One of the biggest back-to-school items you need to get early isn’t a stylish new backpack, it’s your child’s immunizations. Which is something that can have a huge impact.
“Actually everybody is affected.Basically immunizations protect the kids, but what we get is a herd immunity because the protected kids, because they don’t get the diseases, actually protect those kids who are unprotected. So its good for the babies, the parents, its good for everybody,” says Dr. James Simmons, All Children’s Pediatrics.
Students from Pre-K all the way to high school must be vaccinated, but there is one rounds of the T-DAP–or Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis shot that seems to be the most tricky for parents.
“The 11-12 year old ones are the ones that get in the biggest trouble, that 7th grade shot, but what we tend to do here is get those kids in before the big rush.”
Simmons says its never too early to get these back to school shots–even now–a month out.
“Everybody has that mentality, we have a month, we have time so, remember, every body’s going to think that exact same way and everybody rushes in August, and then what happens is that you cant get in to see your doctor, and then you get in trouble with the schools.In South Carolina, and I think in most states they will kick the kids out of school if their shots aren’t up to date.”
But Simmons says there’s a bigger reason then school to get your child protected, contracting Measles, mumps or even chicken pox can turn deadly.
“Kids that haven’t had their shots are actually getting these rare diseases, now the problem arises is that we don’t see it. So basically when I see a case of Measles, because I’ve never seen a case, its going to take me longer to actually diagnose it. Which means the kid is usually sicker when we make the call.”
For a list of South Carolina vaccine requirements go to: http://www.scdhec.gov/Health/docs/Immunization%20Requirements%20for%20School%20&%20Day%20Care,%202015-2016.pdf