Think back to when you registered your child for school. You may remember that you were asked to provide a copy of your child’s immunization record for the school to share with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. But what parents often want to know is WHY?!?
In Ontario, the law (Immunization of School Pupils Act) requires local health units to receive proof that specific immunizations are up to date for every child attending school. Sharing your child’s immunization record with the health unit is needed to ensure everyone is protected from common diseases.
There’s more – as children grow they need different vaccines to achieve the best protection. Many families don’t know that they also need to continue to update the health unit every time their child receives a new immunization from their family doctor or health care provider. If you do not provide this immunization information to the health unit, your child could be temporarily suspended from school.
All students in elementary and secondary school need to provide proof of up to date immunizations for:
- Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis and polio;
- Measles, mumps, and rubella;
- Meningococcal disease.
Students born in 2010 or later also need to provide proof of Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine.
Not sure if your child has had all of these important immunizations? You can start by checking their yellow immunization card – this should have a list of all the vaccines they’ve received from your family doctor or healthcare provider. You can also visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s website to see a copy of the recommended immunization schedule.
If you have any questions about your child’s vaccinations, give Health Connection a call at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520. The nurses on our vaccine team can help you find the information you’ll need to make sure your child’s record stays up-to-date.
~ Stephanie Jones RN
(Follow on Twitter @SMHealthySchool)