Vaccinations belong on parents' back-to-school checklists

August 20, 2012
Vaccinations belong on parents' back-to-school checklists
Preventable diseases can threaten children's lives, expert warns.

(HealthDay) -- Vaccinations among school-aged children can save lives and parents should be sure their children are fully immunized as part of their back-to-school preparations, according to a pediatric infectious disease specialist.

"These vaccines save children's lives; parents interested in keeping their child alive should have them vaccinated," Dr. David Kimberlin, a University of Alabama at Birmingham professor of pediatrics, said in a university news release. "At any given time, all of these vaccine-preventable diseases are at most 18 hours away. For example, one of the few remaining places where polio circulates is Afghanistan, and U.S. troops return home from there daily; anyone exposed could inadvertently pass polio to a child."

Kimberlin is also president-elect of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

The U.S. reports there are 16 diseases currently preventable with , including chickenpox (varicella), diphtheria, seasonal flu, Haemophilus influenza type b, hepatitis A, , , measles, meningococcal, mumps, pneumococcal, rotavirus, rubella, tetanus, (pertussis) and polio.

During his medical training, Kimberlin recalled, he witnessed a 10-year-old girl suffering from polio because she was never immunized against the viral infection. Vaccinations, he noted, could also prevent the spread of illnesses to others who are more vulnerable, such as infants.

"School-age children don't die from pertussis, but babies do. If an unvaccinated 12-year-old vacations in Washington and comes in contact with the disease, they can bring it home and inadvertently kill a baby under 12 months old," Kimberlin explained.

"People do have all sorts of fears of things they don't understand, but there is no rational reason for not vaccinating a child," Vivian Friedman, a and professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham's department of psychiatry and behavioral neurobiology, said in the release.

She added that small incentives could help reluctant children cooperate and receive the necessary shots.

"My own daughter was seriously ill from the ages of 4 to 10; she not only had painful shots but also painful procedures. So for every bad thing that happened to her, we made a good thing happen," Friedman said. "For every blood test my daughter got, we took her to the dollar store to choose anything she wanted. It's inexpensive and varied enough that it can work as a motivator and reward."

Explore further: Study: No significant rise in seizure risk from common kids' vaccine

More information:
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to learn more about vaccines.


Related Stories

Study: No significant rise in seizure risk from common kids' vaccine

February 22, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Children who receive a combination vaccine known as DTaP-IPV-Hib have no significant increased risk of febrile seizure, a convulsion triggered by a fever, during the week after vaccination, researchers in Denmark ...

Vaccinations aren't just for kids, expert says

August 19, 2011
A new school year means more than new clothes, new books and a new grade level – it also means new shots for millions of public school children.

Vaccines could be the difference between life and death for a child

August 9, 2012
This year the U.S. has seen the worst outbreak of whooping cough in more than 50 years. In fact, it has reached epidemic levels in many states and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the number of cases reported ...

More than 1 in 10 parents skip, delay kids' shots

October 3, 2011
(AP) -- By age 6, children should have vaccinations against 14 diseases, in at least two dozen separate doses, the U.S. government advises. More than 1 in 10 parents reject that, refusing some shots or delaying others mainly ...

Recommended for you

Older drivers adapt their thinking to improve road hazard detection

September 26, 2017
A recent study finds that older drivers showed adaptive responses according to the amount of traffic in a driving scene when identifying road hazards. Although younger drivers are faster and more accurate at identifying driving ...

80 percent of activity tracker users stick with the devices for at least six months

September 26, 2017
Use of activity trackers, such as wearable devices and smartphone apps, is on the rise, and a new study shows that 80 percent of users stuck with the device for at least six months. Though the gadgets may help motivate users ...

Study finds being in a good mood for your flu jab boosts its effectiveness

September 25, 2017
New research by a team of health experts at the University of Nottingham has found evidence that being in a positive mood on the day of your flu jab can increase its protective effect.

New tool demonstrates high cost of lack of sleep in the workplace

September 25, 2017
Sleep disorders and sleep deficiency are hidden costs that affect employers across America. Seventy percent of Americans admit that they routinely get insufficient sleep, and 30 percent of U.S. workers and 44 percent of night ...

Maternal diet could affect kids' brain reward circuitry

September 25, 2017
Researchers in France found that rats who ate a junk food diet during pregnancy had heavier pups that strongly preferred the taste of fat straight after weaning. While a balanced diet in childhood seemed to reduce the pups' ...

Exercise can make cells healthier, promoting longer life, study finds

September 22, 2017
Whether it's running, walking, cycling, swimming or rowing, it's been well-known since ancient times that doing some form of aerobic exercise is essential to good health and well-being. You can lose weight, sleep better, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.