Parental Guide To Childhood Vaccination

The experience of taking your child to the doctor’s office can be daunting for both you and your child.

Taking your child to the doctor’s office for vaccinations can be stressful for both you and your child. However, vaccinations are essential in preventing infectious diseases that can be harmful to children, especially since their immune systems are still developing. In this guide, you will learn about the importance of childhood vaccinations and how to reduce your child’s anxiety and stress levels before, during, and after the vaccination process.

Why are childhood vaccinations necessary?

Children are more susceptible to infectious diseases as their immune systems are still developing. While their bodies can naturally fight off common illnesses, vaccinations can prevent these diseases and their complications from occurring in the first place.

Common concerns about childhood vaccinations

Parents may have several concerns about their child’s immunization schedules, including the frequency of shots and the belief that vaccines can cause autism. However, vaccines do not overload a child’s immune system, and they can protect against up to 14 different childhood diseases. It is important to follow the recommended vaccination schedules to protect your child, family, and community.

Childhood vaccination schedules

Vaccinations are scheduled and should be followed by both doctors and parents. It is crucial to attend your child’s vaccine appointments and not to alter their immunization records. Vaccines can protect against infectious diseases like hepatitis, measles, and the flu.

Initial vaccines for infants

According to the 2018 Recommended Immunizations for Infants and Children guide from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these vaccines are typically administered during the first months of a child’s life:

  • HepB (Hepatitis B)
  • RV (Rotavirus)
  • Hib (Haemophilus Influenza B)
  • DTaP (Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis)
  • PCV13 (Pneumococcal)
  • IPV (Polio)
  • Influenza

Between six to twelve months, additional vaccines like:

  • MMR (Measles/Mumps/Rubella)
  • Varicella (Chickenpox)
  • HepA (Hepatitis A) may be administered.

Preparing for Vaccination

As a parent, it is natural to feel anxious when taking your child for routine vaccinations. However, there are steps you can take to make the experience less stressful for your child. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following tips:

  • Stay calm and reassure your child that everything will be alright. Children often take emotional cues from their parents, so it’s important to remain optimistic during the appointment.
  • Bring along your child’s favorite toy or book to help them focus on something familiar during the vaccination process.
  • Be honest with your child about the process of getting vaccinated. Avoid using threats or negative language to describe injections, as this may make your child more fearful of medical procedures in the long run.
  • After the vaccination, it’s important to provide your child with extra care and attention. Mild side effects such as swelling and fever may occur, but these can be treated with a cool sponge bath.