If it’s your first time taking your child to the clinic, you may not know what to expect. Let us guide you by suggesting some immunisation tips.
Caution Your Doctor
There are a few things you should highlight to your doctor and discuss before the vaccination.
1. If your child has any severe allergies
At this stage, you can’t be expected to know about all your child’s allergies, but you should report the ones you know about.
Sometimes, children can be allergic to the ingredients within a vaccine. It usually isn’t a problem if the allergy is mild, however a severe allergy could be life threatening.
2. If your child has had a severe reaction to a previous dose of any vaccine
Your child could have had some uncommon reactions to a previous vaccine. It is important to highlight these to your doctor. This could be reason enough to not give your child the said vaccine.
Children With Special Cases
If your child has a supressed immune system, he or she may not be able to receive certain live vaccines. A suppressed immune system can be cause by medical conditions (AIDS, leukaemia, or cancer) or medical treatments (steroids, chemotherapy or radiation).
Comfort Your Child During The Immunisation
At the clinic, these are some immunisation tips you can employ to make your child more comfortable during the appointment:
1. Comforting restraint
Cuddle your baby or child firmly in your lap in a seated position.
Why? Being held close to you will help calm your child and help keep legs and arms still so that vaccines can be given safely. Sitting upright will help your child feel more secure. Ask your doctor how best to position your child.
Using toys that light-up or play music can distract your child before and during the immunisation. For older children, you can distract them by asking questions about something they are excited about. You may also employ the use of books, music players, or television shows to distract older children.
Why? Research shows that the part of the brain that processes pain is less active when children are distracted during immunisations.
If you are breastfeeding, you can breastfeed your baby before, during and after the immunisation.
Why? The physical closeness, the distraction of sucking and the sweet taste of breast milk will calm your baby. Research also shows that breast milk contains natural calming substances.
Trying these immunisation tips can turn clinic visits or immunisation appointments into a chance to teach children skills for managing potentially scary or difficult situations.
It is advisable to remain in the clinic for about half an hour after the immunisation. Sometimes your child may have a rare serious reaction to the vaccine (adverse reaction). However when it does, it will happen within a few minutes to an hour of the vaccine injection. Therefore, being at the clinic means your child can be attended to without delay. If you are at home, call your doctor immediately.