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School nurses want vaccinationsto be a back-to-school priority

Aug. 22, 2011

YOURSTORIES

The Wisconsin Association of School Nurses (WASN), representing more than 250 school nurses statewide, today urged families and parents throughout the state to have their children vaccinated before sending them off to school. August is National Immunization Awareness Month.

"Many parents find themselves in full 'back-to-school' mode at this time of year and are already starting to gather all the necessary back-to-school-supplies. However, they should also include on those lists the need for current and updated vaccinations for their children," said Ann Riojas, president of the Wisconsin Association of Nurses and a Milwaukee Public Schools Nursing Supervisor. "Educators, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and City and County health departments statewide have all worked hard to make it easier for parents to get their children immunized quickly, and there are a variety of ways they can do that."

WASN recommends the following back-to-school vaccination tips to help Wisconsin parents and legal guardians:

Check the Wisconsin Immunization Registry at www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/immunization/publicaccess.htm to view your child's immunization record.

Phone your family physician and/or pediatrician to make sure your child's immunizations are up to date and if not, make an appointment before school starts. If your child is getting a sports physical, schedule vaccinations at the same time for convenience.

If your health insurance does not cover your child's immunization, check with your local health department regarding free immunization clinics in your area.

Talk with your local school, as many now offer immunization opportunities on-site during school registration.

Additional facts about Wisconsin immunization can be found at www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/immunization/index.htm. Vaccination facts and schedules are also provided through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov/vaccines.

Wisconsin law requires K5 through 5th graders be immunized within 30 days after school starts or they can be excluded from school for five days or the parent fined. Wisconsin requires children be vaccinated against chicken pox, measles/mumps/rubella, hepatitis B, polio and diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus. Waivers are available for personal convictions, religious beliefs and medical situations.

"Parents can also explore having their children vaccinated for meningitis, seasonal flu and other diseases," said Riojas. "Vaccinations have saved many lives over the years and doing so for your child will help keep them and their community safe."

For more information please visit http://www.wisconsinschoolnurses.org/.

A version of this article originally appeared under Your Stories on CudahyNOW.com. To contribute an article, find the "submit" link under the list of Your Stories on the website.

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