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Health department hosts special hours for school physicals, immunizations

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The Sumner County Health Department will be offering extended clinic hours to provide immunizations and school physicals. Parents are encouraged to complete these requirements today and not wait until just before the start of school. "Parents procrastinate and wait until late into July to call for an appointment to see their child's pediatrician. By then it's too late, and all the appointments are taken until after the start of the school year," said Sumner County Health Director Hal Hendricks. Friday, April 21 is Kindergarten registration for Sumner County Schools, the week of Monday, April 17 thru Friday, April 21 Sumner County Health Department clinic operations are being tailored for parents of school age children. Parents are encouraged to contact their local health department clinic to ensure their child has all the health and medical documents required for school registration.

All students enrolling in Sumner County Schools or in a licensed daycare center must present an updated Tennessee Certificate of Immunization form. The certificate may be obtained through your healthcare provider or through the Sumner County Health Department. In addition, a certified birth certificate is required when you register your child. Certified birth certificates are available at the health department clinic if the child was born in the state of Tennessee.

"The required vaccines are recommended for all children by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics, so most children should have already received them. Parents should talk with their child's health care provider to be sure they have had everything they need. Children entering Kindergarten and 7th grade are the most effected groups." states Sumner County Health Director Hal Hendricks.

Starting in 2011, students entering the seventh grade must submit proof of a booster dose of the tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine; and confirm either chickenpox immunity thru the disease or receipt of two doses of the varicella vaccine.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends an annual check-up for children from age two to 18. These routine physicals allow pediatricians to assess a child's growth and development, as well as check his or her weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, vision, hearing and other physical, emotional or social health concerns.

"An annual physical exam is an important time to discuss vaccine-preventable disease, and to make sure your child is up-to-date on vaccinations so he or she remains healthy," said Deidra Parrish MD, Health Officer for the Tennessee Department of Health Mid-Cumberland Region.

All vaccines required for school attendance in Tennessee are recommended for children by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians. For a list of required immunizations, visit http://health.state.tn.us/CEDS/required.htm.

The Sumner County Health Department encourages parents to contact their child's health care provider or the health department clinics to assure their health documentation is up to date and the child is ready to kick off their school experience. Contact the most convenient health department clinic for you - Hendersonville, 615- 824-0552, Gallatin, 615-206-1100 or Portland, 615-325-5237.

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