Interview: School vaccines


by WHAS editors

Posted on August 7, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 7 at 2:12 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- You have backpacks, school supplies, shoes and clothes for your kids as they start heading back to class, but don't forget to consider a trip to the doctor to make sure your kid's vaccines are up-to-date so your child has a healthy start to the new school year.

Heather Felton with UofL Pediatrics Stonestreet has more in the video player above.

These exams are required for new and returning students

•    Physicals: Children must get physicals for kindergarten and sixth grade.
•    Dental exams: Kentucky law requires all children entering kindergarten receive a dental screening. The UofL School of Dentistry is offering free screenings to these new students. Parents can call 502-852-5312 to make an appointment.
•    Eye exams: Kindergartners require an exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
•    Sports physicals: Athletes are often required to receive comprehensive physical exams to ensure they are ready to participate in organized sports.

•    Other: Your child’s doctor may do other exams, based on the requirements of your child’s school and the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

What vaccines are required for children to attend public school?

Children entering preschool and kindergarten need:

•    DTAP for protection against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, also known as whooping cough.
•    Hepatitis B.
•    Polio vaccine.
•    MMR for protection against measles, mumps and rubella.
•    Varicella, also known as chicken pox vaccine.

In the sixth grade, students get booster shots:

•    TDAP, which increases immunity against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.
•    MCV, which protects them from a type of meningitis.

There are other vaccines for parents to consider along the way as well, for protection against pneumonia, meningitis and HPV. That’s why it’s important for parents to stay in touch with their pediatricians and decide what’s right for their children.

Medication Management
If your child is on medications that must be taken at school, parents must be sure to get the proper forms signed during your child’s checkup. Most schools post their required forms on the school website.