When children enter preschool or daycare, they become susceptible to a variety of germs spread by their peers. That’s why you need to take your little one to a trusted health care center for vaccinations. While you must follow the specific immunization guidelines set by your child’s preschool or day care, most programs require the following vaccinations before enrollment.
5 Vaccinations Your Preschooler Needs
A common health care concern, the flu is a potentially fatal respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get an annual flu vaccine by the end of October. Children between 6 months and 8 years who are getting their first flu vaccine or have only received one dose previously should get two doses at least 28 days apart.
Spread by the varicella-zoster virus, chickenpox is a potentially fatal illness that often causes an itchy rash, fever, and tiredness. A child should receive one dose of chickenpox vaccine between 12 and 15 months of age and another dose between 4 and 6 years of age.
3. Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR)
The MMR vaccine protects your child from:
- Measles: Caused by a virus in the nose and throat mucus, measles can lead to pneumonia, brain damage, deafness, and death.
- Mumps: Spread through coughing and sneezing, mumps can cause serious health care concerns, including deafness and meningitis.
- Rubella: Often, children with rubella only experience a rash or fever. However, if they spread the disease to a pregnant woman, rubella could cause miscarriage or serious birth defects in a developing baby.
A child should receive one dose of MMR vaccine between 12 and 15 months of age and another dose between 4 and 6 years of age.
Caused by a virus that can infect the brain and spinal cord, polio can lead to lifelong paralysis and death. A child should receive four doses of polio vaccine: one at 2 months of age, one at 4 months, one between 6 and 18 months, and one between 4 and 6 years.
5. Diphtheria, Tetanus, & Pertussis (DTaP)
The DTaP vaccine protects your child from three bacterial infections:
- Diphtheria: Diphtheria can cause difficulty breathing, heart failure, and death.
- Tetanus: Tetanus can cause muscle stiffness, lockjaw, and death.
- Pertussis: Also called whooping cough, pertussis can cause difficulty breathing and be fatal in babies.
A child should receive five doses of DTaP vaccine: one at 2 months of age, one at 4 months, one at 6 months, one between 15 and 18 months, and one between 4 and 6 years.
To ensure your preschooler is properly vaccinated, turn to Fairbanks Clinic, Inc. Since 1932, this comprehensive health care center has served Alaskans of all ages. Their convenient Patient Portal allows you to message your child’s doctor, request prescription refills, and schedule appointments online. Learn more about their commitment to thorough pediatric care on their website, and call (907) 452-1761 to schedule an appointment.