About the kids: can’t say enough
Designating August as National Immunization Month fits well with the start of the school year. By now regular readers of this column know my position on immunization – immunization.
There is still time to make sure your child’s immunizations (immunizations) are up to date. You may have seen advertisements in the media about getting your child vaccinated against hepatitis B (HepB). Your child should have had one at birth and three doses thereafter. Hepatitis B is a growing problem in our society and preventable with simple and safe vaccination.
Hepatitis can cause lifelong problems including deafness and muscle / orthopedic problems.
A tetanus toxoid / reduced diphtheria toxoid / acellular pertussis vaccine is recommended for adolescents. This vaccine, preparation for adolescents Tdap, is recommended for adolescents aged 11 to 12 years who have already completed the series of diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (DTP) in children. The shot is also recommended for 13-18 year olds who missed the 11-12 booster shot.
The meningococcal conjugate vaccine (meningitis vaccine) should be given to all children aged 11 to 12 years and to all unvaccinated adolescents 15 years of age and older. This is especially important if your child is going to college and will be living in a dormitory.
These close living conditions often lead to the rapid spread of fatal meningitis.
The flu shot is now recommended for children over 6 months of age. Make sure your child is vaccinated before the flu season.
The hepatitis A vaccine is universally recommended for all children from 1 year of age. This is a series of two doses given six months apart.
All school-aged children should have the following vaccines:
By age 6, they should have received five DTP vaccines; four preliminary injections against hepatitis B and the start of the second series against hepatitis B; four polio vaccinations; two vaccinations against measles, mumps, rubella (MMR); five pneumococcal vaccinations; annual influenza vaccinations; a complete series on hepatitis A; vaccination against meningococcus (meningitis); completed a chickenpox (chickenpox) vaccination and may have received their second dose; and had four Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccines.
Children between 11 and 18 years old should receive additional doses of HepB, MMR, polio, DTP, chickenpox and meningococcal vaccines.
Now that you have your child’s immunizations up to date and recorded, there are still questions about the disease. How sick is too sick? When to send your child to school; when to keep them at home?
Keeping a child at home, calls are easy. The child with a high fever; the child vomiting; the child with chickenpox – everyone should stay at home. But what about the kid with a runny nose?
According to guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child with a runny nose (regardless of the color of the lining) can go to school. The same goes for a child with a rash – if he doesn’t have a fever (the rash could be an allergy to soap and not a contagious disease).
Children with ringworm who are treated can go to school. The same goes for children who have watery eyes as long as there is no discharge or pain. However, children should be kept at home if there is a fever with some other symptom (such as vomiting); vomiting twice in 24 hours; or eye discharge with red inner eyelids.
Finally, talk to your children about the importance of washing their hands well. Not just running your hands under the water. I mean wash with soap and scrub long enough to create a lather.
Washing your hands is one of the best ways to avoid catching the flu, colds, and many other infections that affect school populations.
Beverly Theil is a children’s advocate who lives in Wooster. She can be contacted at [email protected]