Last year the children in my class were hit hard by H1N1. During a three to four week period, I saw five to ten students out each day. Each one missed at least four days; the sickest of the group missed two full weeks of school.
Amigo is 18. La Petite is 23, a recent college graduate. In the five years between them, immunizations changed. It's very important to keep up on the changes; teens need regular physicals, just like babies and toddlers do.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is asking bloggers to remind parents to immunize their teens and preteens. Did you know that while most infants and children get the vaccines they need, less then half of pre-teens and teens receive the vaccines specifically recommended for their age group?
- Meningococcal infections are very serious and can result in long-term disability or even death
- Pertussis, also called whooping cough, is not just a childhood disease—many teens are diagnosed with it each year. Five years ago, one of my 6th grade students had it and generously shared the virus with me - in June.
- Certain strains of HPV, the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, can cause cervical pre-cancer and cancer.
There are three vaccines recommended specifically for kids at ages 11 or 12 to protect them from these diseases:
- Meningococcal vaccine
In addition, pre-teens (and all kids 6 months and older!) should get the flu vaccine every year. Even healthy kids can get the flu and it can be serious. Just ask last year's fourth graders!
I am writing this post as part of a CDC blogger outreach program. I offered to participate because I have seen the impact of pertussis, influenza, and more. The original post is on Compost Happens.