Taking your son/daughter to the doctor’s office can be dreadful for both you and your child but getting vaccinations is a different story. Children are often scared to enter hospitals due to their prior traumatizing experience with their doctors, often involving vaccine shots. Learn more on the importance of childhood vaccination and how you can help lessen your child’s anxiety and stress levels before, during, and after vaccinations.
Why do children need vaccination?
Children are more prone to acquiring infectious diseases since their immune systems are still developing. While their bodies can naturally develop the antibodies that they need to fight off common illnesses, vaccinations can prevent these diseases, along with its complications, from happening in the first place.
Common vaccination concerns
Parents may have several concerns about their child’s immunization schedules. The top concern being the frequency of these shots which may give them the notion that their child is getting too many at the same time. Vaccines do not overload a child’s immune system and can help protect your child from as many as 14 different childhood diseases. Getting your child vaccinated will not cause autism.
Vaccinations are scheduled and should be strictly implemented by both the doctors and parents. You should always do your best to show up at your child’s vaccine appointments and never alter his/her immunization records to avoid confusion. Remember, vaccines can help protect your child, your family, and community from many infectious diseases like hepatitis, measles, and the common flu.
Initial vaccinations for your child
You can expect to encounter these vaccines during the first months of your child’s life (based on the 2018 Recommended Immunizations For Infants and Children guide from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
1 – 6 months
- HepB (Hepatitis B)
- RV (Rotavirus)
- Hib (Haemophilus Influenza B)
- DTaP (Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis)
- PCV13 (Pneumococcal)
- IPV (Polio)
6 – 12 months
Preparing for vaccination
Routine visits to the doctor may cause a lot of stress on your child and as a parent, it is your duty to reassure your child that everything will be alright. Parents should take note of these tips from the CDC so your next vaccination appointment can be less stressful for you and your child:
- Keep calm – children often take emotional cues from their parents so it’s important for you to stay optimistic while you’re at your trusted multispecialty clinic. Comfort your child through cuddles, hugs, and soft whispers so he/she can stay calm throughout the vaccination process.
- Bring their favorite things – whether it’s a stuffed toy or their favorite book, children may feel more inclined to focus on familiar things instead of the needle.
- Be honest – threatening your child with injections whenever they’re being naughty may not help you in the long run since this puts the medical process in a bad light for them. Carefully explain to your child the process and ease them into the whole idea of vaccination so they can adjust their expectations.
- Aftercare is important – there may be some mild side effects after vaccination like swelling and fever. This is perfectly normal and can be treated with a cool sponge bath. Give your child the extra attention that he/she needs to help them get through the experience.