Last updated: August 23. 2014 12:32AM - 1308 Views
Kathie Cox Contributing columnist

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Back-to-School season is here. It’s time for parents to gather supplies and back packs. It’s also the perfect time to make sure your kids are up to date on their vaccines.

“Getting children all of the vaccines recommended by CDC’s immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children’s health — and that of classmates and the community,” said Alisa Freeman, RN, BSN, Family Planning and Immunization Supervisor at Scotland County Health Department. “If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to check with your doctor or local health department to find out what your child needs.”

Today’s childhood vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles and whooping cough.

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk and can spread diseases to others in their classrooms and community — including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other health conditions.

Children who are 4 to 6 years old are due for boosters of four vaccines: DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis), chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and polio. Older children, like preteens and teens, need Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), Menactra (meningococcal conjugate vaccine) and HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines when they are 11-12 years old. In addition, yearly flu vaccines are recommended for all children 6 months and older.

Parents can find out more about the recommended immunization schedule at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/index.html, or contact Scotland County Health Department at 910-277-2440 for more information. Check out Scotland County Health Department’s Facebook page for additional tips and health information or contact Kathie Cox, Health Educator II/PIO at 910-277-2470, Ext. 4478.

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