Kids need to be up to date on their immunizations before they
can attend school. But do you know which shots your child
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
maintains a master schedulesuggesting which immunizations a
child should receive when. But according to Jane Seward, medical
officer for the CDC's Office of Infectious Disease, it's up to each
state to decide which shots to require.
Because states, through Medicaid, have to cover the cost of
immunizations for kids who lack insurance, Seward says, choosing
which shots to require means weighing the value of various
vaccinations. States tend to focus on "diseases where you get
outbreaks in schools," Seward says.
Your child's physician is your best resource for making sure all
necessary immunizations are in place; the doctor can also discuss
the pros and cons of optional shots. You can keep track yourself,
though, by using the
Here are the immunizations for which proof is required in the
District, Maryland and Virginia:
-Kids 5 or older entering kindergarten:
pertussis; polio; chickenpox; measles/mumps/rubella; hepatitis B;
hepatitis A (if born on or after Jan. 1, 2005).
-Kids entering sixth grade:meningococcal and
human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines.
-Kids 5 or older:Diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis;
polio; measles/mumps/rubella; chickenpox; hepatitis B.
-Kids 5 or older: Diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis;
hepatitis B; measles/mumps/rubella; polio; chickenpox.
-Girls entering sixth grade: HPV.
How to avoid having bedbugs as roommates
Parents helping their college-bound kids shop for dorm
furnishings this summer might feel pressured to buy sprays,
mattress covers and other items promoted as protection against
bedbugs, whose presence in the United States has been on the rise
in recent years.
As Chris Brundige, regional manager for Terminix, knows
firsthand, bedbugs have increasingly popped up on college campuses.
"My daughter had a big issue with bedbugs last year," he says.
"They battled them for three or four months."
Bedbugs are tiny hitchhikers that can stick to anything they
come in contact with. (Their eggs are even stickier.) So if you
were to, say, sit on the couch in a house that's infested, you'll
probably bring some home on your clothing. Bedbugs aren't known to
transmit disease, but their bites (they feast on your blood while
you sleep at night) are irksome, unattractive and so itchy they can
keep you up at night.
If Brundige's kid wasn't safe from bedbugs, yours might not be,
either. Here, for your son or daughter's summer reading, is a crash
course in battling bedbugs.
·Be careful what you bring in the room. That
sofa sitting on the curb might seem like a bargain, but it could
have been put there because it's teeming with bedbugs. Bedbugs love
cracks, crevices and other secret hiding places; they can even hang
out in picture frames and bedside stands. "They stay close to the
mattress because they know that's where their next meal comes
from," Brundige says.
·Keep your floor and furniture clear of clothes and
clutter. Hang your backpack, purse and jacket on racks,
hooks or hangers. Don't pile clothing or coats on the back of a
couch or on your bed. Though they can travel along any surface,
bedbugs especially love cloth.
·Buy a zippered mattress encasement. "If the
mattress is infested, they can't get out and will die," Brundige
·Skip the sprays. "I've never used an
over-the-counter spray. But a lot of customers use them" before
turning to professional pest removal. The
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention point outthat
the resurgence in bedbugs is due in large part to the insects'
developing resistance to chemicals used to treat for them. People
using over-the-counter sprays probably contribute to that problem.
(Pest-control companies generally use non-chemical approaches such
as heating or freezing the insects.)
·Learn to spot them. Bedbugs are tiny,
apple-seed-shaped, reddish-brown bugs that are flat like ticks,
only smaller. You might not notice them until you get bitten; their
bites cause minor swelling and itching, much like mosquito bites.
You might notice small red spots on your mattress (your blood, from
when you get bitten). Closer examination may reveal red or brown,
sticky "pepper" (the bugs' waste) around the edges of the mattress
or in the rounded corners where mattress surfaces meet.
·If you see signs of infestation, report the
problem to whoever's in charge of dorm living. "And keep reporting
it until you get the response you need,"Brundige says.
bedbug outbreak in student apartments at the University of
Maryland last school year was brought under control with the
help of exterminators. This year students in those apartments will
have to sign a lease that includes an agreement to aid such cleanup
efforts, which can mean bagging clothes and other items and
removing everything from the walls.