As a parent, it is our responsibility to keep our kids safe and protect them from pain. When they grow, there will be times when they get sick, but these will hopefully be limited to the usual stomach bugs and common colds which punctuate childhood.
One way we can help our children develop is through different types of children’s immunizations which help protect them against all sorts of nasty germs and bugs. Many parents worry about exposing their little ones to these bugs; however, the immunizations help to support the development of their immune systems and offer long-term protection.
Why Does My Kid Need All These Shots?
When your little one is born, they are at risk from infectious diseases, as they don’t have a fully functioning immune system. They will receive some basic protection from antibodies passed on from the mother during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but it isn’t enough.
As your baby gets exposed to more germs and viruses, their immune system is more likely to get overwhelmed if it is not given the support vaccines provide. And it is not just your little one you are protecting. Widespread vaccinations help to control or eliminate childhood diseases; this protects the community at large.
What Is in a Shot?
Each vaccine contains a small amount of a specific virus or bacteria, which is injected into the bloodstream. These shots help your child to develop antibodies that will allow them to fight off those diseases effectively should they ever be exposed to them.
In some cases, the vaccine will include antigens, which will have the same effect on the immune system but without creating any symptoms.
The CDC has put together a very useful schedule to help inform parents when the little ones should get their latest round of shots. Don’t worry if you don’t remember every one though, as your local clinic will usually administer them or remind you about them during routine new baby and well-child examinations.
The schedule starts from when they are born and runs all the way into adolescence.
Types of Immunizations
When you are approaching the birth of your little one, your pediatric clinic will give you all the information on what shots need to be done and when they should be done. The CDC regularly updates the list of the different types of immunizations so that the maximum number of people are protected.
The list below gives an example of the different types of illnesses which are currently vaccinated against in the US:
- Hepatitis A and B
- Measles, mumps, and rubella
Parents often worry about the safety of vaccinations and whether their baby’s system will be overwhelmed by all these viruses. The truth is that vaccines are generally safe and usually only cause mild aftereffects such as bruising and snuffles.
The pain and discomfort associated with the shots are usually short-lived, and your baby might be a little grouchy for a day or so. But that is often the worst of it.
Any More Questions?
If you have any concerns about the shots, then your doctor or clinical staff will be able to address these. There is also lots of information on the CDC website.