Should parents of small children make sure they are up-to-date on their own vaccinations?

Everyone should receive immunizations.

Check with your doctor to see which vaccines are important for you. It is important that parents are protected so that they do not bring infections home to their children and they are well enough to take care of their children!

Parents and siblings of children younger than 2 years should receive influenza vaccine. Adults should receive a booster dose of tetanus and diphtheria every 10 years, or sooner if you have an injury that can lead to tetanus. All adults older than 50 years should receive influenza vaccine yearly. People older than 65 years should receive the older version of the pneumococcal vaccine (the polysaccharide vaccine).

Adults who did not have chickenpox should consider getting the vaccine (although, interestingly, most adults who don’t remember having chickenpox are actually found to be already protected when their blood is tested for the presence of antibodies).

Adults who may be exposed to blood or who are adopting children from areas of the world where hepatitis B is common should get the hepatitis B vaccine. Travelers should consider hepatitis A vaccine and others depending on where you are traveling.