By, Dr. Ram Gopal Hola, Senior Consultant, Neonalogist, Rosewalk Healthcare
Children under 5 are at maximum risk of dying because of communicable diseases. Many of these can be prevented by the timely use of vaccinations. Diarrhea, pneumonia, and malaria are some of the leading causes of communicable diseases.
All vaccines are by and large safe and go through several safety checks before being marketed for use. However, some side effects are common like fever, irritability, pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site. The frequency and incidence of these side effects vary from vaccine to vaccine and child to child. The risk of major side effects that threaten the life of the child is extremely rare. The claims that vaccines cause autism or other diseases have been carefully researched and disproved. Vaccination schedules often require the administration of multiple vaccines on a single visit. This is safe, saves time and expense, and is less distressing than providing the vaccinations singly in multiple visits.
Here are some do’s and don’ts regarding your child’s vaccination:
1)Do get your child vaccinated on time. The vaccination card is a very important document. Do keep it safely and carry it with you to each vaccination session
2)Do learn from your doctor what the vaccination being administered is for and what side effects to expect after the vaccination
3) Do comfort your child during the vaccination process. You can distract the child with a toy while the vaccine is being administered
4) Do look out for fever, redness and pain at the injection site- if there is redness or swelling apply a cold cloth to the area
Some vaccines may be associated with fever after a few hours. Do keep the child in appropriate clothing in a well ventilated environment after the vaccination and keep him or her well hydrated.
5)Do continue breastfeeding your child. Usually, side effects of vaccination (like fever, irritability, fatigue) do not last for more than two days. Do report to your doctor if your baby develops any serious or prolonged symptoms
6)Do remember that vaccines are not 100% effective. Do follow simple hygienic measures and precautions to prevent infection
1) As far as possible don’t miss your child’s scheduled vaccination. Vaccination can be given even if your child is suffering from a minor illness
2) If your child has had a severe side effect or allergy to some medication in the past, don’t fail to inform your doctor before the vaccine is administered
3) Don’t massage the area where the injection has been given
4) Don’t apply heat to the injection site. Don’t apply any oil/ointment/cream/herbs etc to the area
5) Don’t routinely administer paracetamol or fever medication unless the child develops fever or irritability