Immunize your kids for school. Image: Shutterstock

New school supplies? Check.  New school clothing that fits and is stylish? Check.  Do they have immunizations?  Wait…what?  My kid needs immunizations?  Your kid is ready to go, but the school might not even let them in the door if they are not properly immunized against potentially dangerous diseases.

The list of what schools require has changed over the years.  Their main concern is keeping all kids safe and healthy.  The school nurse or your pediatrician can give you a list of what your child needs.  The list is also posted on the school district’s website.

For the Seattle School District, for example, children entering any grade between K-6 must be vaccinated against Hepatitus B, TDaP, Polio, MMR and Varicella.  In case you are unfamiliar with the medical abbreviations, here’s what those all stand for.  TDaP is short for Tetnus, Diptheria, and Pertussis.  MMR stands for Measles, Mumps and Rubella.  These vaccinations are pretty standard for children these days.

Varicella is the one many people have never heard of.  We actually had to look it up.  It turns out it’s another term for Chicken Pox.  This is the one causing all the controversy.  Many parents are choosing not to vaccinate their kids for the pox, as they believe their kids are better off being naturally exposed to them and fighting them off naturally.

girl gets a shot

It may sting, but it will protect her. Image: Shutterstock

We admit, we were pretty surprised since we didn’t even know there was a vaccine until now.  So, first of all, yes, there is a vaccine.  Second, it actually does protect kids from getting chicken pox.  Third, you need to make up your own mind about whether it’s better to get chicken pox naturally or avoid it through taking the vaccine.

What you really need to know is that there can be serious complications that can even lead to death from chicken pox.  They spread like wildfire, and the vaccine will NOT cause autism.  There has never ever been a recorded instance of that.  So, after reading a scathing blog posting from Seattle Mama Doc against pox parties, in which parents intentionally expose their children to other kids who are exposed, we are on board.