vaccines by visiting the website link

Typically, common vaccines include Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis), HPV, Meningococcal and flu. Your child’s physician will have a schedule for the vaccines and which ones are necessary. It’s important to talk to your child’s doctor or nurse in our office about the vaccinations best for their age. A recent study by the Journal of Pediatrics stated that vaccines save the lives of approximately 42,000 children and prevent 20 million cases of diseases every year in the US. Also, because vaccinations are considered preventative care, most insurance companies pay for them 100%. The benefits of vaccines for your child, your family and the world in which we live are quite extraordinary.

As with any medical treatment, there could be side effects. Common side effects may include a slight fever, skin rash, or soreness at the site of the injection. Typically, any side effect goes away quickly. If your child is known to experience any of the aforementioned side effects from vaccinations, your doctor may recommend ibuprofen to be taken prior to their scheduled appointment. We strive to provide a comfortable, nurturing environment for your child during their visit with us. Please let us know if your son or daughter has any anxiety about receiving their vaccinations so we can make sure the experience is a pleasant one.

We look forward to talking with you about your child’s health and answering any questions that you may have, including your inquiries about recommended vaccinations. It is our goal to do what’s best for your child’s health and happiness. For more information on your child’s vaccination schedule or to schedule an appointment or physical, please call the Association of Childcare Physicians, LTD. at 618-235-2311.