The bacteria that cause tetanus can enter the body through a cut or wound.
Tetanus lives in soil, so children can get infected from a small injury.
It is not contagious. Tetanus causes very painful muscle spasms, stiffness in the neck and abdominal muscles, difficulty swallowing and can lead to death.
Tetanus is not limited to children. Adults should also remain current on the vaccination.
The tetanus vaccine is part of a combination vaccine that also protects against diphtheria and pertussis.
All children should get five doses of DTaP vaccine, beginning when they are 2 months old.
Older children, teens and adults should receive booster vaccination (Tdap) and after that a Td booster (for tetanus and diphtheria) dose every 10 years.