You might need to add the doctor’s office to your Back to School checklist

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Everyone has their own back to school checklist, but the doctor's office is one thing that should be on every family's list.

From child care through college, immunizations can help protect children from diseases, and before your child heads back to the classroom you need to make sure they're up to date.

"Kids being in the same space, sharing the same instruments and breathing the same air is the perfect scenario for infection transmission," said Dr. Claudia Gaviria, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the UAB Huntsville Regional Medical Campus.

According to the CDC, kids heading into kindergarten need to have their DTaP, IPV, MMR and Varicella vaccines; pre-teens need to have their Tdap and menigococcal vaccines. Before the first day, you need to make sure to get a 'blue slip' from your primary health care provider to prove that your child is up to date on their shots.

Doctors also always recommend going over basic infection prevention with your kids before they go back to class.

"They need to be washing their hands regularly, they need to cover their cough not with their hands but with their elbow to make sure that they`re not coughing in the air where other kids are breathing," Gaviria said. "Washing hands, covering their cough and regular hygiene measurements when they`re at school."

To make sure your child is up to date on their vaccines or to get your blue slip for the school year, contact your primary health care provider. You can check your school's start date here.

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