How and Why You Should Keep a Shot Record for Your Child

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Today, my son went for immunizations (shots) and his appointment was at a satellite office different than the office we usually visit.  They hadn’t shipped our records over to the satellite office!  Small little error, but the consequences are huge in a way. I’ve taken some time out of my work day, driven to the office which cost me gas money, and I’ve paid a co-pay for my insurance so my child could see the doctor.  Luckily, I had my own copy of the records so I could prove what shots my child had been given.  The visit was saved!

ALMOST….he is starting with a double ear infection and so the shots were put off until 2 weeks from now…BUT you get my point. It’s really important to keep your own records, to be informed on immunization issues, and not to rely on your child’s doctor to do this for you!

Keep Track of Your Child’s Information Yourself

It’s tempting to let the doctor’s office do this for you.  BUT, in the long run, it will be more convenient if you keep a copy for yourself.  You may move, change doctors, or need the information for school records.  If you haven’t been keeping the records it’s easy to start.

Print out a copy of a blank immunization chart using this link.  The next visit, ask the staff to fill out your copy.  Ask them to fill out your immunization chart after each well visit when your child will be getting shots.  This way you should be up to date.

Keep a copy in your purse in a Ziploc baggie.  I learned that it’s very easy for a child to spill something or destroy the record in a few seconds.  Because of that, I also keep another copy in a strong box I keep in my office.

What shots does you child need and when?

Check out this link for the latest recommended shots and the recommended ages when they should be given.  Immunization information does change.  For example, when my youngest was little, she got the chicken pox shot.  Now, doctors recommend that they get a booster shot every so many years. 

When my child entered 6th grade last year, a new law had gone into effect in our state.  That law required children in 6th grade to get a booster shot of the TDAP (Tetanus, Diptheria, and Pertussis) to be able to attend school unless a parent had filled out documentation that receiving such a shot would violate their personal or religious beliefs.  Documentation had to be presented to the school before the first day, or the children would be sent home from school.  Many children were sent home that first day.

In order to make sure you are on track with the immunization schedule, it’s best to just ask for a well check up visit for each child at least once a year if your child is older than 2.  At that visit, you can make sure your child is up to date on their immunizations, and you can ask about any health related concerns you may have.

If your child is under 2, you should be scheduling well check ups frequently.  During these well check ups, your child will be receiving immunizations.

If you have any questions, your doctor can answer them.  If you don’t have health insurance, you can get information about immunizations as well as the immunizations themselves from your local public health department.

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