RALEIGH: Dr. Campbell - The role of vaccines in school - WSPA.com

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Dr. Campbell: The role of vaccines in school

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Infectious diseases account for millions of school days lost each year for kindergarten through 12th-grade public school students in the United States.

Forty percent of children aged five to 17 years missed three or more school days in the past year because of illness or injury. Nearly 22 million school days are lost each year due to colds alone, and 38 million school days are lost each year due to the flu.

Vaccinations are required in most states prior to entering school. It is essential to your child’s health and safety that you obtain proper vaccination prior to the start of school.

So what are vaccines, exactly?

They’re an injection of a killed or weakened organism in order to prevent the disease.

Vaccines are among the safest and most effective preventive medicines used today. They save countless lives and spare infants, children and adults from the pain, suffering and disfigurement common to many vaccine-preventable diseases.

Myths and misinformation about vaccine safety can confuse parents who are trying to make sound decisions about their children's health care.

When it comes to vaccinating your child, it’s important to know that the law requires vaccinations be given in order for children to attend both public and private schools as well as day care.


Here
is the vaccination schedule for N.C.

Most vaccine-preventable diseases are rare in North Carolina because of the success of vaccinations. If we stopped vaccinating, diseases that are nearly under control today would return. More people would get sick and more would die. Fortunately, there are safe and effective vaccines available to protect.

If you remember, there has been a resurgence in whooping cough and measles in certain areas of the country—these diseases were thought to have been eliminated. They are coming back because a few groups of people have chosen not to vaccinate. It is critical to our public health that we continue to vaccinate our kids.

In North Carolina, vaccination records are checked when a child is enrolled in a childcare facility or school. Children are not allowed to attend school (whether public, private or religious) or a childcare facility unless they have received all immunizations appropriate for their age.

Some claim that vaccines can make you sick. There is much misinformation in the U.S. today. Vaccines do not give you autism. Some vaccines can give you a low grade fever and you may feel a little under the weather for the night after the injection. There may be some local swelling or soreness at the injection site—however, the benefits of vaccines far outweigh the risk.

Like any medication, vaccines, can cause side effects. The most common side effects are mild. On the other hand, many vaccine-preventable disease symptoms can be serious, or even deadly.

If your child experiences a reaction at the injection site, you can use a cool, wet cloth to reduce redness, soreness, and swelling.

Even though many of these diseases are rare in this country, they still occur around the world and can be brought into the U.S., putting unvaccinated children at risk.

Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare and doctors and clinic staff are trained to deal with them. Pay extra attention to your child for a few days after vaccination. If you see something that concerns you, call your child’s doctor.

So what would happen if we stopped vaccinating here? Diseases that are almost unknown would stage a comeback. Before long we would see epidemics of diseases that are nearly under control today. More children would get sick and more would die.

Respiratory infections can spread from person to person in respiratory droplets of coughs and sneezes. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person can be propelled through the air and land on the mouth or nose of people nearby.

Diseases that used to be common in this country and around the world, including polio, measles, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), rubella (German measles), mumps, tetanus, rotavirus and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) can now be prevented by vaccination.

Thanks to a vaccine, one of the most terrible diseases in history – smallpox – no longer exists outside the laboratory. Over the years vaccines have prevented countless cases of disease and saved millions of lives.

What other things can we have our children do in school to help prevent infectious illnesses?

Hand Hygiene

Keeping hands clean is one of the best ways to keep from getting sick and spreading illnesses. Practicing good hand hygiene gets rid of bacteria and viruses from contact with other people or surfaces.

Schools play a key role in supporting hand hygiene. This involves teaching good hand hygiene practices, providing hand hygiene information to students and families, and providing the hand soap and paper towels necessary to reduce the spread of infectious diseases in the school environment.

    Clean Hands Save Lives

    Handwashing and Nail Hygiene

Respiratory Etiquette

To prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, the nose and mouth should be covered with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and the tissue should be thrown in the trash immediately after use. Schools can teach respiratory etiquette to students and staff — including coughing or sneezing into the arm if no tissue is available — and can ensure that tissues are available.

    Cover Your Cough

To get in touch with Dr. Campbell, you can head to his website, Facebook page or message him on Twitter.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.
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