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Conditions and Diseases: Immunizations Protect Children

Conditions > Conditions and Diseases: Immunizations Protect Children

Children are born with immunity to some diseases. Mothers pass disease fighting antibodies on to babies through the placenta. If a child is breastfed, the baby can continue to get those antibodies in the form of breast milk. However, immunity is only temporary.

Many life-threatening diseases have been eliminated due to the development of artificial immunizations. Antigens that come from or are like the components of microorganisms that cause diseases are used to help people develop immunities.

Microorganisms can be viruses or bacteria. Vaccines tell the body there is a real infection and the body begins to build up immunity to the viruses and bacteria. The body can develop immunity to viruses and bacteria so that when they enter the body at a later date, the body fights them off quickly.

It is natural for parents to worry about their children and it is true that some vaccines cause complications. However, the diseases from which they protect children are far more life-threatening.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has developed a schedule of vaccinations that should be given to children at certain times of their lives. Changes in recommendations are common as new vaccines are developed so it is important to consult with a physician about which vaccines your children need.

Currently the immunization recommends:

Birth: Hepatitis B (Hep B)
1-4 months: Hepatitis B (Hep B)
2 months: Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP)
4 months: Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis; Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib); Inactivated poliovirus (IPV); Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV)
6 months: Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis; Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib); Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV); Influenza (annually)
6-18 months: Hepatitis B (Hep B)
12-15 months: Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib); Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR); Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV)
12-18 months: Varicella (Var)
15-18 months: Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP)
4-6 years: Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP); Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR); Inactivated poliovirus (IPV)
11-12 years: Tetanus booster

The schedule might vary depending on where you live, your child’s health and when the vaccines are available.

Help Your Child through the Vaccination Process

Parents don’t like to see their children hurt, but if you approach vaccines with a positive attitude, your child will be more likely to be positive about them too. Explain the purpose and need for vaccinations to older children so they will understand you are not trying to hurt, but to help them stay healthy.

Younger children probably won’t understand this reasoning. Allow them to cry, but help them to be brave my smiling and remaining calm. Bring your child’s favorite toy along when he or she receives a vaccination or use pictures in magazines or on the wall to distract them. Say nursery rhymes together or sing. When your child has received the injection hug him or her and lavish the child with praise. After the visit to the doctor or health clinic go out for ice cream or visit a park so the child will associate vaccination time with the fun event that follows.

Conditions > Conditions and Diseases: Immunizations Protect Children