Pediatrician answers common questions about your child’s health, vaccines

Now that many students are back in school, WAFB brought common health questions about your kids to the experts.
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 5:55 AM CDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Health is top of mind for many parents in the Capital City now that children are back in the classroom. It’s also National Immunization Awareness Month.

The Louisiana Department of Health found in it’s latest data analysis that about 96% of Louisiana’s kindergarteners, that had a immunization record on file, were protected against three serious childhood illnesses. The national rate was about 93%.

1.3% of Louisiana children 5 and under have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The same was true for protection against hepatitis B; mumps, measles, rubella and polio. However, 1.3% of Louisiana children 5 and under have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This is three times fewer than children nationwide.

Now that many students are back in school, WAFB brought common health questions about your kids to the experts.

When should you get your child’s COVID-19 booster?

“It really is age dependent,” said Dr. Megan Nuss, a Pediatrician with the Baton Rouge Clinic. “We’re recommending COVID boosters for children for five years and up. We’re not offering it right now for the six-month to under five-year range. If you’ve received your primary series, we’re recommending that you get your COVID booster about five months after that if you’re a healthy child.”

If you have certain disease risk factors, she recommends you get your COVID booster as soon as three months after you completed your primary series.

What vaccine is more important for kids to get right now?

Nuss said COVID and flu vaccines are important to get. Both reduce hospitalizations in children.

How can you keep your child healthy this school year?

Doctors are strongly encouraging parents to bring their kids back in for their routine well-child checks.

When you bring your child in, they’ll make sure your they’re up to date on all vaccines and medications. Some kids may have missed visits or only did video chats during the pandemic.

What will flu season look like?

Nuss said it’s looking to be a heavy flu season this year. Flu shots will be coming in soon.

What do parents need to know about the Monkeypox vaccine?

“We’re still learning about Monkeypox,” said Nuss. “So we’re working closely with our pediatric infectious disease doctors. If we have any concerns on physical exam or by parent history. We’re still learning about it so we’ll keep parents updated as we find out more information.”

What should I do if my child isn’t feeling well?

Nuss said if your child has a fever, excessive runny nose or sore throat, stay home and make an appointment with your pediatrician. She said the Baton Rouge Clinic will test your child for COVID and the flu. If your child tests negative for COVID and still isn’t feeling well, she recommends wearing a mask out in public to protect other kids with disease risk factors.

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