One health matter that parents of young school-aged children should be concerned with is keeping up with immunization schedules. Due to their young immune systems, children of a certain age (up to about age 12) are more vulnerable to viruses and medical concerns compared to adults. If you’re the parent of a young child, find out everything you need to know about immunizations for children to ensure that your child is protected.
Why Are Immunizations Important?
Immunizations are vaccines that help a child's immune system fight certain diseases and viruses. Children are more prone to being exposed to these viruses because they go to school with so many other young people who don't always have the best hygiene habits. Schools often request records of immunizations to ensure the safety of their young students. Vaccines are also a cost-effective way for parents to manage their children’s health care—they help families avoid the cost of expensive future procedures and hospital visits.
Types of Immunizations
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes a schedule of recommended immunizations for children up to the age of 18. Here are some of the most common vaccines administered by your pediatrician:
- influenza (Flu)
- measles (MMR)
- meningitis (MenACWY/MenB)
- hepatitis B (HepB)
- rotavirus (RV)
- tetanus (DTaP)
- human papillomavirus (HPV for children ages nine and older)
How Often Are Vaccinations Suggested?
The CDC recommends that children receive their first vaccine at birth (hepatitis B). After that you’ll be asked to bring your child in at regular intervals up to age 18 for various vaccines. Generally, expect to visit the doctor every one to two months until the child is six months old. After that, certain shots, like the influenza vaccine, are recommended yearly. Your pediatrician will provide you will a detailed schedule to follow.