Your dreams just came true. Your offspring, the little baby who you fed and changed, has grown into a strapping middle schooler, has made the decision to play baseball just like his old man, or your curious little explorer has decided she wants to go to science camp. Whatever the scenario that you always envisioned for your little protege, they are entering the phase of life where extracurricular activities like sports and clubs are leading them to participate on teams or in camp-like activities. As much as the tears well up with pride as you sign that permission slip, remember that your parenting duties in this arena are not quite over. In many cases such as these, your child is going to need some shots.
The most common recommended shots for adolescents participating in activities that urge vaccination are Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) and Tetanus. Measles and mumps are fast-spreading and can be prevented if vaccinated, and tetanus is recommended in the case of camp specifically because a child is at a higher risk for exposure in a camp environment. Additionally, if your child is closer to college-age, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, and Meningococcal Meningitis could likely be added to that list as well.
If you choose to have your child vaccinated prior to camp departure or the first team practice, there are a few sources available. Your child’s pediatrician or doctor should have a record of his or her vaccinations and will be able to administer the new shots and update the record. If your household is not the annual exam type, a county or city health department or even a local pharmacy will be able to help as far as administering vaccinations.
Being a parent is a very multifaceted job. A mom and a dad serve many roles throughout the day, and the role of caretaker is not one to be compromised. By utilizing the resources available in the community, like local health departments and family doctors, keeping children healthy and preparing them to embark on new adventures will be an easy task.