What You Need To Know About Kindergarten Registration And Immunizations
Are you ready to register your child for kindergarten? Along with all the other paperwork you'll need to fill out, you'll also need to provide the school with important health-related documentation—including immunizations. If you're a first time kindergarten parent, take a look at what you need to know about vaccinations and school.
Do All Kindergarten Programs Require Vaccination?
Each state has its own laws and regulations for school entry and childhood vaccination. These laws typically include both public and private schools. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all states currently offer medical exemptions from these laws and some allow religious or philosophical exemptions.
Why Do Schools Require Vaccination?
This requirement isn't just another hoop you have to jump through during the registration process. Not only can childhood vaccinations reduce the risks of some preventable diseases for your kindergartner, but immunizations can also lower the overall incidence of illness in the general population.
The more people who are vaccinated, the less likely it is that disease will spread. This can lower rates of serious illnesses and may even eliminate them.
What Vaccinations Will Your Child Need?
If you've stuck to the schedule your child's pediatrician set for them, it's likely your five- or six-year-old already has all the vaccinations they'll need to start school. While some schools vary in terms of specific requirements, your child should have proof of the chickenpox, DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, MMR) measles, mumps, and rubella), and polio vaccines.
Do Schools Require Additional Vaccinations After Kindergarten?
In some cases, districts may require proof of additional vaccination as your child moves through elementary, middle, and high school. These could include an additional DTaP vaccine in middle or junior high school, a meningococcal vaccination in high school, or other vaccines.
What Happens If a Child Isn't Vaccinated?
If you can't provide proof of vaccination, the school may not allow you to register your child for kindergarten or may not allow them to start school in the fall. Again, all states allow medical exemptions, and some accept religious/philosophical ones. If you need an exemption for your child, make sure you have the appropriate documentation and fill out all necessary paperwork.
Does your child have the vaccinations your local school district requires? If you're not sure which immunizations your kindergartener needs prior to starting the next school year, contact the school health office or administration, or your local doctor's office, like Dino Peds, before registration begins.