Immunization Requirements for Daycare

Within a daycare environment, infectious diseases can spread easily from child to child, or between children and staff. Immunization is an extremely effective way to prevent children and staff from become ill from diseases and suffering further complications that could arise.

Parents and/or guardians are required to provide their child’s immunization record or valid exemption to the daycare during registration.

The local Medical Officer of Health requires children attending daycare to be immunized against measles, mumps, rubella, Haemophilus influeunza b (Hib), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, meningococcal disease and varicella (Chickenpox), according to the Ontario schedule.

The Health Unit works in partnership with day nursery operators to ensure all children and staff in their facilities are protected from vaccine preventable diseases. Effective assessment of immunization status and management of outbreaks requires ongoing monitoring.

To learn more about immunization requirements, contact the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1507.

Immunization

Immunization (Vaccination)

Immunizing babies and young children protects them from diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella.

Students in schools are required to be immunized against tetanus, diphtheria, polio, measles, mumps and rubella. In 1990, the Ontario government passed a law called the “Immunization of School Pupils Act” (ISPA). This Act requires health units to collect and maintain the immunization records of all students attending schools. Health units maintain records of the immunization status of all children.

In the event of an outbreak of one of the designated diseases, unvaccinated children are excluded from school until the Medical Officer of Health is satisfied the outbreak has ended. With appropriate legal documentation, exemptions based on medical, religious, or philosophical reasons are allowed.

If students do not provide an immunization record or legal exemption, they may face suspension from school until documentation of immunization or until the health unit receives the exemption.

Similarly, children attending Child Care Centres/Daycares are required to have their childhood immunizations up to date.

For more information about vaccine-preventable diseases and immunization in Ontario, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1507.

Managing Your Child’s Pain During Immunization

Immunizations protect your child from serious disease, but they can also cause discomfort. This can cause stress and anxiety for some children and their parents, who may then delay or avoid vaccinations. This then means that those children are not protected from serious diseases.

Parents play an important role in supporting their children during immunizations. Below are some tips you can use to help reduce the stress, anxiety and pain when it comes to immunizations in children under the age of three years.

What you can do:

Breastfeed your child

  • If you are breastfeeding your baby, start to breastfeed your baby before vaccination. Make sure you have a good latch. Then continue breastfeeding during and after the vaccination.
  • Breastfeeding during vaccination is safe for babies, even newborns. There is no evidence that babies will choke or associate their mother with pain.

Hold your child

  • Position your child upright and hold your child close before, during and after the needle. This helps your child to feel secure and to stay still.
What you can give

Topical anesthetic

  • In Canada, you can buy topical anesthetics to reduce the pain from vaccination without a prescription: EMLATM (lidocaine-prilocaine), AmetopTM (tetracaine), or MaxileneTM (lidocaine).
  • They are safe for babies, even newborns.
  • Apply them at home or at the clinic before vaccination. For more information about numbing creams and patches for immunizations. Click Here for More Information

For more tips on reducing the pain of immunization for children, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5003 and speak with one of our Healthy Families nurses.

Suspension of Students Under ISPA

Why First Notices of Suspension are Sent

  • Students are considered ‘overdue’ for a vaccine due to a timing issue (E.g. the interval between immunization doses is incorrect; a child received a vaccine prior to the age of eligibility).
  • Students may have received all the required vaccines from their health care provider, but these records have not been provided to the Health Unit.
  • Students are missing one of the required vaccines and need to be immunized (NOTE: Students may be exempted from vaccination for medical reasons, or by giving a sworn affidavit that it is against their conscience or religious belief. Contact the Health Unit for details).

What to Do

  • Immunization protects students from many serious diseases that can easily be spread. Be sure your student is protected. Vaccines are proven to be safe and effective.
  • Check your student’s immunization record to be sure it is up-to-date.
  • If uncertain, contact your health care provider or the Health Unit to ensure your student has all the vaccines needed to attend school. If your student has followed recommendations in Ontario’s Routine Immunization Schedule, no further vaccines will be required at this time.
  • If a vaccine is missing, you will need to make arrangements with your health care provider or the Health Unit to have your student receive the required vaccines. It is the responsibility of parents/caregivers to provide proof of immunization (or a valid exemption) for students to the local Health Unit.

To learn more, contact the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1507

School-Based Immunization Program

School Immunization Clinics

The Health Unit offers immunization clinics at your child’s school for the following free vaccines:

  • Hepatitis B – Grade 7 students
  • Meningococcal vaccine – Grade 7 students
  • HPV vaccine – Grade 7 students and Grade 8 girls

Did your child missed the school immunization clinic? You have two options:

  • Any vaccine that was missed by your child can now be offered the next time Health Unit nurses visit your child’s school to provide immunizations.
  • Call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1507 to book an appointment at an upcoming catch-up immunization clinic organized at a Health Unit office near you.

To learn more about school immunization clinics, call us at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1507.

Immunizations – A little pain but a lot of gain

Let’s be honest – no one likes to watch their children get immunized. The needle can sometimes cause babies and children some anxiety and pain and that’s tough for parents to watch. But as parents or caregivers, we need to do what’s best for our little ones and that means making sure they are immunized again serious diseases. So, what’s a parent to do when their little one is due to be immunized?

Give one of the following tips a try to see if you can lessen the pain of the needle:

Check your state of mind:

  • Try to stay calm, use your normal speaking voice and be positive before, during and after the vaccination. This will help your baby to stay calm.
  • Children see and feel what their parents are doing and often do the same. If you are nervous, you can take a few slow deep breaths to calm yourself. Breathe so your belly expands, not your chest. You can do this while holding your child.

Distract your child:

  • Taking your child’s focus away from the needle can reduce their pain.
  • Hold your child close and distract them with singing or talking. For babies, breastfeeding is an ideal way to comfort them and keep them busy. If you are not breastfeeding, try giving them a soother. Allow baby to suck (breastfeeding or soother) before, during and after the vaccination.
  • Add rocking your child back and forth after the vaccination.You may choose to distract an older child with toys such as bubbles, pop-up books rattles, or smartphones. If toys do not work, hold your child close and distract with singing or talking. Add rocking your child back and forth after the vaccination.

Will these tips eliminate the pain? Probably not but helping your child through the experience will make both you and your child feel better.

Report Your Child’s Immunization

Parents are responsible for updating their child’s immunization record or providing a valid exemption form to the Health Unit.

Students without complete records or a valid exemption on file at the Health Unit may be suspended as per the Immunization of School Pupils Act.

To report your child’s immunization:

  • Online: Click here
  • By Phone: Call 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1507
  • By Mail or In Person: Send or take a photocopy of your child’s immunization record to:
    • HKPR District Health Unit
    • 200 Rose Glen Road
    • Port Hope, ON L1A 3V6

When updating your child’s record, you will need the following information:

  • child’s first and last name
  • child’s birth date
  • child’s school
  • name of vaccine received and the date it was received

Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA)

The Health Unit is required under the Immunization of School Pupils Act to collect and maintain up-to-date immunization records for every student registered in our jurisdiction. The law states that parents must provide the Health Unit with proof of completed immunizations for:

  • diphtheria
  • tetanus
  • polio
  • measles
  • mumps
  • rubella
  • whooping cough (pertussis)
  • chickenpox (only applies to students born on or after 2010)
  • meningococcal

The Health Unit will contact parents/guardians of local students who are overdue or missing certain immunizations required under the ISPA. Families who receive these notices are asked to immediately contact the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1507 or email us.

Under the ISPA, students can be suspended from school if their immunization records are not up-to-date with the Health Unit.

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