It seems like summer started just yesterday, but it’s already back to school season here in Northwest Arkansas. In a couple of weeks, public and private schools will be back in session. While children are trying to wring every last second out of the remaining weeks of summer, parents are making sure that everything is in order before the first day of school.
Keeping your child current and up to date on his or her immunizations is very important. Arkansas law requires students attending public or private schools to receive vaccinations. But why are vaccines required? Why are immunizations so important for children?
Why are immunizations important?
Immunizations are the single most important way to protect your child from disease.
Vaccines can literally help save your child’s life. Vaccinating children helps prevent the development of deadly or incurable viruses and diseases. In fact, many viruses and diseases have all but been eliminated through the use of vaccines. For example, there were zero new cases of polio in the United States last year.
This does not mean your children no longer need to vaccines, however. When schools require immunizations, the vaccination rate increases, which lowers the rates of vaccine preventable diseases such as measles, smallpox, and polio. The only reason that these diseases are now rare and no longer considered pandemics is because people are being vaccinated against them.
Immunizations help keep the people around you safe and healthy.
Keeping your child safe and healthy is, of course, a top priority. However immunizations help protect your entire community. When more children are vaccinated, it decreases the chances the vaccine preventable diseases can affect others.
Some states, including Arkansas, offer medical and religious exemptions from vaccinations. Not vaccinating your child because you don’t want to isn’t a valid reason, though. You’re not only risking your child’s health, but the health of those around your child as well.
Immunizations are safe and they work.
There is very little risk involved with vaccination. Most children experience absolutely no side effects after immunization. It is possible, though, for some children to experience side effects from vaccination shots. However, serious side effects – such as an allergic reaction – are extremely rare. The benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks.
Vaccines work, and are extremely effective. Immunization is the best way to keep your child safe from vaccine preventable diseases.
Immunization in Arkansas
The first day of school will be here before you know it. Take a look at the current vaccine requirements for the state of Arkansas.