Posts for category: Child Health
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.