August is Houston’s back-to-school month – it is also crunch time for parents as they prepare their children for a new school year. On the list, along¬side buying school supplies and uniforms, is making sure children get the appropriate vaccinations.
"Immunizing children is important because the vaccines enable the immune system to protect the child from a life- threatening illness without experiencing the risk and suffering of the actual illness,” says Dr. Chris Pielop, pediatrician at Blue Fish Pediatrics in association with Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. “Following the recommended immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their child’s health.”
Here are general guidelines to make sure your child is ready before classes begin.
The back-to-school season is an important time to begin scheduling your child’s yearly pediatric well-child visit. During this visit, you can request specific vaccinations to meet back-to-school requirements. When a child is administered vaccinations, the doses are recorded on your child’s immunization record. You can get a copy of the record at the time of your visit. Some offices even offer printing from online. Click here to find a pediatrician close to you.
Children who regularly visit their pediatrician for checkups usually receive all the necessary vaccinations needed to start kindergarten at any Texas school. However, if your child enrolls in a Texas school after kindergarten, he or she may need fewer doses of the necessary vaccines.
Click here to learn what shots are needed when.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, although not required by school districts, it is advised that your child gets a routine flu vaccine every fall.
Texas immunization requirements are updated yearly. For more detailed information and preschool immunization requirements, visit http://dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/school/school-requirements.aspx.
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