The first days of school are just around the corner and if you haven’t already scheduled your children and teens for a back to school physical and immunization update, this month is the perfect opportunity to get caught up to be ready for the first big day!
There are several required pre-kindergarten shot series that must be completed before school starts for the best protection for kids. It’s important for parents to stay on track with the timing of these vaccine series, from birth to age 5, to avoid having to do a more intense catch-up schedule or additional shots. Staying on schedule with the vaccine series also make the vaccines the most effective to build immunity and protect kids. Talk to your provider about your child’s vaccine due dates and pre-book your appointments to avoid missing them!
Most parents are aware of the many baby and pre-kindergarten shots that must be given, but there are also several teen immunizations and booster shots that should be completed. Most teen immunizations can be given from ages 10-18. The first is a Tdap booster to help prevent tetanus and the many recent outbreaks of Pertussis (whooping cough). This vaccine is also very important for moms and family members to stay current with if there are new babies in the family! The second shot is the Meningococcal vaccine to prevent bacterial meningitis, a serious illness that affects the brain and surrounding tissues. It is recommended that all teens receive this before graduating high school and many colleges also require the vaccine to live in student housing. The third teen shot is the HPV vaccine series. This vaccine protects against the genital human papillomavirus, which can cause cancer.
Here are a few suggestions to prepare your children and teens to make things easier when you come in for shots:
- Before the Shots-
- Remember to bring your child’s shot records.
- Ask questions & stay calm- Bring a favorite toy or blanket.
- Reassure your child honestly- “it will only sting a little bit.
- Do not threaten your child with shots & encourage older siblings to be supportive & not scare younger kids.
- During the Shots-
- Distractions & comfort work best. Read, talk, sing, or hold your child to ensure security & comfort.
- Help them thru the pain with deep breaths & allow them to cry.
- After the Shots
- Give praise/hugs/surprises!
- Ask the provider about using a non-aspirin pain reliever or try a cool/wet compress on the area of the shot to reduce redness & swelling.
- If you observe any reaction concerns, contact your provider immediately to discuss.
- Give your child plenty of fluids.
- Mark your calendar for your next appointment.
Parents should always bring their child’s immunization records to receive shots for tracking!
Please call the Power County Family Clinic at 208-226-1057 or the Aberdeen Family Clinic at 208-226-1058 if you have any questions. We’re always happy to help!