Pregnancy week by week




Q: How do vaccines work?

A: Vaccines contain a small part of the bacterium or virus that causes a disease, or tiny amount of chemicals that the bacterium or virus produces. Vaccines work by encouraging the body’s immune system to make antibodies (substances that fight the infection and disease) and memory cells. If your child comes in contact with an infection later that he/she has been immunized against, the memory cells will recognize it and be ready to protect him/her.

Q: If diseases like polio have almost disappeared, why do we need to immunize against them?

A: The reason for disappearance of the disease is immunization itself. Immunization doesn’t just protects your child, it helps protect your family and the whole community, especially those children who, for medical reasons, cannot be immunized.

Q: How do we know that the vaccines are safe?

A: Before they can be licensed, all medicines (including vaccines), are thoroughly tested to check their safety and effectiveness. After they have been licensed, the safety of the vaccines continues to be monitored. Any rare side effects that are detected can then be investigated further. All medicines can cause side effects, but vaccines are generally the safest. Research from around the world shows that immunization is the safest way to protect your child.

Q: Does thumb-sucking cause any problems for children?

A: Parent know that thumb-sucking is normal, common and natural in babies and young children. It is understandable that babies suck their thumbs to soothe themselves. Thumb-sucking can be compared with a pacifier when they feel hungry, afraid, restless, quiet, sleepy, or bored.  Most infants suck their thumbs, but this habit should gradually decrease as child growing. Prolonged thumb sucking may cause a child to develop dental problems.
The common results of too frequent thumb-sucking are: a child’s teeth may become improperly aligned (malocclusion) or push the teeth outward, sometimes malforming the roof (upper palate) of the mouth. Malocclusion usually corrects itself when the child stops thumb-sucking. But the longer thumb-sucking continues, the more likely it is that orthodontic treatment will be needed to correct any resulting dental problems.  A child may also develop speech problems, including mispronouncing some words or thrusting out the tongue when talking.
In particular, thumb-sucking seen at children over 5 is likely abnormal and can be due to emotional problems or anxiety.  If your child icontinues to have bad thumb-sucking habit, you either treat them at home by setting rules and providing distractions or taking a doctor’s advices.

Q: Are immunizations safe for babies with allergies?

A: Yes, immunizations are safe for babies with asthma, eczema, hayfever and allergies. If you have any questions, do speak to your doctor.

Q: Will there be any side effects of vaccines?

A: Side effects are less common than what people think, and they are generally mild. Some babies will have redness and swelling in the place where they had the injection, but this will soon go away. Others might feel a bit irritable or unwell, or have a slight temperature, but it should get better in a day or two. Do see the physician if you think these side effects are not going away.

Q: Is there any reason why my baby should not be immunized?

A: There are very few reasons why babies can’t be immunized. Vaccines should not be given to babies who have a confirmed allergic reaction to the previous dose of that specific vaccine or something in the vaccine. In general, children who are immune-suppressed should not be given live vaccines. This include children who are being treated for serious conditions (like organ transplant or cancer) or those who have a condition that affects their immune system such as sever primary immunodeficiency. If this applied to your child, always tell the doctor who is immunizing, they will need to get special advise on using live vaccines such as MMR.

Q: Are some babies allergic to vaccines?

A: Very rarely, children can have an allergic reaction soon after immunization. This could be rash or itching covering a part of, or their entire body. The doctor who gave the immunization would know how to treat this, This also should not be a reason to avoid future immunizations.

Even more rarely, children may have severe anaphylactic reaction within a few minutes of the immunization, leading to breathing difficulties and, in some cases, collapse. A recent study has shown that only one anaphylactic reaction is noted in about a million immunizations. The doctors who give immunization know how to treat such a reaction. And as long as children are treated quickly, they make a complete recovery.

Q: What if my baby is ill on the day of appointment?

A: If your baby has a minor illness without fever, like cold, they should have their immunization as normal. If your baby is ill with fever, put off immunization until they are better.



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