Prevention: Babies and Children
The best way to protect babies and children from pertussis (whooping cough) is to make sure they get vaccinated. DTaP is the recommended pertussis vaccine for babies and children. This is a combination vaccine that protects children against 3 diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. For maximum protection against pertussis, children need 5 DTaP shots, which begin at 2 months old.
Parents can also help protect their children by keeping them away, as much as possible, from anyone who has cold symptoms or a cough. Pregnant women should get the Tdap shot to help protect babies until they are old enough to receive DTaP vaccines. See Prevention: Parents-to-be for more information.
CDC recommends a dose of Tdap for 7 through 10 year olds who have not received all the recommended doses of DTaP.
- Liang JL, Tiwari T, Moro P, et al. Prevention of Pertussis, Tetanus, and Diphtheria with Vaccines in the United States: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018;67(2):1–44.