Getting Your Kids Shot-Ready for School

By: Garrett Wymer Email
By: Garrett Wymer Email

Sunday was World Hepatitis Day, and with summer drawing quickly to a close - cover your ears, kids - it is almost time for going back to school. That means it is time to make sure your kids are up-to-date on their shots.

"Get your child vaccinated," said Amanda Torian, who has two kids. She said she has always worried about her kids getting sick from other kids at school.

"You got other kids that go to school - flu, coughing, sneezing, hacking on other people's children," she said. "Anything that you touch and you've got a virus, another child can come behind and touch it and get that same virus."

First Alert Health Team member Dr. Doug Larsen said that is why vaccines are so important.

"I think it's extremely important, and definitely a very big part of the success of public health in America is the vaccination of our youth," Dr. Larsen said. "They're just really necessary, and they prevent illness and they prevent death."

The Virginia Department of Health requires children to have the proper shots before they can go to school. You can find the full list of required shots for school at vdh.virginia.gov.

Dr. Larsen said the vast majority of parents do it in time so their kids do not have to miss school. But still, parents like Torian worry about the germs.

"I'm very concerned about that situation when you've got your children going to school healthy, doing what they're supposed to do, and you've got some of those parents just send their children to school whether they're sick or not just to get rid of them," Torian said.

"There's always that concern but certainly with that concern we just tell people this: we certainly do need education, we do want the kids in school," Dr. Larsen said. "But do practice those things that we know that help prevent or reduce the risk of spreading infections from one another."

That includes things like coughing or sneezing into your shoulder, and keeping your kids home from school when they are sick, Larsen said.

When it comes to vaccines, Dr. Larsen said you are not off the hook after you grow up. He said vaccines are not just for kids, and that it is important for adults, too, to stay up on their shots.


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