As much as there is a need for adults to be taken care of and to keep themselves healthy, we must also remember how fragile infants are. Every parent must take precautionary measures to protect babies from illnesses that are prone to them. They are more likely to be hit by diseases and are vulnerable to any outside factor that might impact them and their bodies in a negative way.
Being parents and raising a healthy child is undoubtedly not a walk in the park. Several challenges and trials will be in their plates that they cannot avoid and ones they must face throughout the journey of being parents. However, there are some ways given by science that can make things a little lighter for them and can be of helping hand along the way.
Preventive measures can come handy through a vaccine that can be their defence from bacteria and viruses that are threats that can lead to severe illnesses and diseases. However, parents should also be careful and do their research. They must study every vaccine that they intend to give their child. Some vaccines may or may not be suitable for their child's body. This article will focus on the importance of vaccines for children, the factors parents should consider before giving it to them, and tips to do after.
Vaccination is the best way to protect your child against many dangerous diseases
Vaccines prevent illnesses such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), rotavirus, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, pneumococcal and meningococcal diseases, and human papillomavirus virus (HPV).
Influenza (flu) vaccine is also recommended each year for children older than six months. In the United States, if fewer babies are vaccinated, the number of babies who get sick rises.
- 5-in-1 or 6-in-1 vaccine (also known as DPTP-Hib), DPT-polio, or Hib vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and Hib disease.
- Rotavirus vaccine protects infants against rotavirus, the most common cause of severe diarrhoea in babies and young children.
- The pneumococcal vaccine protects against infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, including meningitis (a brain infection), pneumonia, and ear infections.
- The meningococcal vaccine protects against diseases caused by meningococcus bacteria, including meningitis and septicemia, a severe blood infection.
- MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella.
- Varicella vaccine protects against chickenpox, a very uncomfortable and sometimes severe infection.
- Hepatitis B vaccine protects against hepatitis B, a severe infection of the liver.
- DTaP vaccine protects adolescents against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough).
- The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that cause cervical cancer, some other cancers, and genital warts.
Most of these vaccines are given during the first three months of the infant. However, the time that these vaccines be given to the child may vary depending on his or her condition. Some vaccines are put off due to chronic illnesses that the child undergoes, and in other instances, few vaccines are not given at all.
The child mortality rate is also high due to several illnesses that affect infants, and as young as they are, it gets difficult for them to survive. This is a matter every single parent can avoid because there are several among these illnesses that can be prevented through vaccines to be given to their child.
Vaccines are safe
Just like all other medicines sold in the pharmacy or licensed drugstore, vaccines are tested for safety and effectiveness. It is just that in some cases, certain people are allergic to a specific type of medicine or vaccine in this case. Moreover, there are no severe side effects from vaccines that have been found.5
Some parents usually get hesitant because of the fear that their children's body might not react well on these vaccines, which is why it is essential to consult their physician first. It is not just in this case where consultation is needed - every medical-related decision for a child must first be approved by their respective physicians knowing that it is a child's health that is put at risk.
Some children should not get certain vaccines
Before giving vaccines, physicians always make sure that the child does not undergo any chronic diseases or any illnesses on the day of vaccination. Immunizations must be provided to a healthy child to avoid complications, given the fact that the child's immune system is low at that given time. Moreover, if the child had an allergic reaction to a specific vaccine on the first shot, it must be discontinued before the results become severe.
The physician must see to it that the vaccines do not contain substances which the child is allergic to. If the parents really seek to give the vaccine to their child, asking for a physician's advice is a must. Asking for an opinion from those who are experienced in that field can also help given the fact that they can suggest other vaccines that can be suited and allowed for the condition of their child.
Monitor your child after he or she has been given the vaccine(s)
Any unusual behaviour from the child such as continuous vomiting or severe fever (over 105 F), non-stop crying for 3 hours, diarrhoea, seizure or collapse, as well as skin rashes, must be attended to immediately. Always get the 24/7 medical clinic and/or the physician’s contact number to contact if these things happen. Never hesitate to call your doctor. Infants are very vulnerable at their very young age that is why regardless of the degree of your concern you must not wait for phone hours to come because you might compromise your child’s health and life.
Parents must be very alert and vigilant when any of these signs occur and immediately seek help from the child's physician. Being relaxed knowing the fact that the vaccine was already given and so the child is safe from a particular illness is not the way to go - as parents, observing the child is very necessary to trace whenever something is off with him or her.
Ask. Listen. Talk
Don’t be shy to ask things from your physician, most notably when it is your first time to have or take care of a baby. Always remember that there is no harm in asking, and there are people who can understand your journey as a parent. Vaccines are to be taken seriously for they can either protect your child or harm them when a symptom is not immediately noticed and taken action. Asking friends that are also moms that have gone through the same process you are currently going through is also a good thing for you can exchange ideas and experiences and as well as gain some valuable insights that you can apply for your child and vice versa.
Always listen. Any prescription and advice from the physician before and after the vaccine has been performed must be noted to ensure the welfare of the baby. Jotting down important notes and reminders is also a good practice as a parent and to produce a checklist out of it, later on, so you don't forget anything.
Listening to your infant is also necessary. Although they cannot speak yet, they can send messages through the sounds that they make where parents can even know when something wrong is going on or if the child feels something.
If you are asked about your health history most especially if you are a parent, do it honestly. Through this, allergies and other hereditary diseases can be tracked. Never be shy to open these kinds of things to your child's physician. It is vital to tell them this sensitive information as it can be detrimental to your child's health if not.
Talking can also include being very vocal once you notice that there is a reaction from the vaccine previously given and to not just take it lightly. Telling the people within your household and the physician immediately is essential.
As much as every parent can, they will protect their children from any possible harm that might attack them. And one effective way to do so is to get them vaccinated to every single one possible for as long as it is approved by their respective physicians when it is sure that the child is not allergic to the vaccine and that he or she is cleared from any laboratory test to be taken beforehand. With the tips and essential things presented that each of them will surely remember, a healthier and safer child against all the preventable illnesses and diseases is what they will surely have.