Reasons To Vaccinate Your Child

The quick stick of a needle is nothing compared to the health risks your child could face if they aren’t vaccinated.

For many parents, the thought of vaccinating their children can bring about sleepless nights, especially knowing that your child will shed tears every time they get a shot. According to the South African Journal of Infectious Diseases, immunisation in children has led to the elimination of the wild polio virus, maternal and neonatal tetanus, and has drastically reduced cases of measles. So to encourage you to make a wise decision, we look at benefits of vaccinations in children.

Herd Immunity

Herd immunity simply means that when a person is vaccinated, they prevent diseases from spreading to others in the community, including:

  • Babies who are too young to receive vaccines.
  • Unvaccinated children and adults.
  • Pregnant women.
  • The elderly.
  • Individuals who are allergic to vaccine components.

3 Reasons To Vaccinate:

  • Vaccinations are quick, safe and very effective.
  • Once your child is vaccinated against a disease, their body is better able to fight against the illness.
  • Unvaccinated children are at a higher risk of becoming very ill from different illnesses.

Like with many other medications, your baby may suffer from the following side effects after the vaccination:

  • Irritability
  • High temperature
  • Redness and swelling at the site of the injection
  • Tenderness at the spot.

If these side effects concern you or last longer than you deem reasonable, have your doctor examine your child. They will usually prescribe a medication for pain and fever, and any other symptoms that may be present.

How Can You Help?

  • Allow some quiet time. Your baby will probably be irritable and drowsy, so plan some quiet activities at home and keep the room temperature cool.
  • Cuddle your baby. Sometimes staying in your arms can keep your baby calm.
  • Use a cold compress. After the shot, apply a clean, cool washcloth to the sore area to reduce the tenderness aound the site of the injection.
  • Distraction does the trick. Sometimes distraction is the only thing that may work. Buy your child a new gift or toy that will grab their attention. A simple game of peek-a-boo can also work.

Next time you take your child for a vaccination, remember that your anxiety at the time plays a major role when it comes to your baby’s distress. Try to stay calm – the discomfort is only temporary.

By Thina Mthembu. Source: Fedhealth. Image: Istock.

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