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Preventive Guidelines for Infants & Children

Blue Cross of Idaho is pleased to provide the following guidelines as an important starting point for you and your family. The following recommendations were derived from a number of professional sources. They are guidelines only and should not be used as a substitute for your doctor’s medical judgment.
 
Age: Birth through 6 years

Immunizations

  • Diphtheria, Tetanus (lockjaw), acellular Pertussis (whooping cough) (DTaP or DPT) - Most children should get a dose at ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12-18 months and 4-6 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends DTaP over DTP. This is because DTaP is less likely to cause reactions than DTP.
  • Hemophilus Influenza Type B (Hib) - Children should get Hib vaccine at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months*, and 12-15 months of age. *Depending on what brand of Hib vaccine is used, your child might not need the dose at 6 months of age. Your doctor or nurse will tell you if this dose is needed.
  • Polio (IPV) - Children should get polio vaccine at 2 months, 4 months, 6-18 months and a booster at 4-6 years of age.
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) - Children should get 2 doses of MMR vaccine; the first at 12-15 months and the second at 4-6 years of age. These are the recommended ages. But children can get the second dose at any age, as long as it is at least 28 days after the first dose.
  • Hepatitis B (Hep B) vaccine - People should get 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine. A typical schedule is at birth, 1-2 months of age (the second dose must be given at least 1 month after the first), 6 months of age (the third dose must be given at least 2 months after the second and at least 4 months after the first - the third dose should not be given to infants younger than 6 months of age).
  • Varicella (chicken pox) - Children should get 1 dose of chickenpox vaccine between 12 and 18 months of age, or at any age after that if they have never had chickenpox.
  • Influenza - Children less than 9 years old need two shots, given one month apart, the first time they get vaccinated against influenza. Children can be vaccinated after 6 months of age.
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate - All healthy infants and toddlers should get 4 doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine at ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and 12-15 months of age.

For more information, you can contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at: 1-800-232-2522 (English) or 1-800-232-0233 (Espanol), or, visit the National Immunization Program Web site.

Screening

  • Height and weight should be measured at each preventive health visit. Visits are scheduled at the discretion of your child's physician, with typical frequency at the following intervals: 2-4 days, 10-14 days, 2 months, 4 months, 6-9 months, 10-13 months, 14-18 months, and annually thereafter. Children age 2 years and older should have blood pressure measured in each arm beginning at age 3.
  • Phenylalanine level/T4/TSH at birth.
  • Consider hematocrit or hemoglobin test, based on duration of breast-feeding: age 9 months-2 years.