Vaccines expose your child to a weakened or dead form of a disease to help his or her body create antibodies against it. Your child’s immune system is then prepared to fight the disease if they ever come into contact with it.
For the most recent list of vaccinations recommended by the CDC, check this page for immunization schedules by age.
The temporary discomfort caused by vaccines is minimal compared to the permanent protection they provide. Here are a few helpful strategies to make shots easier for your child.
Before you go to your appointment, practice playing doctor at home to introduce your child to shots. You can also bring your child along for your immunizations, so they know what to expect.
Your reaction influences your child’s experience. It’s important to stay calm and act like there’s nothing to fear. Smiling and laughing makes injections much more tolerable for them, too.
If your child is scared of the shot, reassure them, letting them know you’ll be there for them the entire time and that it will be over before they know it. Walk them through what will happen with honesty and reassurance. You may even allow them to bring along a stuffed animal or blanket from home to help them feel safe.
Next, distraction during the injection is the best way to redirect your child’s attention away from the pain. You can sing or talk to babies and have older children play games on a phone or iPad to distract them. Hold your child during and after the vaccination process to let them know you’re there for them. Take as much time afterward to soothe your child as you need.
After the appointment, give your child something to look forward to such as ice cream or a balloon. A reward reinforces good behavior.
Immunizations sometimes cause reactions in your child’s body. These are normal indications that the vaccine is working. Typical side effects include:
Most side effects aren’t a cause for concern and should go away within a day or two.
If you have any questions about vaccines for your child, contact TLC Pediatrics Medical Group, Inc over the phone or online.
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