pediatric housecalls Robert R. Jarrett M.D. M.B.A. FAAP

Immune Platoon – CDC Handouts For Kids

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has prepared several printable handouts for kids anthropomorphizing some of the deadly diseases that they are being protected from in various immunization programs.

They are quite catchy (from a kids point of view) and just might serve to ease the worries a bit about the trip to the doctor and the whole “baby shot” situation. It seems like these days if you can make a cartoon and a game out of something it gets their attention better.
The CDC’s Immune Platoon Villain: Diphtheria
There are four “Immune Platoon” handouts that you can print on your computer in color, for all three of the diseases in the DTaP shot as well as for Varicella (Chicken Pox). Each of the handouts contains information about the disease as well as a nifty “meany” – a villain that they can thwart with their super immune powers.


CDC's Immune Platoon Villian: PertussisCDS’s Immune Platoon Villian: PertussisOne of the “big three” killer diseases which lurk just below the surface waiting to pounce on anyone who hasn’t been immunized against them.

To this day it still causes massive outbreaks in communities where there is a “reservoir” of unimmunized individuals. It is the disease recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as “the most resurgent disease” and the disease who contributed to founding the Alaskan Iditarod Race – see previous article.

The CDC’s printable villain card which explains all about the disease is located here: Immune Platoon: Diphtheria.


While Diphtheria and Tetanus are both caused by bacteria-producing toxins, Pertussis (Whooping cough) is a virus that takes your breath away – literally.

CDC's Immune Platoon villian: TetanusThe CDC’s Immunine Platoon villain: TetanusThe characteristic “whoop” sound that gives the disease its name is the frantic and painful gasp for air a child makes after a fit of uncontrollable coughing. It too was discussed in a previous article.

Locate the CDC’s printable villain card for this disease on this page: Immune Platoon: Pertussis.


Like Diphtheria above, the disease known as Tetanus is caused by not only a bacteria but by an excreted toxin as well.

An immunization is available against the toxin but it won’t help tissues which are already affected by it; so, immunizations must be kept up to date and effective BEFORE a wound that is contaminated is inflicted.

Even though nearly every ER treating a wound will give the patient a Tetanus shot if they need it, the shot will NOT help the current wound avoid tetanus should it contain the bacteria BECAUSE the body takes almost two weeks to form antibodies from an immunization – too long to help an already received wound.

CDC's Immune Platoon villian: VaricellaCDC’s Immune Platoon villain: VaricellaThe full description is found in this previous article and the CDC’s Immune Platoon printable villain profile is found here – Immune Platoon: Tetanus.


The immunization against the CDC’s Immune Platoon villain: Varicella is contained in a separate injection.

The only “lady” of the group, this villain still infects thousands of children in the world because they either cannot or have not received the immunization. Unfortunately Chickenpox not only causes great discomfort but also multiple side-effects as well.

Like the other diseases mentioned above, a previous article has expounded more fully about the illness here.

A printable card for this CDC Immune Platoon villain profile can be found here – Immune Platoon: Varicella.


Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on FacebookEmail this to someone
Please share...