Vaccinations Before The Start Of School


It won’t be long before school bells start ringing again. If you’re a parent, you’ve probably been preparing for that first day.

Before your child steps a foot into the classroom, you’ll want to make sure their vaccinations are up-to-date.

Being a first time mom, nothing is more important to Jane Fosheim than making sure 15-month old Emma Rose is healthy.

“Illnesses spread so fast. Especially with her age,” Fosheim said.

It’s also a common problem she sees with school-aged kids, being a pre-school teacher at Terry Redlin Elementary.

“A lot of upper respiratory things… colds, flu’s,” Fosheim said.

Doctors are urging parents to update their children’s immunization records before the start of school.
First-time kindergarteners have special requirements.

“Generally the recommendation is to get them any time after age four,” Dr. Aaron Zylstra, Sanford Health, said, “The kindergarten vaccines, those include the second measles mumps rubella, the second chicken pox, the fifth tetanus and the fourth polio.”

Soon-to-be middle schoolers also have some shots they’ll need to have before classes are in session.

“11-year olds need to get a meningitis vaccine and they need to get the tetanus whooping cough booster,” Zylstra said.

Just a few months ago, health officials were dealing with a measles outbreak across the border in Minnesota. Many of the cases were among unvaccinated children.

That’s part of the reason Dr. Zylstra is pushing parents to make an appointment.

“If we have an un-vaccinated population and that un-vaccinated population goes to a school where there’s a whole bunch of kids hanging out together, it’s easy to pass diseases around,” Zylstra said.

Little Emma Rose still has a ways to go before her first day of school. But her mother plans to be ready when the day comes.

“It’s easy, it’s quick and most insurance covers all of that. I would just rather be safe than sorry and get it done and over with,” Fosheim said.

If you haven’t had your child vaccinated you’ll want to do so soon. Sioux Falls schools start on Sept. 5 and many other area districts start in just a few weeks.  

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