As a parent, you want to do all you can to protect your child and keep him safe and healthy.
Vaccines are an important way to do that. They help protect your child from a variety of dangerous diseases .
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decides which vaccines should be given to people of any age. They recommend that multiple vaccines be given during infancy.
Importance of vaccines for babies
For newborns, breast milk can help protect against many diseases. However, this immunity disappears within a year, and many children are not breastfed from the beginning.
Whether children are breastfed or not, vaccines can help protect them from disease. They can also help prevent the spread of disease from young children to older children and adults.
Vaccines work by mimicking the infection of a certain disease in your child’s body.
This causes your child’s immune system to develop weapons called antibodies. These antibodies fight the disease that the vaccine aims to prevent. With antibodies in place, your child’s body can defeat future infection from the disease.
Vaccines are not all given right after a baby is born. Each occurs on a different timeline. They are mostly spaced during the first 24 months of a child’s life, and many are given in multiple stages or doses.
Don’t worry : you don’t have to remember the vaccination schedule alone. Your child’s doctor will guide you through the process.
These are the essential elements that you should know about each of these vaccines:
- HepB: protects against hepatitis B (liver infection). HepB is administered in three parts. The first vaccine is given at the time of birth.
- RV – Protects against rotavirus, a major cause of diarrhea. RV is given in two or three doses, depending on the vaccine used.
- Hib : protects against Haemophilus influenzae type b. This infection used to be one of the main causes of bacterial meningitis. The Hib vaccine is given in three or four doses.
- PCV – Protects against pneumococcal disease, which includes pneumonia. PCV is given in a series of four doses.
- IPV – Protects against polio and is given in four doses.
Talk to your doctor
Immunizations are an important part of keeping your child safe and healthy. If you have questions about vaccines, be sure to ask your child’s doctor. Your questions may include:
Are there any risks in using these vaccines?
Vaccines can cause mild side effects, such as redness and swelling where the injection was given. These effects should wear off in a few days. Serious side effects, such as a severe allergic reaction, are very rare.
The risks of the disease are much greater than the risk of serious side effects from the vaccine. For more information on the safety of vaccines for children, ask your child’s doctor.
It’s almost time for the doctor’s visit. Vaccinations, one of the most important ways to prevent your child from contracting some very dangerous diseases, are part of this visit.
If you still have questions, talk to your baby’s doctor about your concerns. Your doctor will provide you with literature on each vaccine that you can review and discuss with your doctor before vaccinating your baby.
Tips for vaccination
- Fill a bag with diapers, extra baby clothes, bottles (if you use them), and anything else you may need when you go out with your baby.
- Skip the shoes for now. They can hinder the development of their little feet. Put on a lovely pair of booties or socks.
- Babies should ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 2 years old.
- Your baby’s poop can be different colors. But if it’s white or black or has blood, be sure to call your doctor.
- Dressing a squirming baby is not easy. Place her on a changing table so you can better hold onto her. Don’t leave it unattended on the table.