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August 06, 2014 06:19 PM

Back To School Shots

Chances are your child's back-to-school checklist probably doesn't include a trip to the doctor.

Now is a great time to make sure your kid’s shots are up to date.

Children who are entering kindergarten, and students who are ten or 11-years-old, need certain vaccines.

Many kids dread getting their shots but parents know their benefits.

"Protects them and keeps them healthy," Parent, Stacey Reitz  

Stacey Reitz made a trip to the doctor’s office with her three kids just in time before school starts.

"I don't want them to miss school so this worked out great," Reitz said.

Dr. Jennifer Thompson says it's best to plan ahead and get seen before people's schedule gets busy with back to school activities.

"There's a lot that's happening when school is starting and some schools will require the immunizations to start so now is a good time for that reason. But we have lots of kids that come in after school start because they realize they didn't have something that the school wanted them to have," Sanford Pediatrician

Children who are about to enter kindergarten have the option to receive two to three shots that cover eight different diseases.

“Measles, mumps, rubella, varicella which is chickenpox, polio diphtheria, pertussis," Dr. Thompson said.

Pertussis, also called whooping cough, is highly contagious and spreads through the air by cough. It's seen a resurgence in recent years, so health experts agree getting the vaccine is more important than ever.

Once the kindergarten immunization is over with, kids get a break.

"After the kindergarten shots when they get the last measles mumps and rubella and chicken pox vaccine then they get a big break until they are about 10 or 11 and that's when they get their next school shots," Dr. Thompson said.

Caden is starting the fifth grade this year and is now receiving two shots at his routine check-up.

"It's important for the kids to be healthy and ready for school for them to be safe and also for the other kids to be protected too."

Making sure your children receive all their vaccinations on time is very important.

State health officials recommend parents check the immunizations of their pre-teens and college freshmen before their school year kicks off.

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