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Health Information For Parents
We’ll be taking a big family vacation in a couple of months. Do my kids need to get any special immunizations before we go? – Doriana
If you plan to travel abroad or internationally it’s possible that your kids — and you — will need additional vaccinations. Different countries have different health risks and may require specific vaccines. For example, your family will need the yellow fever vaccine if you’re traveling to tropical and sub-tropical areas in Africa or South America.
To find out which vaccines your family needs, ask your doctor or visit the CDC’s travelers’ health website for a list of recommended or required vaccinations (you can search by destination).
Most immunizations should be given at least 1 month before travel, so try to schedule a doctor’s visit 4–6 weeks before your trip. This gives plenty of time for the vaccines to take effect, and allows for vaccines to be given over a period of days or weeks, if necessary. But even if you’re leaving in less than 4 weeks, you should still make an appointment, as kids might still benefit from shots or medicines.
Depending on your travel plans, your doctor may recommend that in addition to routine immunizations, you and/or your kids be vaccinated against:
All kids get the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12–15 months of age, and the hepatitis A vaccine between their first and second birthdays. But any who will travel outside the United States before that can get these vaccines as early as 6 months of age. They will still need the routine vaccines after their first birthday.
Kids of any age can get malaria, so if you’re traveling to a country with a malaria risk, talk to your doctor about antimalarial drugs.
And if you’re traveling internationally, be sure to take your kids’ immunization records with you when you go.
This is the long word for what most kids know as shots.
Missing out on shots puts you at more serious risk than you might think. That one little “ouch” moment protects you from some major health problems.
When you’re traveling with your kids, there’s a chance that someone might get sick. But early planning and smart packing can help ensure your family stays healthy and safe.
Which vaccines does your child need and when? Use this immunization schedule as a handy reference.
Immunizations protect kids from many dangerous diseases. Find out what vaccines your child needs to grow up healthy.
Vaccines help keep kids healthy, but many parents still have questions about them. Get answers here.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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