As a doctor and a dad, it’s my job to help children stay protected — both at home and at work. One of the best ways to do that is to make sure your child is up-to-date on their immunizations. And although it might feel like it’s been a while since you took your child in for a shot (where did the time go?), there’s a batch of immunizations that your child should receive around age 12. These immunizations will help keep them safe. Plus, many are required at school.
Your child’s yearly checkup is a great time to get most of these immunizations checked off the list. You may need a quick follow-up visit for immunizations that require a booster or second dose. Your child’s doctor may recommend them starting around age 11. Check with your doctor to see when they recommend coming in.
Here are the four immunizations I recommend:
[Click on the image below to view the pdf in a new window or to print]
I really stress that both girls and boys get the HPV shot. This is an important step to help protect girls from cervical and other types of cancers.
Find more information about immunizations here.
Nobody likes shots. As an adult I still cringe at the thought of getting one. But as a doctor and a parent, I think it’s important to be honest with your child that getting a shot can hurt — but only for a moment. As for what else to discuss, I encourage you to meet your child where they are. If they want a lot of information on the shots, share it with them! If not, simply explain that these shots will help keep them healthy and strong, and protect them from harmful diseases.
Don’t hesitate to talk to your child’s doctor if you still have questions or concerns about these immunizations — and let your child know that they can ask questions at the appointment, too.
These immunizations are a quick way to protect your child against some very serious diseases. And as parents, protecting our kids, even when it’s not easy, is what we’re all about.