With school back in session, your children may be exposed to an increased number of illnesses in the classroom setting. Studies have shown that school desks can harbor bacteria and viruses that are associated with illnesses, and these and other objects as well as direct interaction among sick and healthy kids may make your children more likely to become sick when in school.
For most parents, when their child is sick, they will need to stay home. According to a survey conducted by the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, 42 percent of parents had to miss work to care for their sick child within the span of one year. The extent of absenteeism for a parent can be detrimental to their place of business and their career.
Parents should take the necessary precautions and get their children vaccinated to ensure that they are healthy and safe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, here are the key vaccinations that your children will need to have before or throughout school to reduce illnesses that can lead to absenteeism throughout their schooling:
1. Rotavirus: Prevents against rotaviruses, which are the leading cause of severe diarrhea among infants and young children. This virus is highly contagious and young children are at high risk of illness.
2. Haemophilus Influenzae (HIB): Prevents a disease that is the leading cause of childhood meningitis, pneumonia and epiglottitis. This disease is mostly seen in children under 5 years old.
3. Pneumococcal: Prevents against an infection caused by pneumococcus. Pneumococcus can cause many types of illnesses, including ear infections and meningitis.
4. MCV4: Prevents against Meningococcal disease, the leading cause of bacterial meningitis. This disease is serious and parents should be aware that is predominantly spread through coughing and sneezing.
5. Measles, Mumps, Rubella Vaccine Series (MMR): Prevents measles, mumps and rubella which are infectious airborne diseases that can be contacted through coughing or sneezing.
6. Varicella Vaccine Series: Prevents against the infamous kid prone disease, chickenpox. Chickenpox is very contagious and can be spread very easily.
7. MCV4 Booster: It is recommended at age 16 for teenagers to get a boost of the MCV4 vaccine to prevent Meningococcal disease.
8. Influenza: Prevents Influenza, also known as the flu. This highly contagious viral infection of the nose, throat and lungs is spread through a person’s cough or sneeze and through objects contaminated with secretions from a cough or sneeze. This is a vaccination that will need to be repeated annually for proper protection.
9. Pneumococcal Vaccine: Prevents Pneumonia, an infection of the lungs. Pneumococcal disease spreads when people cough or sneeze.
10. Hepatitis A Vaccine Series: Prevents Hepatitis A. This virus is spread through the fecal-oral route.
11. Tdap: Prevents against Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis. Tetanus is commonly known as lockjaw in which the infected person has painful spasms and stiffness of all muscles. Diphtheria and Pertussis are less severe and are caused by an infected person’s cough or sneeze.