Immunize Kids Before School Starts

Local News
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It’s back-to-school season and many parents are helping their kids pick out school supplies and backpacks, but did you remember to have your kids get their back to school shots?

As kids go back to school, they’ll be in close quarters and could potentially get sick from the other students. The Eau Claire City-County Health Department says last school year, 92 percent of kids in Eau Claire County were up-to-date on their shots; however, the health department says although that’s a good number, they strive to be at 95 percent, which the CDC says is an effective rate for immunization coverage.

When asked, what he’s most excited to go back to school for, 5-year-old Brayden Peterson said, “To learn.”
But back to school also means the chances of your kids getting sick will increase.

That’s why the Eau Claire City-County Health Department is reminding parents to be sure their kids are up to date on their shots.

“You’re looking at kindergarten, you’re looking at middle schoolers, so starting grade six, and looking at college bound,” said Public Health Nurse Patricia Reis. “So if your vaccinations are generally up-to-date, the three that I mentioned will need vaccinations.”

Reis said kindergarteners have the most shots on their to-do list before going to school, which includes DTap: diphtheria, tetanus & acellular pertussis; MMR: measles, mumps and rubella, IPV: inactivated polio vaccine; and Varicella, known as chickenpox.

Middle schoolers should have DTap: diphtheria, tetanus & acellular pertussis and college bound students should get the meningococcal conjugate vaccine.

Brayden recalled his time at the doctors with his shots, “It did hurt.”

According to the CDC, more than 22 million school days a year are lost due to a contagious illness, which is not including the time parents have to take off of work to take care of their kids.

“I can’t go to work, can’t go to school, do that stuff and they can’t go to school either, so yeah, it’s stressful when my kids are sick,” said Leah Salwey of Mondovi.

“There’s a lot of literature out there that the cost of vaccination far outweighs the cost associated with the disease to the child to the parent to the system in general,” Reis added.

The health department will again be teaming up with seven middle schools this fall to offer adolescent immunizations clinics.

Reis said to contact the health department for immunizations at 715-839-4718 or call your local doctor.
Sometimes shots are not the easiest thing for kids, for a few tips, click on the links to the right.

Reis also said for a child who has started a series of vaccinations not to worry about starting over if the recommended length of time has passed for getting the continuous shots; an example being the HPV vaccination series.

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