Back-to-school shopping is not quite in full bloom yet, but retailers are projecting an increase in back to school spending. As part of preparing your child for school, make sure their immunization records are up to par.
What is an immunization?
It is a preventive step that protects a child from getting a disease. They are administered through an injection or booster shot, or orally. Essentially, weak or dead organisms are introduced into the child’s system so that white blood cells can develop the ability to fight off the bacteria or virus. This way, if a child is exposed to the bacteria in the future, they are less likely to get sick. To view a video on how the process works, click How Do Vaccines Prevent Illness?
There’s been some controversy on whether or not immunizations are a good thing. To decide what’s best for your child, see Facts About Vaccines.
Is my child required to get immunized to go to school?
The state laws vary and not all immunizations will keep a child from being accepted in school. However, according to the State Department of Pubic Health, a child cannot be admitted to school unless they’ve been immunized from certain diseases, such as diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B and chickenpox. For grades 7 to 12, California students must now also be immunized against whooping cough. To see a recent newspaper article, click State Lawmakers Approve Extension for Whooping Cough Vaccination.
To find out what immunizations your child needs, you can either:
• Call your child’s school. Click here to search for the contact information for your school.
• Click one of these charts: Schedule for 0-6 Year Olds, Schedule for 7-18 Year Olds
• Click the following map: Requirements by State
The law pertains to children in public or private schools, day cares, and other learning centers. For details on California law, click here.
How do I check if my child is current?
Contact your doctor or health care provider. For Kaiser Permanente members, click Personalized Preventive Services to access your child’s immunization record.
How much does it cost to get an immunization?
Most are free! Usually, it’s considered preventive and not subject to an out of pocket cost so long as it is not done to diagnose or treat an existing condition.
Back to School
Many schools resume session around mid-August. As part of you back to school preparation, consider getting your child’s immunizations taken care of before the first bell rings.