Posts for category: Child Health
Vaccines are designed to prevent various types of diseases including deadly ones. This holds true for the young, especially infants. Without vaccines, it can be difficult for the immune system of these young children to fight off diseases. Here at the offices of Dr. Alan Sheen in Covington and Metairie, LA, you can learn more about immunizations during your consultation with him. In the meantime, learn how vaccines work to protect your child.
How The Body Fights Off Infection
To appreciate how vaccines protect children, we must first understand how a child’s immune system works to fight off infection. The immune system automatically steps in to fight any perceived infectious organism. Proteins known as antibodies are immediately produced by the white blood cells to seek out the infection and counter it. The infection usually gets the upper hand at first because it initiates the attack.
The immune system reacts only once the attack starts or when symptoms of illness start to manifest. The antibodies will eventually overpower the infection and terminate it. However, the antibodies will not die but rather remain in the bloodstream on guard for similar infections. In case the infection returns, the antibodies are ready to fight it off at once.
Accordingly, some diseases do not recur in your body because the antibodies are already active. The thing to understand with antibodies is that they are created to respond to a specific infection. There are also antibodies that are not specific to a certain infection, but rather to a type of bacteria.
Now that you have a better understanding of how vaccines work to protect your child, it is easier to appreciate the need to maintain vaccination schedules. Sometimes vaccines can take weeks to boost the protective mechanism of children and there are vaccines that need to be administered in separate doses. Essentially, maintaining the immunizations schedule means preparing your child against infection even before it happens. So make sure to come into our Covington or Metairie, LA, office as per your child’s immunization schedule.
Have Any Questions or Concerns About Immunizations?
Schedule your appointment with Dr. Alan Sheen by calling our Metairie, LA, office at (504) 456-1999 or Covington, LA, office at (985) 246-6077.
What Occurs During Well-Child Appointment
Allergies occur in many forms and can develop at all ages. From food to pollen to soaps, allergies can cause itching, sneezing, trouble breathing, and more, affecting your child's health and comfort in their day to day life. If your child is experiencing symptoms of allergies or is due for immunizations, its time to visit Dr. Alan E. Sheen in Covington and Metairie, LA, for a child-well visit.
How do I prepare for my child's well visit?
Its a good idea to keep a log of your child's symptoms and suspected triggers, as well as your family medical history, so your doctor has an idea of what to look for and what tests should be administered. Your doctor will examine your child's eyes and nose and listen to their lungs, likely followed by a breathing test. The test, during which your child will blow into a device, is pain free and quick.
Depending on the findings during your child's visit at our Covington or Metairie, LA, office, your allergist may take a skin or blood test so they can determine what foods, conditions or materials your child should avoid and create a treatment plan.
What should I know about child immunizations?
Up to date vaccines are advised for keeping your child healthy. Childhood immunizations are recommended through the age of 18, and children under 12 are especially susceptible to developing viruses and diseases as their immune systems are still developing.
Among the vaccinations offered at our office in Covington or Metairie, LA, are the vaccines for influenza, hepatitis B, rotavirus, measles, meningitis, tetanus, and human papillomavirus. You child's vaccination schedule will be determined by their age, with some vaccines administered at birth.
The specialists at office will help outline your child's vaccination schedule and remind you when their next vaccine is due.
Let us help you keep your child healthy. Call (504) 456-1999 for our Metairie office and (985) 246-6077 for our Covington office today!
Things were very different for children just one century ago. Without immunizations to protect them, they faced death or permanent disabilities if they were sickened by smallpox, polio, measles, or other diseases. Thanks to the introduction of vaccines, however, parents no longer have to worry about the potentially debilitating effects of these diseases. Offered by Dr. Alan Sheen's offices in Metairie and Covington, LA, immunizations provide important protections that will give your children a healthy start in life!
How do vaccines work?
Through vaccines, your child receives weakened or dead versions of germs that cause diseases. The germs in the immunizations won't cause your child to contract the disease but will prompt their body to produce antibodies that attack the germs. Should your child ever be exposed to the live versions of the germs in the future, the antibodies will quickly destroy the germs and prevent your son or daughter from becoming ill.
Immunizations not only protect your child, but they also other protect children who may not be able to receive vaccines because they're either too young or have certain health issues. When the majority of children are vaccinated, the incidence of diseases like whooping cough and measles decreases significantly.
What about immunization side effects?
Immunizations may cause a few mild side effects. You may notice that your baby is a little irritable, has a slight fever for a day or two after receiving an immunization, or that the skin looks a little swollen at the injection site. These minor side effects may be a little uncomfortable, but they won't harm your child's health.
Increasingly today, parents are understandably concerned about the effects of immunizations on their children. In the past, some parents avoided immunizing their children because they feared that the vaccines would cause autism. However, multiple scientific studies have demonstrated no link between immunizations and autism. Science proves that vaccines are a healthy and safe way to protect the lives of your children!
When should my child receive immunizations?
Many immunizations are given during your child's first few years, including those for polio, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, and hepatitis A and B. Your child's Metairie or Covington, LA, doctor can advise you when your child should receive each immunization. As your child reaches their pre-teen and teenage years, you may want to consider shots that protect them from the human papillomavirus (HPV) and meningitis.
Have your kids had all of their immunizations? If not, schedule an appointment with Dr. Alan Sheen by calling (504) 456-6077 for the Metairie, LA, office, or (985) 246-6077 for the Covington, LA, office.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices provides annual guidelines on childhood immunization schedules, which outline recommended vaccines for infants, children, teenagers and adults. Immunizations schedules are designed to ensure that your children receive the protection they need from a number of potentially serious illnesses like hepatitis, measles, chicken pox and the flu. The schedule is revised every year as a general guideline for doctors and parents, but your child's own vaccination schedule and needs may vary according to their circumstances. Dr. Alan Sheen, an immunologist and allergist in Metairie and Covington, LA, recommends discussing childhood immunization at the child's first doctor's appointment.
Childhood Immunizations in Metairie and Covington, LA
The 2018 recommended immunization schedule for children includes:
- Hep A: 12 months - 23 months
- Hep B: Birth - 3 months; 6 months - 18 months
- RV: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months
- DTaP: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months; 15 - 18 months; 4 - 6 years
- Hib: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months; 12 - 15 months
- PCV13: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months; 12 - 15 months
- IPV: 2 months, 4 months; 6 - 18 months; 4 -6 years
- Influenza: Yearly starting at 6 months
- MMR (measles, mumps, rubella): 12 - 15 months; 4 - 6 years
- Varicella: 12 - 15 months; 4 - 6 years
Many of the recommended vaccines in the immunization schedule provide an age range (12 - 15 months for example, or 4 - 6 years) when the vaccines can safely be administered depending on the child's circumstances.
Benefits of Childhood Immunizations
Having your child vaccinated is not only important for their own health and safety, they also help to protect members of your family and your community from communicable and potentially life threatening illnesses. On a practical level, childhood immunizations can also save your family time and money through missing work and school and paying for doctor's appointments and medication.
Find an Allergist and Immunologist in Metairie and Covington, LA
For more information about immunization schedules and allergy testing and treatment, contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sheen by calling (504) 456-1999 in Metairie or (985) 246-6077 in Covington.