ONALASKA, Wisconsin (WXOW) - "Back to School" means new books and backpacks, but pediatricians are reminding parents it's also time for kids to get their immunizations.
Pediatricians are encouraging parents to bring their children in for well-child checks, which include physicals and vaccination review.
Dr. Charlie Peters says vaccinations are critical for keeping kids healthy.
"Parents really need to know that the benefits of immunizations or vaccines far outweigh the risks associated with them," said Peters, a Pediatrician at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Onalaska. "They need to realize that these are potentially fatal infections that children could develop that we have the ability to protect them against."
Peters also said that immunizations help to slow the spread of viral infections from person to person.
"We need to continue to remind people, however, that we are in the middle of a pertussis or whooping cough outbreak or even epidemic in both Wisconsin and Minnesota," he said. "So please, please, please get your child immunized."
Peters also reminded adults that they need a TDAP booster every ten years. That immunization includes protection against whooping cough.
The Center for Disease Control has schedules available that say when kids need what vaccines.
For infants to children age 6: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/child.html
For ages 7-18: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/preteen-teen.html
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