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What You Should Know About Your Child’s First Vaccines

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Vaccinating a child

Diseases have decreased substantially since the introduction of vaccines. The threat of disease has not been entirely eliminated, but thanks to vaccines, occurrences are much less frequent. One reason the risk remains is that not all parents vaccinate their children. When fewer babies receive their vaccines, more children can become sick. The following are seven diseases parents can help reduce by their having children vaccinated.

Pertussis

Pertussis, also known as “whooping cough”, is an infection of your child’s respiratory tract and is highly contagious. This disease is severe for babies, toddlers, teens, and even adults, but is entirely preventable with a vaccine. Once you’ve been exposed to Pertussis (and ar not vaccinated), you can expect symptoms to develop within five to ten days.

Symptoms begin with a runny nose, low fever, and mild cough. Infants with the disease may experience pauses in their breathing pattern. These symptoms can easily be mistaken for the beginnings of the common cold. Over a short time, the cough becomes more severe and sounds like a deep and harsh “whoop” that can lead to vomiting. If your child contracts Pertussis, the cough could become severe enough to cause exhaustion. This disease can lead to pneumonia, brain damage, seizures, or even death. With the DTaP vaccine, you can prevent your child from contracting this dangerous illness.

Polio

Polio is a severe disease that can lead to paralysis. This virus may be transmitted by water and then spread from person to person. Polio attacks the nervous system and once contracted, it cannot be cured. Polio has not come from the United States since 1979, but it was brought into the US in 1993 by someone who was not vaccinated. It only takes one person with polio to bring this disease back. After the vaccine was created in the 1950’s, polio cases have mostly been eliminated. The only way to continue keeping Polio out of the country is to get the vaccine.

Diphtheria

Diphtheria causes inflammation of the mucous membranes and is considered highly contagious. This disease can hinder your child’s breathing and ability to swallow. The disease can also cause nerve damage or fatally damage your child’s heart. The DTaP vaccine is able to prevent your child from catching this potentially fatal disease.

Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib)

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is another disease your child is at risk of without a vaccine. It can cause lifelong disability and in some cases even death. This disease is caused by bacteria and is especially dangerous for children under the age of five. Meningitis is the most common disease caused by Hib. It can cover your child’s spinal cord and brain, causing severe damage. Symptoms of meningitis include confusion, high fever, pain from bright lights, poor appetite, vomiting, reduced alertness, a stiff neck, and headaches. The Hib vaccine is the best option to prevent this disease.

Tetanus

Your child’s best defense against this infection is to receive the DTaP vaccine. Tetanus is a severe infection caused by bacterium that can affect your child’s nervous system and brain. This infection can cause stiffness in the muscles, serious breathing problems, and muscle spasms, and even become fatal.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B infects the liver and often only affects adults for a short time before they recover. This disease can sometimes occur without symptoms and when they do appear, they resemble the flu. It can lead to more serious conditions such as liver damage or even liver cancer. Hepatitis B is a virus that spreads through blood contact and body fluids. A vaccine is necessary to prevent the risk of contracting this disease.

Pneumococcal disease

The pneumococcal disease, also called pneumococcus, is an infection caused by bacterium. This disease can result in an infection of the blood, infection of the middle ear, bacterial meningitis, or pneumonia. Invasive pneumococcal can cause shock and has a risk of death. It can also lead to meningitis or pneumonia, which inflames one or both lungs. Pneumococcus is one of the biggest causes of pneumonia. A vaccine against this disease is the only way to prevent contracting these severe health risks.

Vaccine safety

Some children should not be given vaccines, like those that are mildly to severely sick at the time of vaccination. Children who have shown signs of allergies to vaccines in the past, or who are allergic to substances in any vaccine, should not be given certain shots.

Speak with your pediatrician before your child receives their DTaP vaccine and ask about reactions to ensure your child will not have one. The doctor should be able to tell you the risks involved with vaccines, how to spot serious reactions, and what to do if your child is allergic to a vaccine.

Vaccinations in Amarillo, Texas

Dr. John M. Young and his team are committed to providing the best clinical experience for you and your child. Contact Us by email or call our office at (806) 354-0404 ext. 330 to learn more about vaccinations and to schedule an appointment with us. You can also visit us in person at 1500 S. Coulter St. Suite #3 in Amarillo, Texas to learn more about our Services, including recommended and required Vaccines.