Baltimore County Now
Linda Grossman, M.D., Chief, Bureau of Clinical Services
Baltimore County Department of Health
As the lazy days of summer come to an end, many parents with school-age children are beginning their “back to school” preparations. If you’re among them, be sure to include your child’s pediatric check-up and/or annual immunizations on your list.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have a list of recommended vaccinations (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html) your child should receive— as well as when they should receive them. New this year in the State of Maryland is a law requiring specific vaccinations for children who are entering kindergarten and seventh grade for the 2014-2015 school year. The law requires that students entering kindergarten this fall must have two varicella vaccinations. Meanwhile, students who are entering seventh grade must have one Tdap (Tetanus-diphtheria-attenuated pertussis) and one meningococcal (MCV4) vaccination.
Immunization is a key part of protecting your child’s health. Millions of lives have been saved and untold cases of diseases have been prevented because of people getting vaccines to help them develop immunity to serious infections. Diseases that used to affect many people, such as polio, measles, pertussis (whooping cough), and meningitis, now are rare thanks to vaccines. It’s important to note that the germs that cause these illnesses continue to exist, so continued immunization is critical to the health of your child.
Additionally, immunization isn’t just good for your child’s health; it’s also good for those around him or her. When you immunize your child, you help protect the health of others including those who are too young to be vaccinated, those who are unable to be vaccinated due to medical reasons, and those for whom a vaccine may not be effective.
As you enjoy your final days of summer and begin your back-to-school shopping, please include your child’s health among your plans. Here’s wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and safe school year!
The Baltimore County Health Department will be offering free, recommended vaccinations for eligible children ages five through 18. Find a date and location: http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/health/healthservices/children/immunizations.html
Dr. Linda Grossman is a pediatrician in Baltimore, Maryland. She received her medical degree from University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and has been in practice for almost 40 years.
by Kevin Kamenetz
Baltimore County Executive
It’s the first week of summer vacation for students and teachers all across Baltimore County. Listen carefully and you can almost hear the collective sigh. For the first time in months, our teachers and administrators can wake up without having to gulp that cup of coffee and get to school for last minute preparations before the students arrive. On behalf of everyone in Baltimore County, particularly those of us who still have children in school—thank you for another great year!
It is so easy to forget that administrators and teachers arrive at school long before many of us have had our Cheerios. The day becomes a blur with one lesson leading to another, hall and cafeteria duties, team meetings, and planning for the next day along the way. And don’t forget the after-school tutoring sessions. After dinner when most of us hope to catch our breath and settle in to read a book or watch our favorite television show, the teachers are back at it—fine tuning lesson plans and grading papers. There is no down time. They fall into bed and start again bright and early the next morning.
So if anyone has earned some time off this summer it is the administrators, teachers, and staff members in our schools. I hope that they take satisfaction from a job well done, while finding some time to relax on a beach, tube along the Gunpowder, or take a walk along a country path. When you see a teacher, administrator, or other school staff member this summer, please thank them for all that they do. As for my fellow parents, hang in there. It will be September before you know it.