Time to catch up on reading, writing ... and routine shots

July 26, 2017

(HealthDay)—Of all the items on your child's back-to-school checklist, getting vaccinated is probably your kid's least favorite. But those shots are essential for keeping children healthy, pediatricians say.

Vaccination requirements may vary somewhat from state to state. But all 50 states and Washington, D.C., require children to be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough (pertussis), polio, measles and rubella.

If your child hasn't already been vaccinated according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommended schedule, it's not too late, said Dr. David Kimberlin. He is vice chair of pediatrics and co-director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham's division of pediatric infectious diseases.

"The best way to treat diseases is to prevent them in the first place, and the diseases on the vaccine schedule are all preventable for the vast majority of our population," Kimberlin said in a University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) news release.

"These diseases that are preventable through vaccination—polio, measles, rubella, diphtheria and others—can cause major harm unless your body has been taught through a vaccine to resist the ," he explained.

Kimberlin, who's also the American Academy of Pediatrics' liaison to the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, said if you haven't vaccinated your children previously and want to do so now, talk with your pediatrician about getting back on schedule.

Dr. Stephen Russell, associate professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at UAB, agreed.

"If parents who have previously not vaccinated their children decide they want to get the vaccines and get their caught up, it can be done, and it can be done in one visit," he said.

Russell said that "many parents don't know that the sooner a child is vaccinated, the more effective those vaccines will be. Pediatricians can quickly help families get back on the in a safe and effective manner."

The UAB doctors also urged parents of both boys and girls to begin human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations at age 11 to prevent cervical, penile, oropharyngeal and rectal cancers.

Explore further: Are kids' vaccines a victim of their own success?

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on vaccines and immunizations.

Related Stories

Are kids' vaccines a victim of their own success?

April 27, 2017
(HealthDay)—Vaccines prevent serious infections so effectively that many parents mistakenly believe the diseases are no longer a threat in the United States, a pediatrician warns.

When parents get vaccinated, their kids do too

April 17, 2017
(HealthDay)—When parents get a flu shot, their kids are more likely to be vaccinated against not only the flu, but also other diseases, new research reveals.

Vaccinations belong on parents' back-to-school checklists

August 20, 2012
(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 ...

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 ...

Vaccine opponents often cluster in communities

January 19, 2015
(HealthDay)—Parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated appear to be clustered in certain areas, a new study suggests.

CDC: most kindergartners are getting their vaccinations

October 17, 2014
(HealthDay)—Most American children entering kindergarten are getting their required vaccinations, according to research published in the Oct. 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and ...

Recommended for you

RSV study reveals age when infants are most vulnerable to asthma

December 5, 2018
New research suggests a maternal vaccination against RSV should be augmented with active immunisation in a child's first two years to reduce the onset of asthma.

The powerful impact of real-world learning experiences for kids

December 4, 2018
Real-world learning experiences, like summer camps, can significantly improve children's knowledge in a matter of just days, a new study suggests.

Mediterranean diet during pregnancy associated with lower risk of accelerated growth

December 4, 2018
The Mediterranean diet is characterised by a high content of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, legumes and nuts. This healthy diet pattern has been associated with lower obesity and cardiometabolic risk in adults, but few studies ...

Global review reports on administration of children's antibiotics

December 4, 2018
Researchers analyzing the sales of oral antibiotics for children in 70 high- and middle-income countries found that consumption varies widely from country to country with little correlation between countries' wealth and the ...

New review highlights importance of good sleep routines for children

December 3, 2018
Sleep hygiene, which includes practices like providing a cool and quiet sleeping environment or reading before bed time to help kids unwind, is increasingly popular among parents looking to ensure their children get a good ...

Small changes to cafeteria design can get kids to eat healthier, new assessment tool finds

November 30, 2018
While a growing body of research suggests that small changes to a school environment can help reduce childhood obesity and improve nutrition, 80 percent of school-aged children still fall short of national dietary guidelines ...

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.