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 is already twice as many as last year. With kids getting ready to head back to school, the numbers of children affected or killed by this disease could continue to rise if children aren’t vaccinated.

“Vaccinating our children against whooping cough and other illnesses is the best way we can protect them,” said Andrew Bonwit, pediatric infectious disease expert at Loyola University Health System. “The next best defense we have for children is good hand-washing hygiene, and also not sending children to school, day-care or afterschool programs if they are sick."

Whooping cough is only one of numerous potentially deadly illnesses that can be effectively diminished by vaccination schedules. In addition to keeping kids safe from these diseases, vaccines also can help when diagnosing a sick child.

“When your child gets sick, being fully vaccinated helps your doctor simplify the evaluation and can lead to a quicker, more accurate diagnosis,” Bonwit said.

To help children succeed in school, parents make sure their children have the supplies they will need for the classroom. Just as important is ensuring their children’s bodies have what they need to keep them safe from infectious diseases.

“Though no one likes to get shots, vaccines are an integral part of keeping kids and our community safe. They work to safeguard children from illnesses and death caused by infectious diseases and protect our kids by helping prepare their bodies to fight often serious and potentially deadly diseases,” said Dr. Heidi Renner, primary-care physician at Loyola University Health System.

Vaccines have helped to nearly eradicate many of the diseases that were leading causes of death in only a few decades ago. Renner shared the main immunizations kids need before heading off to school.

When entering kindergarten your child should receive the following vaccinations:

  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella, better known as MMR
  • Polio
  • Diptheria/Pertussis ()
  • Chicken Pox
Most likely your child received these immunizations as an infant. This second round of shots boosts the immunity. So, in sixth grade your child should receive:
  • Chicken pox booster, if your child has not had two by this time
  • Meningitis
  • Tetanus booster
If not given in sixth grade, your child will need the meningitis and tetanus booster before entering high school. Many colleges are requiring students get the meningitis vaccine. Many schools also are requiring a flu shot, so talk to your school about that as well.

Explore further: Vaccinations aren't just for kids, expert says

Related Stories

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.

Immunizations are for college kids, too

July 12, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Most parents take their young children regularly for immunization shots that protect against polio, diphtheria, measles, mumps and other diseases. But many do not consider that their college-age children ...

Panel: All adults should get whooping cough shots

February 22, 2012
A federal advisory panel wants all U.S. adults to get vaccinated against whooping cough.

Study: Whooping cough vaccination fades in 3 years (Update)

September 19, 2011
The whooping cough vaccine given to babies and toddlers loses much of its effectiveness after just three years - a lot faster than doctors believed - and that could help explain a recent series of outbreaks in the U.S. among ...

Back-to-school can mean vaccines for tweens, teens

August 22, 2011
(AP) -- Backpack. Notebooks. Whooping cough shot?

Recommended for you

New study: Nearly half of US medical care comes from emergency rooms

October 17, 2017
Nearly half of all US medical care is delivered by emergency departments, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). And in recent years, the percentage of care delivered ...

No evidence that widely marketed technique to treat leaky bladder/prolapse works

October 16, 2017
There is no scientific evidence that a workout widely marketed to manage the symptoms of a leaky bladder and/or womb prolapse actually works, conclude experts in an editorial published online in the British Journal of Sports ...

Ten pence restaurant chain levy on sugary drinks linked to fall in sales

October 16, 2017
The introduction of a 10 pence levy on sugar sweetened drinks across the 'Jamie's Italian' chain of restaurants in the UK was associated with a relatively large fall in sales of these beverages of between 9 and 11 per cent, ...

New exercises help athletes manage dangerous breathing disorder

October 16, 2017
A novel set of breathing techniques developed at National Jewish Health help athletes overcome vocal cord dysfunction and improve performance during high-intensity exercise. Vocal cord dysfunction, now also referred to as ...

Learning and staying in shape key to longer lifespan, study finds

October 13, 2017
People who are overweight cut their life expectancy by two months for every extra kilogramme of weight they carry, research suggests.

Blueberries may improve attention in children following double-blind trial

October 13, 2017
Primary school children could show better attention by consuming flavonoid-rich blueberries, following a study conducted by the University of Reading.

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.