As a mother of three, I understand that the weeks leading up to the school year are consumed with checklists and shopping trips. School clothes, backpacks, pencils and college-ruled notebook paper are just a few of the items that top these lists. One item that’s at the top of my family’s checklist is immunizations.
In Maryland, children are required to have four doses of a vaccination called DTaP prior to kindergarten. It protects children against three serious illnesses: diphtheria, which can lead to breathing problems, paralysis and death; pertussis or whooping cough, which can lead to pneumonia, seizures and brain damage; and tetanus or lockjaw, which prevents victims from opening their mouths or swallowing and can lead to death.
Other required vaccinations for children enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade include: polio, varicella, hepatitis B, measles, mumps and rubella.
If you have questions or concerns about vaccination safety and dosage, I encourage you to discuss the topic with your physician or on our Facebook discussion board. I am happy to answer any questions you and your family may have about keeping your children safe this school year.