Back-to-school season - it’s easy to get caught up in last minute shopping, but doctors hope you don’t find yourself lost in last minute shotting. The time to think of your child’s immunizations is now.
“The vaccines that we give aren’t just to anything, they’re to diseases that cause a lot of problems in the past or cause serious illnesses in children. So it’s important to make sure that you’re getting them when you need them,” says Dr. Denise Drago, who is a pediatrician for Lee Memorial Health System.
If your child is entering school for the first time, they have a list of required immunizations. Shots include the DTaP which covers diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis and the MMR or measles, mumps, rubella. These are combined shots.
“In the past each individual thing was an individual shot. Now there are several that are three in one or you can combine some of them together. You’re not getting poked as many times so in comparison to getting four or five shots you may be getting only two or three,” says Dr. Drago.
Starting in kindergarten they will also need doses of the polio vaccine, hepatitis B and varicella vaccines.
A growing issue for pediatricians is parents who delay shots or skip them altogether. To comply with state standards all children should be caught up by kindergarten. Which is why doctors are prepared to educate.
“We do have a lot more conversation with parents about why the shots are important and i think having an open dialogue between your pediatrician and you, helps parents feel better about the choice they’re making,” says Dr. Drago.
Arming yourself with information may leave you more time for fun in the last snippets of summer.