When you become a parent for the first time, it can be a bit overwhelming when it comes to all the vaccinations your child needs. There are vaccines to protect against about 14 different kinds of diseases and it doesn’t just protect your child but also the community by preventing the spread of infection. If it’s time to bring your child in for a vaccine, our Metairie and Covington, LA, allergist Dr. Alan Sheen is here to help.
Why are vaccines important for children?
The biggest benefit to keeping your child up to date with vaccines is that you are giving their bodies what they need to protect against certain viruses and diseases that could cause serious complications or sometimes, even death. It’s particularly important for school-age children to get the vaccines they need before school to reduce their risk for exposure to serious diseases. In most cases, schools will require proper documentation from our Metairie and Covington, LA, allergy doctor to make sure that all children are properly vaccinated before the school year.
Vaccines are preventive; therefore, this is one way to reduce the cost of your child’s health care. Vaccines prevent infections that if contracted could require certain treatments, procedures or even hospitalizations. By getting your child immunized, you can save on medical costs and prevent your child from having to undergo invasive procedures and treatments due to an infection.
Furthermore, there are some people within the community that cannot be vaccinated. Perhaps they have certain disorders, have weak immune systems or are too young for all their vaccinations (this is the case with newborns). By making sure your child is vaccinated, you not only protect your little one from getting sick but also your own family members and members of the community who may not be able to get vaccinated.
Are immunizations safe?
We know that some parents are concerned about the safety of childhood vaccinations. All vaccines undergo rigorous testing and must be approved by the FDA to be safe and effective. Of course, children who have known allergies to certain components within a vaccine will not get that specific vaccine. Serious side effects are rare; however, some children may develop minor side effects like a low-grade fever, headache, or swelling and soreness near the injection site. These symptoms will go away on their own and aren’t a cause for concern.
It’s time to protect your child against a host of serious illnesses. Call (504) 456-1999 to schedule an appointment at our Metairie, LA, allergist’s office or (985) 246-6077 to schedule an appointment at our Covington, LA, office. Schedule your child’s next series of immunizations with Dr. Sheen today!
Immunizations are an essential part of well-child care. Proper immunizations protect the health of the individual child and protect all children in the community as a whole. Many parents have concerns about immunizations and may choose to not immunize their children, but it is important to fully understand each immunization. As a parent, you are encouraged to talk to your pediatrician for more information on proper immunization scheduling for your child in the Metairie, LA area.
Immunizations for Teenagers and Young Adults in Metairie, LA
Many parents only think of vaccines as something needed for infants and young children, and that they are less important later in life. However, teenagers and young adults often get a number of vaccine-preventable diseases, including hepatitis B, measles, German measles, and chickenpox. Teens and young adults need protection against infectious illnesses as well.
Teenagers are encouraged to see their pediatrician or other physicians on a regular basis and should keep an updated record of their immunizations. Many will need more vaccinations as teenagers, particularly if they have not been previously vaccinated against hepatitis B or chickenpox. Important vaccines for your teenager include:
- Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)
- Tetanus-diptheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) or tetanus-diptheria (Td) booster
- Hepatitis A
As a responsible parent, it is important for you to be fully informed on the vaccines offered for your child in the Metairie, LA area. If you have any questions or concerns, you can talk with your pediatrician.
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.
Are your allergy symptoms driving you crazy?
Have red, itchy eyes become the norm? Do you find yourself sneezing your head off whenever you walk outside? Are those over-the-counter medications just not cutting it when it comes to managing your allergies? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then it might be time to take a little trip to see our allergy doctor, Dr. Alan Sheen, practicing in both Metairie and Covington, LA.
Allergies are one of the most common chronic conditions affecting people across the globe with symptoms ranging from mild to potentially life-threatening. Common allergens that can trigger an allergic reaction include:
- Insect stings or bites
- Pet dander
How is an allergy diagnosed?
If you or a loved one is dealing with allergy symptoms, our Metairie allergist can help provide a definitive diagnosis so that you know what is causing your symptoms and how to best treat the issue. Our very own Dr. Sheen has received advanced and specialized training to be able to diagnose and help manage your allergy symptoms, no matter how serious they may be.
When you come into our office, your evaluation will consist of three important parts: a review of your medical history, a physical exam, and an administration of the proper allergy tests. Going through your medical history is important for us to better understand what might be triggering your symptoms. Our allergist may additionally recommend both a blood and skin test to check for sensitivities to common allergens.
The allergy skin test can be performed for pollen, mold, dust, pet dander, insect stings, and food allergies, while a blood test may be recommended if your skin is too sensitive for a skin test or if you are taking certain medications that could affect your test results.
What are my treatment options?
The treatment plan we create for you will depend on the type of allergy you are experiencing and how severe your symptoms are. The most obvious recommendation is to avoid the allergen whenever possible. Of course, you may also be prescribed certain allergy medications such as antihistamines, nasal sprays, eye drops, or decongestants.
We will also provide you with lifestyle modifications that can greatly reduce flare-ups. For example, we may recommend wearing a face mask while doing yard work, or using a HEPA air filter to remove allergens from your home. With proper medication and lifestyle changes, we can help you finally get your allergy symptoms under control.
Contact us today!
If you are living in the Metairie or Covington, LA, area and want to talk to our allergy specialist about more long-term and effective methods for tackling your allergy symptoms, call one of our offices today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sheen: (504) 456-1999 for Metairie and (985) 246-6077 for Covington.
Noticing unpleasant symptoms whenever you eat a certain food? You could be allergic!
If you are a professed foodie then you may not even want to entertain the possibility that you might have a food allergy; however, a whopping 15 million Americans have food allergies. So, if you are noticing that a certain food is suddenly causing some gastrointestinal distress, you may just want to visit our Metairie, LA, allergy specialist, Dr. Alan Sheen for answers.
What are the different kinds of food allergies?
According to Food Allergy Research & Education, there are about 170 foods that have been reported to cause allergic reactions. Of course, the most common food allergies include:
- Tree nuts
Symptoms of a food allergy can range from mild to severe. Severe food allergies can result in throat tightening or trouble breathing. If you experience these symptoms it’s important that you seek immediate medical attention.
What are the warning signs of a food allergy?
The most common causes of a food allergy include:
- Itching mouth/tingling lips
- Facial swelling (this can include the lips and throat)
- Trouble breathing
- Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
- Dizziness or fainting
Symptoms usually develop within a few minutes of consuming the problematic food; however, symptoms can appear up to 2 hours after. If you are experiencing symptoms it’s a good idea to call our Metairie, LA, allergy doctor to determine if your symptoms are due to a food allergy.
How do you treat a food allergy?
While it might be obvious, the most common treatment for a food allergy is to just stay away from the offending food. This is a surefire way to prevent symptoms from manifesting. Of course, sometimes other treatment options can be helpful. For example, if you have lactose intolerance you may benefit from taking medication before consuming dairy products. Certain over-the-counter or prescription medications are designed for those with lactose intolerance to make it easier to consume these foods without issues.
Those who have a severe allergic reaction to certain foods may be given an EpiPen, an injection of epinephrine. This device should only be used during severe, emergency situations and this is an injection you will give yourself.
If you are living in Metairie, LA, and suspect that you might have a food allergy it’s important that you call our very own Dr. Sheen to schedule a consultation. Let’s help you figure out what’s going on and how to stop it from happening so you can go back to enjoying your daily meals.
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