3 Tips for parents and childhood immunizations
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We all want our children to be as healthy and safe as possible. Understanding childhood immunizations is a big part of a child’s health and safety. This starts with working closely with your child’s healthcare professionals, keeping good records, and understanding your child’s insurance plan (if applicable).
1. Talk with your child’s doctor.
Ask your doctor what immunizations your child needs. Also ask at what age your child should get them. Most immunizations are given by the time your child is 2 years old, but, some are given into the teen years.
The immunization shots are given in a series and your doctor will tell you what these are. Your child will not have full protection if he or she only gets some of the shots. Be sure to follow the schedule recommended by the doctor and make an appointment for your child’s next immunization before you leave your doctor’s office. Don’t miss your child’s doctor visit. If you have to cancel, set up another one.
In general, shots are very safe, and the diseases they protect from are more dangerous than the shots. Most reactions are mild. Serious reactions are rare. Talk with your doctor about the risks and precautions that you should take to reduce the impact of any reactions. After receiving an immunization, your child may run a fever or experience swelling where the shot was given. Ask your doctor if you should pre-medicate or post-medicate with acetaminophen (Tylenol®) to ease the side effects. Aspirin should never be given to anyone younger than age 18. Aspirin has been linked to Reye’s syndrome, a rare condition that sometimes can cause death.
2. Keep good records.
Ask your doctor for an immunization record to keep track of the shots your child has had. Keep this important record in a safe place, since childcare providers and schools will ask for it. Bring the record to every doctor’s visit.
3. Understand your child’s healthcare coverage.
Whether you participate on an employer group plan, have an individual or family plan, or if your child is covered through a government program, review your plan design for covered services, determine any requirements, exclusions or limitations, and understand which immunizations are covered as part of preventive care.
Immunizations can keep your child from getting Chickenpox, Diphtheria, Hepatitis B and A, HIB (haemophilus influenza bacteria), Measles, Mumps, Polio, Rubella, Influenza and the list goes on. Also remember that the tips provided above are for informational purposes only, and do not diagnose problems, recommend specific treatments, nor substitute the care and advice of a licensed physician.
(Photo credited to tumblr.com)
DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, and based on particular situations, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice, financial advice and/or the advice of a licensed insurance or certified human resource professional.
© Connelly, Carlisle, Fields & Nichols 2012