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Dr. Sukhwal

Dr. Aditya Sukhwal

Back-to-school time is the right time to be thinking about your child’s immunizations. And with vaccines often in the news, there’s more to the topic than just painful pricks or when to get them. That’s why Dr. Aditya Sukhwal (Family Practice & Obstetrics Physician at the Platteville Clinic at Southwest Health) takes the time below to answer some common questions about immunizations and the importance of a well-child exam.

Why is it important that children get immunized?

The development of vaccinations has made a huge difference in reducing the incidence of diseases such as polio, TB, and measles. Many parents today have merely heard of these diseases and their destructive effects, but these diseases still exist today. In fact, outbreaks of these illnesses are most likely to occur in areas where vaccination rates are low. Keeping your child up-to-date with immunizations will help protect his or her health for a lifetime.

Are vaccines safe?

Before any vaccines are given to anyone in the United States, they are rigorously tested to ensure they are safe, with as few side affects as possible. It is true that vaccines can cause tenderness near the injection site, but that is temporary and minor when compared to the lasting health impact of a serious disease.

What additional steps help keep kids healthy?

Bring your child to see his or her doctor annually for a well-child exam, which consists of more than just vaccinations. Pediatricians and family practice physicians will check your child’s height and weight to ensure he or she is growing appropriately, and will also talk with your child to monitor cognitive development. Well-child exams are an excellent chance for parents to ask their physician any questions they may have about the child’s development or other health concerns. Please contact your family physician to schedule a wellchild exam and/or vaccinations. Some parents are worried about immunizations, but the reality is vaccines are safe and necessary for good health.

Below are some common myths.

Myth: Vaccines can make you sick.
Fact: A low fever, soreness around the injection and aches are common. Those mild side effects show that our body is getting ready to fight the disease.

Myth: Vaccinations can cause autism.
Fact: No credible scientific study has ever linked autism to immunizations.

Myth: Vaccines can cause the disease they are supposed to prevent.
Fact: There are no vaccines that contain the exact live germ that can cause that disease. Most vaccines contain only a copy of part of the germ, which helps the body make antibodies that fight the disease. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you have concerns.

Immunizations required in the state of Wisconsin for school-aged children:

  • For children in pre-K (2-4 years old):
    • 4 doses of the DTP/DTaP/DT (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis) vaccine
    • 3 doses of the Polio vaccine
    • 3 doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine
    • 1 dose of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine
    • 1 dose of the Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine
  • For children in grades kindergarten through 5:
    • 4 doses of the DTP/DTaP/DT (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis) vaccine
    • 4 doses of the Polio vaccine
    • 3 doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine
    • 2 doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine
    • 2 doses of the Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine •
  • For children in grades 6 through 12:
    • 1 dose of the Tdap (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis Adolescent booster)
    • 4 doses of the DTP/DTaP/DT (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis) vaccine
    • 3 doses of the Polio vaccine
    • 3 doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine
    • 2 doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine
    • 2 doses of the Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine

Source: Women’s Health Center

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