Vaccines for young children have been a big topic of discussion recently. With some parents deciding not to vaccinate, it’s vital to spread factual information. Young children have a vaccine schedule they should stick to, according to medical experts and organizations such as the CDC.
Vaccines are completely safe, have no adverse side effects, and help keep your child happy and healthy! This is a brief look at some of the vaccines your child should receive during their formative years.
The chicken pox vaccine is one that many parents question because they believe chicken pox isn’t that serious. While that’s true for some children, other children have severe symptoms that lead to hospitalization. Infants can’t be vaccinated themselves so they depend on older children around them to be vaccinated. Even before your child starts school they could come into contact with chicken pox, so don’t wait to vaccinate!
This vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Pertussis is more commonly known as whooping cough.
The DTaP vaccine is given to children at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. These diseases are very serious, especially for young babies. Whooping cough is extremely contagious which is why it’s so important to begin the vaccinations at 2 months.
Starting at 6 months of age, your child can receive the flu vaccine, otherwise known as a “flu shot.” After 6 months of age, they should get the flu vaccine each year. The flu vaccine lowers your child’s risk of contracting the flu by 80%. The flu can result in dehydration, fever, vomiting, and more.
At a less serious consequence, your child is likely to miss school for several weeks with the flu. At the worst, if your child gets the flu they may even require hospitalization to manage their symptoms.
This vaccine is also given at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. Polio is a disease that has been eradicated for decades, but that doesn’t mean you can stop vaccinating for it! Diseases that have been eliminated depend on the ongoing use of vaccinations to stay eliminated. Heard immunity, or the majority of children being vaccinated, helps to prevent the disease from coming back.
Vaccines for your child are a quick and easy way to protect them from harmful diseases. Many vaccines are even available in nasal sprays or oral versions so your child doesn’t have to get a shot! If you have questions or concerns about your child getting vaccinated, talk with their doctor. Check out the full recommended vaccine schedule here. You can even use it to track the vaccines your child receives so you know they aren’t missing any!