Conditions + Treatments

Tetanus in Children

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Contact the Division of Infectious Diseases

What is tetanus?

Tetanus is an acute, sometimes fatal, disease of the central nervous system, caused by the toxin of the tetanus bacterium, which usually enters the body through an open wound. The tetanus bacteria live in soil and manure, but also can be found in the human intestine and other places.

  • Tetanus occurs more often in warmer climates or during the warmer months.
  • Tetanus is very uncommon in the US due to widespread immunization. Fewer than 60 cases every year occur in the United States.

How Boston Children's Hospital approaches tetanus

Boston Children's highly recommends giving all healthy children the Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (DTAP) vaccine.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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