Omaha Public Radio News
2:26 pm
Tue July 27, 2010

Back-to-School Means more than New Clothes.

Omaha, NE – Getting kids ready to go back to school sometimes includes shopping for new clothes or school supplies. But, Dr. Archana Chatterjee, Professor of Pediatrics at Creighton University, says it's also the time to make sure your kids are up to date on their immunizations. She says immunizations are one of the best ways to protect children from a number of different infectious diseases.

Dr. Chatterjee says it's important for parents and care givers to make sure children have the appropriate vaccinations before school begins because that's where kids are exposed to diseases, "It's important to keep in mind while we do have low rates of diseases like measles and polio; there are other parts of the world where these diseases are still endemic, where they still occur on a routine basis. And we have children who come from all over the world in our school systems. So it's entirely possible that a child, who was born here and grew up here, might come into contact with somebody who's from one of those places where these diseases are still prevalent."

Dr. Chatterjee says parents and care givers should check with their health care providers and their schools to find out which immunizations are required. Additionally, she recommends checking the Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Practice since school entry requirements may actually be behind in terms of which immunizations children should get.

She says this applies to all students, from K-12, as well as parents and care givers.