What to Do to Start the School Year Right

RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 1 (UPI) — Before children start school, a U.S. doctor says they should get an eye exam, a dental cleaning and get the recommended immunizations.

Dr. Jay Schukman of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Richmond, Va., says studies show “problem learners” may actually suffer from undetected vision problems and dental-related illness causes the loss of 51 million school hours the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has calculated.

Schukman says vaccines recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include:

– Meningococcal vaccine at ages 11-12 and at ages 13-18 if not previously vaccinated against bacterial meningitis.

– The tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine for children ages 11-12 who have not received a tetanus and diphtheria toxoids vaccine booster. Adolescents between ages 13-18 who missed the Tdap dose at ages 11-12 or received the tetanus, diphtheria vaccine only are encouraged to receive one dose of Tdap 5 years (includes pertussis) after the last vaccine.

– The varicella or chickenpox vaccine at age 12-15 months and 4-6 years. Those receiving one dose need a second dose.

– The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at ages 12-15 months and at ages 4-6. If not previously vaccinated, ages 7-18.

– The human papillomavirus vaccine for girls beginning at ages 11-12 and to boys beginning at ages 11-12 to reduce their likelihood of acquiring genital warts.

– The seasonal flu vaccine.

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