How to Prevent Tetanus & Bacterial Meningitis

Get cut by an ice skate blade and the first thing you'll hear is "When was your last tetanus shot?" No matter how careful you are, players, coaches, parents and siblings can be vulnerable to skate cuts -- particularly when you spend a lot of time in crowded locker rooms. While scheduling physicals for back-to-school and/or back-to-hockey, find out if you and your kids need tetanus shot boosters. Kids generally receive tetanus immunization with the DTaP vaccine at 4 to 6 years and 11 to 12 years. Tetanus shots require a booster every 10 years. For more information, visit the Children's Medical Center.

Hockey players 11 and older -- particularly adults -- should consider the MCV4 vaccination to prevent bacterial meningitis. This deadly disease affected adult players in Fort Collins, Colorado, this year, possibly from sharing water bottles or shaking hands after removing their mouthguards. According to "Children who have not had the vaccine and are over 11 years old should also be immunized, particularly if they're going to college, boarding school, camp, or other settings where they are going to be living in close quarters with others."

Editor's Note: Thank you to Kelly Anton for this story.
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