3 reasons to vaccinate your child before school begins

Summer days are ending, and school will soon be back in session. In addition to your little student’s pencils, glue and new backpack, remember to get them the immunizations that provide protection from disease throughout the school year.

There are many reasons to vaccinate your child, including this being the best way to help your children avoid getting sick from serious diseases. Measles, pertussis and the flu are just a few of the contagious illnesses that are preventable with the right vaccine, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Some diseases, such as polio and diphtheria, are now rare because vaccination efforts have almost completely eliminated them in this country, HHS noted. However, you should continue to immunize, as it protects your children, preventing diseases from coming back.

Here are three reasons to schedule vaccinations for your child:

1. Schools have germs

Your child comes into contact with many other children at school. From the bus ride to gym class to the cafeteria, they may be exposed to hundreds of other children and all their accompanying germs. There are coughs, sneezes, shared drinks and high-fives — all of which can transmit germs from one student to another. Then, of course, these germs can end up in your home.

An example of this particular phenomenon is with pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough. During the first half of 2016, more than 6,000 cases of pertussis were reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As the CDC noted, the disease can be quite serious in infants, so it’s that much more important to ensure your child isn’t spreading it around.

2. Older kids need protecting

Reasons to vaccinate your child

The CDC recommended a series of vaccines from birth to age five or six. Make sure older kids, teens and adults already have these vaccines. This will protect the whole family from preventable diseases.

3. Vaccinate before exposure

It’s a good idea to get your child protected before school begins, not only to keep them from getting sick but to also avoid the rush. If you’re concerned about affordability, the federal government has established the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, which provides free or low-cost vaccines for children through the age of 18 who qualify. Your state’s VFC website can help you locate resources in your local community, according to the CDC.

There are many reasons to vaccinate your child before school starts in the fall. Not only will you protect your own child, other students and vulnerable members of the community, you’ll help eradicate diseases for future generations.

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