Is your teen starting high school in the fall or leaving home behind for the first time for a cramped college dorm? Summertime is the perfect season to stock up on supplies for the school year and slowly accumulate all those posters and cool pieces of furniture for the dorm room. But don't forget about the other important items on your list like ensuring your teen has a healthy year at school.
Teens should be getting another round of vaccinations before the school year as the thousands of people they interact with on a daily basis can leave them more vulnerable to diseases, according to the Center For Disease Control And Prevention.
The U.S. government doesn't mandate any particular vaccines for schools; rather states individually come up with their own requirements, usually based off of recommendations from the CDC.
One vaccine that will save you and your teens a lot of grief is the Influenza vaccine for the common flu. Trust us, your teens will somehow get it every year when one of their classmates inevitably gets sick and they will end up having to miss classes and make up the work. Not fun.
The Meningococcal conjugate vaccine for life-threatening bacterial meningitis is also extremely important for unvaccinated freshmen living in close quarters in college dorms, as is the PPV vaccine which protects against Pneumococcal disease - the leading cause of sickness and death that could have been prevented by vaccines.
In addition, any men and women who did not receive the three-part HPV vaccine dosage when they were younger need to get them now to protect against preventable cancers like cervical cancer. The vaccine is most effective when the recipient has time to develop an immunity to the virus before becoming sexually active. Even if you don't think your teens will be sexually active for some time, it is extremely important for them to get the vaccine now.