School's start can be a shot in the arm for kids

With the first day of school just around the corner, it’s the perfect time for parents to make sure their children’s immunizations are up to date, say pediatricians at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

“Keeping children and teens up to date on their vaccines keeps them healthy by preventing serious diseases, not only in themselves but also in those around them who may not be protected,” says Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, a pediatric infectious disease expert.

Without vaccines, the incidences of preventable childhood diseases such as polio, measles and mumps could rise, Dr. Kahn says. Unvaccinated kids would be susceptible to the diseases, which in severe cases could be life-threatening.

Even if you think your children are fully vaccinated, be sure to double-check with their pediatrician for the latest lists. In Texas, for instance, the Department of State Health Services changed the requirements for several vaccines in 2009, including those for chickenpox and meningitis.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in pediatrics.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month.

Media Contact:">Kristen Holland Shear

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