Back to School Vaccinations -- Is Your Kid Up-to-Date?

April Peveteaux

vaccines for back to schoolYou've got your pencils, new backpacks, and Trapper Keepers all ready to go for the first day of school. Feeling prepared? You might want to check your child's vaccination records against the state requirements before you get a call from the school nurse.

While there are no laws requiring your child be up-to-date on her vaccines, there are public school requirements by state that do just that. If you want your child in your local public school, you'll need to make sure they comply with the laws of your state. Also, there's that whole herd immunity thing.

Additionally, there are some states that have suffered from outbreaks of previously eradicated diseases. You want to make sure your child is protected from those nefarious germs as well.

Here are the vaccines you'll need in most states before you head back to school, and shout-outs to those deadly bugs trying hard to make a comeback.

All states require vaccinations for some, or all of the following diseases:

  • Mumps
  • Measles
  • Rubella
  • Polio
  • Tetanus
  • Pertussis
  • Diphtheria

But check out the CDC site for your state's specific vaccine requirements. We were really surprised to learn that our daughter needed the Varicella vaccine after we moved from New York to California, as it's not required in New York City. We also needed the hepatitis B vaccine in both states.

With recent outbreaks around the country, here are some other state-by-state diseases you may want to protect your child from before he is exposed to other children:

California has had a major whooping cough outbreak this year, with almost 500 cases reported. As this outbreak continues to grow, make sure your child has all of his pertussis vaccines and boosters.

New York and New Jersey had around 1,500 cases of mumps starting last summer and continuing into 2010. While a majority of the community in New York had received the mumps vaccine, it is believed to have been brought to the community by an unvaccinated child. Iowa also had a small mumps outbreak earlier this year.

San Diego had a major measles outbreak in 2008 that showed what harm only one unvaccinated child can cause. The unvaccinated little boy returned from a family trip to Switzerland bringing the disease with him and infected almost 900 people, including babies who could not yet receive the vaccine.

Are your child's vaccines up-to-date?

Image via Andres Rueda/Flickr

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