Thursday, July 21, 2011

Things you Need to Know About Vaccines

Before vaccines were invented, at least 3,000 kids in the U.S. each year died from measles and 10,000 annually were paralyzed by polio. But as medicine advances, more and more shots (including boosters)-at least 50 can be given to a kid before his/her 18th birthday compared to those kids born in 1983 which can only be 11 shots.
But it seems that even though there are plenty of evidences that vaccines are safe, many parents are still nervous. Here are some facts to help you ease your mind:

First thing you should need to know is that your child may not have to get so many vaccines on the same day. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) schedule, a kid may get as many as 7 shots in one check up, which many doctors say that it's perfectly safe. But few pediatricians say that giving so many at once may increase the risk of side effects. If you prefer to space out the shots for your kids, talk to your doctor.

Thimerosal, a preservative made with mercury that can trigger autism is no longer found in most vaccines. This is one thing many parents are worried about although many studies have found no such link, but due to the scrutiny, the public health agencies had removed from childhood vaccines in 2001. Trace amounts are still in some flu shots, although most experts say this is safe.

Reactions are pretty common. For example, one in four kids who get the DTaP (diphteria, tetanus and acellular pertussis) develop mild reactions such as fever, redness or swelling, or soreness/tenderness at the injection site.
Apply ice on the spot and take ibuprofen. A serious bad reaction will be a swelling as big as a softball and running a high fever. In that case, see your doctor.