Archive | Toddler Vaccines

Flu Vaccine For Children

Flu vaccine for children is one of the most crucial vaccinations every toddler should receive. It is the best way to prevent a toddler from getting seriously ill. Here is some information to help you better understand flu vaccine for children.

Why is flu vaccine for children important?

Children need to get the flu vaccine as a protection against the flu or influenza which is a highly transmittable disease of the respiratory system. Because children under the age of 5 can suffer serious complications from the flu (convulsions, pneumonia and ear infection), some of those children develop more severe illnesses which can lead to death. Getting a toddler immunized for a flu vaccine is the best way to secure a toddler from these lethal complications.

What is the recommended schedule?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends children ages 6 months and older to get the flu vaccine as well as parents, caregivers and anyone who is in close contact with the toddler.

A toddler who is below the age of 9 and has not received the flu vaccine before will need 2 doses a month apart to give his immune system time to react. Only 1 dose of flu vaccine is necessary for children who received the shot before.

What are the types of flu vaccine for children?

There are 2 types of flu vaccine for children – flu shot and nasal spray. Flu shots are given to children 6 months and older. Side effects may include muscle pains, tenderness or redness at the injection site. Nasal spray flu vaccine or FluMist can be given to children below 2 years old who have no record of asthma or wheezing. Side effects such as congestion, cough, fatigue, fever and headache are expected.

Is it effective?

Flu vaccine for children is about 70 to 80 percent effective in preventing a toddler from developing the flu. However, if a toddler is exposed to a strain of the flu that was not integrated in the flu vaccine that year, the shot will be less potent. Also, the flu vaccine supplies no security from other viruses so the flu vaccine will not keep a toddler from getting sick, it will only minimize the probability that he will get the flu.

Are annual flu shots really necessary?

Yes, even if a toddler received a flu vaccine last year, he still has to be immunized for the present year. Annual flu shots for children are needed since there are 3 different strains of flu virus that circulate and change during the flu season (during cold season).

Who should not get the flu vaccine?

Even though flu vaccine for children is very essential, there are still a few exemptions to the rule. Doctors do not prescribe flu vaccines for children who:

  • Are under 6 months of age
  • Suffered an allergic reaction to a previous flu vaccine
  • Are severely allergic to eggs
  • Has a serious disease with fever
  • Has a nervous system disorder

If you have any questions or concerns about flu vaccine for children, do not hesitate to talk to your child health expert.

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Facts About Childhood Vaccinations

Health is wealth. And as a parent, your major responsibility is to ensure your toddler’s welfare. At a tender age, vaccines must be given to protect your young one from health complications. To help you better understand the facts about childhood vaccinations, here are direct answers to common questions about toddler vaccines.

What is a vaccine?

Vaccines are preventive medicines. It is given to individuals primarily during the first few days of birth to help their bodies generate antibodies which serve as a defense in protecting the body from obtaining infections. Vaccines are given to children early so that they no longer have to suffer any attacks from very dangerous diseases later in life. Most often, the immunizations given to toddlers are from ailments that are perilous and lethal such as polio, hepatitis A and B, measles, mumps, varicella (chicken pox), tetanus and Hib (Haemophilus influenza type B).

Why should children get vaccinated?

Infants and toddlers are susceptible to contagious diseases, and the best way to shelter them is through immunization. Getting immunized before the age of 2 is one of the most effective ways to ensure toddlers a normal and healthy development.

Natural Immunity vs. Vaccinations

Naturally, toddlers get some sort of transitory immunity from their mother’s womb during the last few weeks of pregnancy. However, this protection is limited to the illnesses the mother is immune to. Even though natural immunity from a disease offers more complete protection, a lot of unforeseen side effects can occur. For instance, a toddler without a varicella shot can get chicken pox and this disease when not treated immediately can lead to pneumonia or a natural Hib infection can result to permanent brain damage. Therefore, vaccinations are a better option as these can prevent ailments and their deadly complications.

Is getting multiple vaccinations at once safe?

Yes it is. Research has proven that a toddler’s body can handle many shots given all at the same time, even for a newborn baby. Also, getting your toddler combination vaccines better safeguards your little one from more than one disease.

What are the side effects of vaccines?

Every vaccine has corresponding side effects. However, these effects are only minor. Some toddlers can experience agitation, a mild headache, fever, loss of appetite, allergies and redness or swelling at the injected area which lasts for 3 to 5 days only.

Moreover, parents worrying about their children developing autism from vaccines should not fret. A scientific study was conducted and had proved that vaccines and autism have no relationship.

Do vaccines offer lifetime protection?

Vaccines provide the body life-long defense. However, there are booster shots like chickenpox, influenza and pertussis booster shots toddlers need to have to ensure the immunity does not wear off.

Can exercise and good nutrition substitute vaccines?

No, they do not. While a nourished and fit body helps boost the immune system, they do not supply the correct antibodies the body needs to fight off common and unheard diseases. Plus, parents cannot always look after their toddler 24/7. Toddlers are full of energy so it is better and more comforting to know your child is secured from natural diseases wherever he goes.

Who should not get immunization shots?

While vaccines are given universally, there are still a few exemptions. A toddler who obtained a previous dose of vaccine and had an allergic reaction should not acquire a second dose of the said vaccine. Toddlers with food and drug sensitivities, immune system diseases (e.g. AIDS, HIV) neurological deficiencies and convulsion disorders need to undergo careful evaluation by a doctor before getting vaccinated. A toddler with cancer or is undergoing chemotherapy is also forbidden from receiving immunization shots.

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Essential Vaccines For Children

Your toddler’s health is your number one priority. The goal is to keep your toddler fit both on the inside and the outside. After all, the success of your child’s development lies on how healthy he is. Vaccination is important to help your toddler stay fit. So instead of treating ailments, his body can prevent it from the start.

Vaccines give your little one a strong immune system since more antibodies are released into his system which safeguards the body from malfunctioning. There are various types of vaccines for children required by National Immunization Schedule. Read on to help you identify their function and importance.

Basic Vaccines Your Child Must Have

From birth to his growing years, here are the essential vaccines you need to ensure your little one receives:

At Birth

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B immunization must be given within 12 hours after the child’s birth. Generally, it is given in a series of 3 injections (after birth, at 1 to 2 months and at 6 to 18 months). HBV offers long-term immunity from your toddler’s childhood to adult years. This vaccine helps defend his body from multiple infections. It also eliminates your toddler the risk of getting liver disease (cirrhosis) and liver cancer.

At 1 to 2 Months

DTaP

DTaP vaccine is given through a series of 5 injections (starts at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 1 to 2 years old and 4 to 6 years old). This immunization prevents three kinds of diseases – diphtheria, a major throat virus that obstructs the airway which leads to breathing difficulty, tetanus, a poisonous producing microbe usually found in infected wounds that can lead to a nerve ailment and pertussis or whooping cough (difficulty of breathing) which blocks the airway passage of the respiratory that can cause other respiratory diseases.

Haemophilus Influenza

Known as Hib vaccine that is injected to toddlers at 2 months and 4 months. A booster dose is recommended once a toddler reaches 12 to 15 months. Hib helps prevent your toddler’s body from blood, bone and joint infections, meningitis, pneumonia and pericarditis (disease of the membrane that covers the heart).

Polio

The most basic toddler vaccine in the world, polio immunization is recommended once your toddler reaches 2 months. This helps avoid the spread of viruses that is acquired through direct person to person contact which often leads to permanent paralysis or worse, death.

At 4 to 8 Months

PCV

Your toddler must be immunized with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine once he is 4 months old. Subsequent shots must be given once he reaches his 6th, 12th and 15th month. PCV helps avert severe viruses that can cause bacterial meningitis, blood diseases and pneumonia.

At 12 to 15 months

MMR

Once your toddler hits the age of 1, he needs to be vaccinated with MMR. This helps protect his immune system from acquiring rubella (German measles), measles and mumps. Failure to have MMR vaccination can often lead to major health complications that are often untreatable.

Chickenpox

Varicella vaccine shields your toddler from getting the most common and very transmittable viral infection – chickenpox.

At 16 to 24 months

Hepatitis A

If you want additional immunity for your toddler, Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended especially when the family travels to a country with high HAV as this prevents epidemics from developing.

Vaccines serve as the perfect shield for your toddler. But, do keep in mind that it is best to consult a pediatrician for professional advice about your child’s best time table for his immunization shots.

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Simple Ways to Boost Children’s Immune System

Does your toddler acquire infection as easily as he gets his hands dirty? Do his daily activities consist of staying inside the house instead of playing with his peers outdoors? If yes, then your toddler has a poor immune system. This is very common to toddlers especially those below the age of eight, and as a parent, it is your responsibility to see to your toddler’s well-being.

The immune system is the body’s defense against bacteria, germs and diseases. Generally, childrens immune system is still very fresh and fragile. While illness is an inevitable part of life, you can take steps to strengthen your toddler’s immune system.

Simple Tips For Improving Toddler’s Immune System

Strengthening your little one’s system does not necessarily require you to spend thousands of dollars to safeguard your toddler from germs and infections. What you can do is to simply:

Let Him Eat A Balanced Meal

Toddlers always love eating candies, chocolates, ice cream and anything that can satisfy their sweet tooth. Hence, it is very impossible to rid your toddler from these foods at such a young age. What you can do is to train him to take everything in moderation. For every meal, always serve him healthy foods. Ample servings of dairy products, fish, rice, pasta, vegetables and fruits will give him all the right vitamins and minerals he needs to nourish his young body. Reserve his favorite cake for snack time.

Get Him Moving

Your toddler by nature is very active. Therefore, he thrives on doing physically demanding activities. Instead of letting him play on his own or with his peers every day, why not join him. Take some time to go outside where your toddler gets exposed to the sun and absorb natural sources of vitamins. Race, play tag or do exercises together, this not only makes him happy but also strengthens his heart and muscles reducing the chances of getting any infection. Plus, it is a good and stress-free way for you to shed off those extra pounds don’t you think?

Have Ample Time For Sleep

Lack of sleep weakens the immune system allowing viruses to easily enter the body. With all the activities he did during the day, he needs to restore and replenish his energy. Plus, sleep minimizes stress which can greatly weaken the immune system as well. Let him sleep for 8 to 10 hours during the night and let him take a 30 minute to an hour of nap in the middle of the day.

Get Him Vaccinated

There are standard vaccinations your toddler’s pediatrician will require such as vaccination for polio, chicken pox, German measles and so on. Getting vaccinated adds more protection. This helps prevent your toddler’s immune system from acquiring common ailments from childhood to adulthood.

Instil Proper Hygiene Habits

Good hygiene is very important in securing your toddler’s immune system especially during this stage where your toddler loves playing rough and getting his hands dirty. To combat viruses from attacking his system, teach him to wash his hands after playing outside and before and after taking his meals. Teach him how to brush his teeth properly and take baths on a daily basis. Train him to keep clutter away from his room and to throw away filthy things.

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