August is National Immunization Month and Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County is reminding parents to have their school-age children vaccinated.

“Vaccination is one of the best ways we can protect ourselves, and parents can protect their children, from harmful diseases,” said Dr. Michael Dohn, Medical Director, Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County. “Vaccine-preventable diseases can be very serious, even deadly, especially in infants, young children and the elderly.”

Getting vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule is one of the most important things a parent can do to protect their child’s health. Diseases can quickly spread among groups of children who aren’t vaccinated. Whether it’s a baby starting at a new childcare facility, a toddler heading to preschool, a student going back to elementary, middle or high school or college, parents should check their child’s vaccination records.

Childcare facilities, preschool programs, and schools are prone to outbreaks of infectious diseases. Children in these settings can easily spread illnesses to one another due to poor hand washing, not covering their coughs, and other factors such as interacting in crowded environments.

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for disease and can spread diseases to others in their play groups, child care centers, classrooms and communities – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.

Additionally, the state of Ohio requires children who are entering childcare or school to be vaccinated against certain diseases. Colleges and universities may have their own requirements, especially for students living in a dormitory. Parents should check with their child’s doctor, or school to learn about the requirements in their area.

If you haven’t already, check your child’s immunization record and schedule a visit to your physician or call 225-4550 to schedule an appointment at Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County immunization clinic. Doing so now will avoid a potential last minute rush and will help ensure there are no surprises on the first day of school.

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