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A Good Night's Sleep, A Fresh Start and Vaccinations

It is that time of the year again, a time that parents celebrate and many children dread – the end of summer and the beginning of school. There are several things a parent can do to prepare their children for the new school year.

  • Whether it is their first time or they are returning to school, most children feel a little anxious about starting a new year in the classroom. It is important to discuss any concerns your child may have. Encourage them to focus on the exciting opportunities that a new school year brings, such as new teachers, new classes and new friends.
  • Most families let the scheduling rules relax a little in the summer. In the first weeks of school its is important to get your children adjusted to a regular sleep schedule so they wont struggle, and will feel rested for the long school day.
  • Health wise it is important to know that there are certain immunization requirements for school. In the state of Pennsylvania it is required that children receive certain vaccines in order to attend school. These are:
    • Tetanus and Diphtheria (whooping cough) – 4 doses, at least one after 4th birthday
    • Hepatitis B – 3 doses
    • Measles, Mumps, Rubella – 2 doses, at least one after 1st birthday
    • Polio -3 doses
    • Varicella (chickenpox) – 2 doses or proof the child has had chickenpox.

Children attending 7th grade need one dose of Tdap if 5 years have elapsed since the last tetanus shot, and one meningococcal vaccine.

Remember, though children may fear vaccines and getting “needles,” vaccinations provide protection against diseases that used to cause severe illnesses and even death in school age children.  BCHC family doctors and nurse practitioners see children for well-child visits and all vaccinations are available.  Contact us if your child needs a provider.

Have a happy, healthy school year!