COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

As state health leaders watch the numbers for whooping cough climb for a second year in a row, leaders are considering new rules that would make parents think before they opt out of vaccinations for their kids.

A task force released its findings Tuesday.

Requiring education or counseling on the benefits of vaccinations prior to signing a personal-belief exemption form is one of the recommendations from the group study.

"Many people, it is felt, sign that as a matter of convenience because they either don't have time to  deal with this right now or don't have time to deal with the issue or they're just not well-informed," said Dr. Bill Letson, the medical director for El Paso County.

Letson said the rule change could help the state in its battle to keep preventable diseases like pertussis, or whooping cough, from growing out of control.

Last year, El Paso County saw 91 cases of whooping cough. This year, numbers are slightly below that pace at 83. Across the state, though, the Colorado Department of Health saw a 50-year high in the rate of pertussis with 1,494 cases.

Rhiannon Harfert, lead pharmacist at the Medicine Shoppe in Colorado Springs, says she supports the change.

"If you don't have all  the information, you may not  be making the right decision about vaccinating your child appropriately," said Harfert.

Critics said the requirement could be seen as a form of coercion.

John Benjamin resisted immunizations for his 7-year-old.

"It was preferred but I didn't feel like it was something that needed to be done," said Benjamin.

He also disagrees with another recommendation that would make information about the number of exempt children at schools and day cares publicly available.

"I don't think it should be a red flag if your kid doesn't get a shot," said Benjamin."That your kid can't come to the school."

None of these recommendations are binding but Dr. Letson said it's likely the Department of Health will push to implement the education recommendation.