Track Kids' Immunizations: Dates, Records And Types

Keep good records about your children's needed and booster immunizations for when they are required by school and public organizations.

Most children dislike getting a shot from the doctor. They will do just about anything to avoid it, in fact. But the truth is that all kids need immunizations to prevent an infection from a serious illness, such as diphtheria, tetanus, or even chicken pox. In recent years, many physicians recommend a hepatitis prevention shot for those who work in the medical field, and an influenza immunization, especially among young children or the elderly. But school-age children typically receive most preventative injections.

The immunization process often begins at two months of age. During the baby's first medical exam, the doctor typically prescribes a series of injections to be given two months apart, beginning when the infant is two months old. The next is given at four months, and the other at six months. Some physicians recommend another booster shortly afterward. With the usual DPT injection comes the anti-polio injection, following the polio outbreak in the 1950s.

Just before the child begins school at age five, another set of shots may need to be given. These are boosters for the original immunizations. Smallpox vaccine used to be one of them, but has been discontinued since the disease has largely died out. Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) series are administered to prepare the child for exposure at school to children who may have these illnesses and pass them on. Although they are typical childhood diseases, immunization may prevent a child from getting one or more or decrease the severity of symptoms if contracted.

At age twelve, just before entering junior high school or seventh grade, children often receive another booster shot or two, depending on their doctor's recommendations. This may be all that they will need until adulthood, when tetanus boosters are suggested every ten years or so, or if a deep wound is incurred. An exception might be for extracurricular sports, when kids are supposed to be checked by the doctor and certified as physically able for sports activity. At that time the doctor may note whether any additional immunizations are required. If your child travels abroad for school or missions work, or gets an unexpected injury or illness, more immunizations may be needed on a case-by-case basis.

Tracking your child's immunizations should begin at birth. Get a baby book, buy a ledge, or create an online log for keeping notes about your child's health. Appoint a section for immunizations and boosters. Make places for dates, the shot's name or purpose, and where it was administered. Some doctor offices keep track of the serial number of the batch, but you probably don't need to do this.

Update the record each time a new shot is given. Compare it with the doctor's file for accuracy at some point. Keep it current until your child reaches maturity, and then hand it over (or a copy), as these records may be needed for military service for job employment.

A written record provides a valuable history of your family's medical conditions and treatment. Don't neglect information about immunizations.

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