What parent would allow a child to play in a busy street or be unattended around a campfire or leave them alone at the zoo?
Parents work hard to keep their children safe from all sorts of potential dangers in the world. Yet some parents risk their children's lives by not having them properly immunized against preventable diseases, said Deb McGraw, Pratt County Public Health director.
Vaccinations start at birth and should be repeated or newly started at two months, four months, six months and 12 months.
At birth, HepB is given followed at two months with HepB, DTaP, PCV, Hib, Polio and RV. At four months the baby should get DTaP, PCV, Hib, Polio and RV then at six months get the entire two-month vaccinations again plus they can start getting the influenza vaccination.
At one year the vaccinations are MMR, PCV, Hib, Varicella, HepA and DtaP plus influenza.
If a child gets a preventable disease, they become a potential health hazard to children too young to be vaccinated and compromise their immune systems, McGraw said.
Some families choose to not get their children vaccinated because of religious beliefs while others don't like the government telling them how to raise their children. Others are afraid their children could get the disease or suffer from some other medical problem while others may not have the finances to pay for the injections.
Some parents have simply forgotten it's time to get a booster vaccination. The health department keeps track of children that are behind in their vaccination series and will send out cards, from 400 to 500, to families reminding them it's time to come in and get the next vaccination, said Suzanne Hageman, Pratt County RN.
The cards tend to be very effective with most people bringing their children in for their shots.
Those choosing to avoid vaccination for religious reasons have to get a religious exemption before those children enter school.
School systems require students to have up to date vaccinations. Before entering a new school district, parents need to present an up to date vaccination to the school authorities.
For parents with financial issues, insurance will usually cover vaccinations. The Health Department will work with any family with financial issues to make sure the children get vaccinated, said Mary Ohl, RN for Pratt County.
Some people will start the injection series but then stop thinking they don't have to continue but without the booster injections, the child will not have full coverage and are open to getting and spreading the disease, Ohl said.
Vaccinations have eliminated some diseases like polio or virtually eliminated others like diphtheria in the United States but they are still active in other parts of the world.
Because those diseases still exist, it is vital to keep immunizations current to prevent a reoccurrence. Some pertussis (whooping cough) has been reported in Kansas so the threat of getting these diseases is real.
Some diseases are still prevalent in the U.S. like whooping cough so to not get immunized is risking the child getting this potentially fatal disease.
If a child gets one of theses diseases, the school will notify parents. That child will be sent home where they have to remain until they are over the disease.