Are Your Kids Up to Date on Their Vaccines?

Once upon a time in the U.S., diseases made a lot of children very sick.

Those diseases aren't as common as they used to be, thanks to vaccines. But most are still around - and potentially a risk. That's one of the reasons it's important to make sure your children get their recommended vaccinations on time.

“Immunizations allow children to safely build immunity to diseases that are dangerous but preventable,” said Dr. Lisa Barry, pediatrician at Aspirus Stevens Point Clinic. One example is measles, a very contagious illness that can cause serious complications and even death. Measles was eliminated in the U.S. in 2000. But since that time, new outbreaks have occurred among people who were not vaccinated. “Other diseases vaccines help prevent include whooping cough, chickenpox, polio and meningitis,” said Dr. Barry.

Protecting your child is important. But there's another reason kids need their vaccines: It helps protect other members of your family and community through herd immunity.

So which vaccines might your youngster or teen need? That depends on their age and vaccine history. To see what's recommended, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's schedule of children's vaccinations: cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules

Here are some shots that kids of different ages may need.

Infants and toddlers (birth to age 2 years):
• DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis)
• MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)
• Chickenpox
• Pneumonia
• Hepatitis A and B
• Polio

Preschoolers and school-aged kids (ages 3 to 10):
• DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis)
• MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)
• Chickenpox
• Polio

Preteens and teens (ages 11 to 18):
• HPV
• Meningitis
• Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis)

As a pediatrician, Dr. Barry cares for children of all ages. She can help you keep your child up to date on their vaccines and can help catch them up if they’ve fallen behind. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Barry, call Aspirus Stevens Point Clinic at 715-344-1600.

To find an Aspirus pediatrician in another location, visit aspirus.org/childrens-health or call the Aspirus Customer Contact Center at 800-847-4707.