Common Questions Parents Ask about Infant Immunizations

August 24, 2009

Is it okay for my baby to have so many shots at once?

Yes. Studies show that kids’ bodies, even infants, can handle many shots at once. Having several vaccines at once is safe, even for a newborn.

Combination vaccines protect your child against more than one disease with a single shot. This reduces the number of shots and office visits your child would need. It’s not your imagination; there are a greater number of shots now than a few years ago. That’s because as science advances, we are able to protect your child against more diseases than ever before.

Don’t infants have natural immunity?

Babies get some temporary immunity (protection) from mom during the last few weeks of pregnancy but only for the disease mom is immune to. These antibodies do not last long, leaving the infant vulnerable to disease.

Haven’t we gotten rid of most of these diseases in this country?

Thanks to vaccines, most diseases prevented by vaccines are no longer comon in this country. Even the few cases we have in the U.S. could very quickly become tens or hundreds of thousands of cases if we stopped vaccinating. It’s not uncommon to have measles outbreaks, whopping cough outbreaks, chickenpox outbreaks, and other diseases when vaccination rates drop. Kids that are not fully vaccinated can become seriously sick and spread it through a community.

I heard that some vaccines can cause autism.  Is this true?

No. Scientific studies and reviews have found no relationship between vaccines and autism.

Can’t I just wait unti lmy child goes to school to catch up on immunizations?

Many of the diseases vaccines protect against can be very dangerous to infants. Newborns, babies, and toddlers can all be exposed to diseases from other countries without you knowing. Don’t wait to protect your baby and risk these diseases when he or she needs protection ow.

Why does my child need a chickenpox shot?   Isn’t it a mild disease?

Chickenpox can actually be a serious disease for kids if the blisters become infected. Before the vaccine was available, about 50 kids died every year from chickenpox, and about 1 in 500 kids who got chickenpox were hospitalized.

My child is sick right now.  Is it okay for her to still get shots?

Yes, usually. Talk with the doctor, but children can usually get vaccinated even if they have a mild illness like a cold, earache, mild fever, or diarrhea. If the doctor says it is okay, your child can still get vaccinated.

Where can I get more information?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
American Academy of Pediatrics
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Immunization Action Coalition (IAC)
Every Child By Two

Mowing Safety

August 20, 2009
  • Remove debris and other objects from lawn to prevent flying debris.
  • Wear full eye protection.
  • Make sure the grass is dry.
  • Wear close fitting clothes, long pants and closed-toe shoes for protection.
  • Keep children and pets away.
  • Use a mower with a control that stops it when you let go of the handle.
  • Do not put hands near mower blades while it’s running.
  • Do not let children ride in your lap while operating a riding mower.
  • Never let a child under the age of 15 operate a riding mower.
  • Never let a child under the age of 12 operate a push mower.

Back to School Swine Flu Tips

August 4, 2009

With the new school year fast approaching, concern over swine flu is growing.  Referred to as the H1N1 virus, swine flu has turned into a pandemic.  The swine flu is passed from human to human and has similarities to flu that is found in Asian pigs, thus the name, “swine flu.”  Here are a few essential tips that parents and children should know to prevent swine flu:flu

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often.
  • Stay home if you become sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.
  • Refrain from touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Use an alcohol- based hand sanitizer.
  • Make sure to get enough sleep.

Symptoms of the swine flu are similar to the regular seasonal flu, so pay attention!  You must get lab tests to determine if you have swine flu. You and your children can never be too careful.