Amended Immunization Regulation

The following is a summary of the recent changes, effective June 21, 2017, to 902 KAR 2:060 Immunization schedules for attending child day care centers, certified family child care homes, other licensed facilities which care for children, preschool programs, and public and private primary and secondary schools, http://www.lrc.ky.gov/kar/902/002/060.htm. This amended Kentucky Administrative Regulation requires all children to have a current immunization certificate on file, contains the required immunizations schedule for attending, and has a process to obtain a religious exemption from the required immunizations.

  • One new age-specific immunization requirement and one booster dose requirement effective for the school year beginning on or after July 1, 2018:
    • 2-Dose Series of HepA (Age: 12 months through 18 years)
    • Quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine (MenACWY) booster dose (Age: 16 years)
  • Homeschooled children are required to submit a current immunization certificate to participate in any public and private school activities (classroom, extra curriculum activity, or sports).
  • All vaccines administered are printed on the Commonwealth of Kentucky Certificate of Immunization Status now including immunizations not required for school entry.
  • Religious exemptions shall be documented on a signed and notarized Commonwealth of Kentucky Parent or Guardian’s Declination on Religious Grounds to Required Immunizations. There will be a space for the parent or guardian to initial each specific immunization they are choosing to decline.
  • New versions of forms, effective June 21, 2017, can be found on websites  for the Kentucky Department of Education, http://education.ky.gov/districts/SHS/Pages/Immunization-Information.aspx. and the Kentucky Immunization Program, http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/epi/Immunization.htm.
  • Out-of-state immunization certificates may be accepted if they meet the same age-specific requirements as outlined in this regulation.
  • A Commonwealth of Kentucky Certificate of Immunization Status printed from the Kentucky Immunization Registry (KYIR) does not require a signature.
  • A licensed practical nurse (LPN) designee of a physician, local health department administrator, or other licensed healthcare facility may sign the Commonwealth of Kentucky Certificate of Immunization Status.
  • School nurses and administrators can enroll in KYIR and print the Commonwealth of Kentucky Certificate of Immunization Status from the registry, and it will not require a signature.
  • Routine certificate reviews are to occur at enrollment in a day care center, kindergarten, seventh grade, eleventh grade, and for the 2018-2019 school year for twelfth grade; new enrollment at any grade; upon legal name change; and at a school required examination pursuant to 702 KAR 1:160.
  • A child whose certificate has exceeded the date for the certificate to be valid shall be recommended to visit the child’s medical provider or local health department to receive immunizations required by this administrative regulation. An updated and current certificate shall be provided to the:
    • Day care center, certified family child care home, or other licensed facility that cares for children by a parent or guardian within thirty (30) days from when the certificate was found to be invalid; or
    • School by a parent or guardian within fourteen (14) days from when the certificate was found to be invalid.

Never leave a child unattended in a car!

As part of the 52 Weeks of Public Health campaign, the  Department for Public Health, located within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), urges the public to take steps to avoid injury and illness during  periods of extreme summertime heat, particularly dangers associated with leaving children in vehicles.

“Extreme temperatures are cause for concern, so we advise the public to take necessary steps to keep cool and prevent harm,” said Hiram C. Polk Jr., MD, DPH commissioner. “Serious injury – particularly for children exposed to extreme levels of heat – can occur. Everyone should take steps to avoid these dangers.”

According to Kids and Cars, an organization that works to raise awareness of the dangers of leaving children in hot vehicles, 39 children died last year due to heatstroke – medically termed “hyperthermia”.

“We want all our citizens to understand the dangers of extreme heat, particularly the danger of leaving children in hot cars,” continued Dr. Polk. “Not only are extreme temperatures uncomfortable, they also present a significant health danger. This is particularly true for vulnerable populations such as young children and the elderly.”

Several measures are recommended to prevent these types of deaths from occurring. They include:

  • Create reminders.  More than half of child heat stroke deaths occur because parents and caregivers become distracted and exit their vehicle without their child. To help prevent these tragedies parents can:
  • Place a cell phone, PDA, purse, briefcase, gym bag or something that is needed at your next stop on the floor in front of a child in a backseat. This will help you see your child when you open the rear door and reach for your belongings.
  • Set the alarm on your cell phone as a reminder to you to drop your child off at day care.
  • Set your computer calendar program to ask, “Did you drop off at day care today?”
  • Establish a plan with your day care that if your child fails to arrive within an agreed upon time, you will be called. Be especially mindful of your child if you change your routine for day care.
  • Don’t underestimate the risk.  The inside of vehicles can quickly heat up, even on relatively cool days, so you should never leave your child alone in a car. Don’t underestimate the risks and leave them even “just for a minute.”
  • Lock cars and trucks. Thirty percent of the recorded heat stroke deaths in the U.S. occur because a child was playing in an unattended vehicle. These deaths can be prevented by simply locking the vehicle doors to help assure that kids don’t enter the vehicles and become trapped.
  • Immediately dial 911 if you see an unattended child in a car.  EMS professionals are trained to determine if a child is in trouble. The body temperature of children rises three to five times faster than adults. As a result, children are much more vulnerable to heat stroke. Check vehicles and trunks first if a child is missing.

Additional tips are recommended to avoid other heat-related injury and illness:

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Increase your normal fluid intake regardless of your activity level. You will need to drink more fluids than your thirst level indicates. This is especially true for people age 65 or older who often have a decreased ability to respond to external temperature changes. In addition, avoid drinking beverages containing alcohol, because they will actually cause you to lose more fluid.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen. Choose lightweight, light colored, loose fitting clothing. In the hot sun, wear a wide-brimmed hat that will provide shade and keep the head cool. Sunscreen should be SPF 15 or greater and applied 30 minutes before going out into the sun.
  • Stay cool indoors. The most efficient way to beat the heat is to stay in an air-conditioned area. If you do not have an air conditioner, consider visiting a mall or public library.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully. If you must be out in the heat, try to plan your activities so that you are outdoors either before noon or in the evening. Rest periodically so your body’s thermostat will have a chance to recover.
  • Use a buddy system. When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness.
  • Monitor those at high risk. Those at greatest risk of heat-related illness include:
    • Infants and children up to 4 years of age
    • People 65 years of age or older
    • People who are overweight
    • People who overexert during work or exercise
    • People who are ill or on certain medications for blood pressure or diuretics.