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American Academy of Pediatrics President Reminds Parents to Immunize Children on Schedule this Fall


American Academy of Pediatrics


Health, Safety, Nutrition and Kids

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Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule --- United States, 2001 - CDC

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Each year, children miss the first day of school because they do not have the immunizations needed to enter a particular grade. That's why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) want to remind parents to immunize their children on schedule as the best protection against dangerous childhood diseases.

"One of the most important steps a parent can take to maintain their child's health is to immunize them on schedule against deadly, preventable diseases," says Steve Berman, MD, FAAP, president of the AAP. "The success of immunizations can make parents think these diseases no longer exist. In reality it's because the vaccines are working that we rarely see a child with measles for example. Therefore, it's imperative that we never take the importance of proper immunizations for granted."

According to Dr. Berman there are three key points parents need to know about immunizing their children:

  • By keeping your child up-to-date on recommended immunizations), you also protect your family and community against the spread of infectious diseases.
  • Vaccines are extremely safe. Like any medicine, they can cause mild reactions, but they are by far the most effective way to keep children healthy.
  • Immunizations begin soon after birth and continue throughout life. But because the youngest children are especially vulnerable to infection, most vaccines are given before the age of six.

Students in the United States between the ages of four and six need at least two boosters, including the fourth dose of polio (IPV) and the second dose of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). Additional immunizations may be needed between the ages of six and 18 to continue protecting against such diseases as: hepatitis B, tetanus, diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella (German measles), and chickenpox.

Together the American Academy of Pediatrics and Ronald McDonald House Charities have identified immunization education as a priority. RMHC initiatives in this area include: the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program, a fleet of mobile pediatric healthcare units that provide free immunizations; a partnership with UNICEF to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus in underdeveloped countries; and a program launching next year, "Immunize for Healthy Lives".

For More Information

For more information on childhood vaccines and where to get them:

Contact: American Academy of Pediatrics

Date: August 10, 2001


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