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Immunizations: Protect Your Child by Keeping Shots Up-to-Date

Immunizations: Protect Your Child by Keeping Shots Up-to-Date

You want to do what is best for your child. You know about the importance of car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep your child safe. But, did you know that one of the best ways to protect children is to make sure they have all of their immunizations, or shots? 

National Infant Immunization Week is April 26 - May 3. During this week, communities throughout the United States focus on the critical role immunizations play in protecting our children, communities and public health. Immunizations have saved countless lives, and declines in immunization rates have led to an associated increase in diseases that vaccines once had firmly under control.

"Vaccinations are safe, effective, and one of the most important things parents can do to protect their child's health," said Fidelis Care Chief Medical Officer Sanjiv Shah, MD. "Basic preventative care, such as keeping vaccinations up-to-date, and ensuring that children receive regular checkups from their doctor, are essential to giving children a healthy start in life."

Did you know?

Children under the age of 2 don't have all of the defenses they need to fight off infection. Immunizations protect them from serious childhood diseases like:
• Bacterial pneumonia
• Chickenpox
• Diphtheria
• Flu
• Hepatitis A and B
• Measles
• Meningitis
• Mumps
• Polio
• Rotavirus
• Tetanus
• Whooping cough
• and more...

If you are concerned about the momentary discomfort your child may experience, take these steps to help prepare, distract and comfort your child when it is time for shots.

Before shots:
•Bring a favorite toy or blanket;
•Request and read vaccine information statements;
•Ask your doctor questions; and
•Relax as your baby can sense your feelings.

During shots, children can be comforted when you:
•Touch them soothingly and talk softly;
•Make eye contact and smile;
•Hold them on your lap; and
•Distract them with a toy or something in the room.

After shots:
•Hold or cuddle your child;
•Talk in a soothing and reassuring way;
•Allow your child to cry;
•Ask your doctor for advice on using a non-aspirin pain reliever when you get home;
•Request an updated copy of your child's immunization record that you can give to your child's day care or school; and
•Make your child's next appointment for shots.

At home:
•Review vaccine information statements for possible reactions;
•Use a cool, wet cloth to reduce any redness, soreness, and/or swelling where the shot was given; and
•Observe your child for the next few days. You might see a small rash or notice a fever. If your child has any reaction that concerns you, call your doctor or seek medical attention.

Now is the time:
If your child does not have health insurance coverage, don't let that prevent you from protecting your child from vaccine-preventable illness and disease. Enroll your child in a health insurance plan. Almost every child in New York State under the age of 19 is eligible for health insurance coverage through the New York State-sponsored Child Health Plus program, offered by Fidelis Care. Depending on household income, there may be a modest monthly premium.
Spring and summer are the perfect time to get your child's shots up-to-date, as the law requires children to have certain immunizations before they can enter day care or school.
Ask your doctor what shots are right for your child and make an appointment today.

Source: Fidelis Care