Heading back to school also means getting those needed vaccines

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) Four year old Rylee is getting a check- up at the pediatrician's office.

Rylee, a four-year-old, is getting her check-up at Carilion Pediatric Associates in Roanoke County.

She's excited about starting preschool this fall, and later, kindergarten.

"When I grow up, I get to go to big school," she says.

Before she does, she and other Virginia public school children first have to get some required vaccinations.

Dr. Christopher Pierce is a physician with Carilion Pediatric Associates in Roanoke County.

"Kindergarten, it's basically the first set of their boosters- diptheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, chicken pox and MMR, "says Dr. Pierce.

The other big group of vaccines comes before sixth grade.

Virginia requires the tetanus booster again, or the T- DAP, which is also for pertussis.

Also recommended, the meningitis vaccine, along with the one for HPV.

That one protects against cervical cancer.

Flu season might seem far away on these hot days. But Dr. Pierce says it won't be long before parents need to start scheduling flu shots for their kids.

"As soon as the school year starts, I guess a reminder might be to think about flu vaccines in the fall. Those seem to be coming out a little earlier every year. I often see them in September," says Dr. Pierce.

Basic hand washing is one of the best ways Dr. Pierce says students can protect themselves from picking up germs in the classroom.

Also, he says to make sure your child gets enough sleep, away from any distractions.

"The other things to think about is maybe the electronics. A lot of them are taking the electronics and staying up all hours with that," says Dr. Pierce.

We have page of the required school vaccinations for Virginia public schools to the right of this story.