Preparing for school should include updating your child’s immunizations

You know summer is winding down when you walk into your favorite store and are welcomed by aisles of school supplies. The annual ritual of shopping for school supplies should be secondary to getting school physicals and immunizations.

“It’s not too late to schedule physicals and immunizations for your school-aged children and college youth,” said Linda Poole, supervisory nurse of vaccines at the Ogle County Health Department.

The state of Illinois requires all children entering kindergarten, fifth grade and ninth grade to have a health exam. The exam must be performed and signed by a physician prior to the date of entering school. Dental exams are also required for children entering kindergarten, second grade and sixth grade. Colleges have their own recommendations for incoming students.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends an annual check-up for children from age 2 to 18, even though schools do not require them. This is a good opportunity for parents and doctors to talk about health and behavioral issues facing their children.

The state of Illinois’ required school exams coincide with the ages for immunizations. According to Poole, “Vaccines are the most effective protection against many diseases that threaten the health of our children.” If you are not sure if your child’s shots are up to date, call your doctor or the health department.

The Ogle County Health Department offers immunizations to children who are residents of Ogle County. There is an administrative charge of $10 per vaccine. Illinois Public Aid clients and those having financial need should speak with health department personnel regarding payment. The Ogle County Health Department will administer immunizations July 31, Aug. 7 and 21 in Rochelle from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and in Oregon Aug. 14 from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

To make an appointment or for more information, call the Ogle County Health Department at (815) 732-7330, ext. 301.

from the July 25-31, 2007, issue

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