Topic: Infant Health Care
This information is provided to answer some of the most common questions about immunizations. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse to go over any information
you do not understand.
WHY DO CHILDREN NEED TO BE IMMUNIZED?
A child is usually immune to many infections at birth because of disease-fighting antibodies (substances produced by the body to fight disease) that have passed from the mother to the unborn child. After birth, breast-fed babies get more antibodies from breast milk. However, antibodies acquired before and after birth last just a few months.
HOW DO IMMUNIZATIONS (VACCINATIONS) WORK?
Getting immunizations or vaccinations makes children immune to certain infections by using substances like those that cause infection. Vaccines trick the immune system into “thinking” there is a real infection. The immune system fights the infection (produces antibodies) and “remembers” it so it can protect the body in the future.
WILL IMMUNIZATIONS MAKE MY CHILD SICK?
Vaccines provided during immunizations do not cause the disease they are protecting against. Some children often have side effects from the vaccines. These are usually mild and may include a fever or soreness where the shot was given. These mild side effects are easily treated with pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or Ibuprofen (Advil®). Not getting your child’s shots on time may put him or her at risk for catching the infection that the vaccine prevents. Immunizations are the best way to protect your child against infections that are easily spread.
SHOULD MY CHILD BE IMMUNIZED WHEN HE OR SHE IS SICK?
It is usually not wise to delay or skip a needed immunization. If your child has a respiratory illness (examples: RSV, Bronchiolitis) or has had an allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine, please check with your child’s doctor to decide what to do.
HOW MANY VACCINES DOES MY CHILD HAVE TO RECEIVE?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) releases an immunization schedule every year. Your child’s doctor can go over this with you or it can be obtained from the AAP’s web site at www.aap.org.
IS THERE ANYTHING I NEED TO KNOW BEFORE MY CHILD IS VACCINATED?
Anyone who has a weakened immune system (examples: cancer, receiving chemotherapy, HIV/AIDS) cannot be exposed to some vaccines. Please inform your child’s doctor if this applies to anyone in your family. With each vaccination, you will be asked to read a Vaccine Information Sheet (VIS) for that vaccine. This sheet explains in detail the benefits of the vaccine and any safeguards you need to take. The VIS is available at your child’s doctor’s office or clinic.
WHAT CAN I DO IF MY CHILD IS AFRAID OF GETTING SHOTS?
There are several things you can do to help your child:
1. If the child is older, tell him or her what’s going to happen and that the shot will keep him or her safe and healthy.
2. Tell your child it is okay to cry. Let him or her know that it might hurt – but just for a minute.
3. Distracting your child at the time of the shot is helpful. Have your child look at a picture on the wall, talk to you about a favorite song, count, tell a joke – anything to help your child think of something else. A favorite toy or bubbles are also good distractions or ways to keep your child’s mind off of the shot.
4. Try to be calm. Your child will know if you are worried.
5. Praise your child when the shot is over.
6. Plan something fun after the shot – perhaps a trip to the park or playground.
DOES MY CHILD NEED SPECIAL SHOTS IF WE ARE TRAVELING?
Depending on where you are going and how long you will be gone, certain vaccines may be recommended for your child. Most immunizations should be given a full month before your travel so that the doctor can see if your child needs extra immunizations. Be sure to take your child’s immunization record with you on your trip.
Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar www.childrensdayton.org (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).
La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.
Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.
Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
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