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As a parent, keeping your child safe is always on the forefront of your mind. Helmets and kneepads will ensure they’re invincible against scratches and bruises, but what about making sure their immune system is invincible too? Immunization is done through various techniques, most commonly vaccination in the form of shots. Vaccines against microorganisms that cause diseases can help prepare the body’s immune system to fight or prevent an infection.

If you’ve ever wondered what the proper immunization schedule for your child is, you’re not alone. The Center for Disease Control classifies the necessary vaccinations into three main categories consisting of infants & children, preteens & teens, and adults. For a full list of the recommended vaccinations of each age group, see the links below.

Infants & Children (Birth through 6 years-old)

Preteens & Teens (7 through 18 years-old)

Adults (19 years and older)

Vaccines are continually monitored for safety, however it is important to know that every vaccine can cause side effects. Most are minor, such as soreness, headaches, fever, and diarrhea occurring within two weeks after the vaccination was administered. Severe side effects can include blood in the urine or stool, pneumonia, and inflammation of the stomach or intestines. The CDC has a full list of individual immunizations and potential side effects listed online which can be accessed here.

A decision not to immunize a child could potentially be a deadly one. Do your part to make sure your child and those who come into contact with him/her stay healthy and happy. Arrange an appointment should your child need a vaccination, and keep disease from spreading into your life.