Routine childhood immunizations help your child stay healthy. These “shots” boost the body’s natural immunity, protecting kids, their families, and even the community at large. Many youngsters naturally feel nervous about getting their vaccines, but you, the parent, can help ease fear, so the recommended vaccine schedule goes forward.
Let’s talk about how to prepare for the visit to a pediatrician’s office and where you can find the best pediatrician in Purchase, NY.
What Vaccines Does a Child Need?
Both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) publish vaccine schedules recommended for children from birth to age 18. In general, healthy children should receive their shots on time unless a chronic condition, serious acute illness, cancer treatment, or other circumstance postpones administration.
There are three basic schedules the pediatricians follow. They typically administer the shots during well-child visits as age-appropriate.
The schedules are birth to 15 months, 18 months to 18 years, and a catch-up schedule for children who have not started their vaccines on time or have been too ill to receive them. The schedules tell parents and providers which vaccine to give at what age and interval and how many doses provide immunity.
Some vaccines are annual (once a year, as the flu shot), given in two- or three-dose (or more) series (as in the hepatitis B shot), or combined in one injection (as in the measles, mumps rubella vaccine).
Parents should familiarize themselves with the schedule in preparation for well-child visits. Your pediatrician will keep a record of shots in the child’s chart and make it available as needed to schools, daycare, sports teams, and other organizations. Parents are entitled to a paper copy of the vaccine record as well.
In all, vaccines protect children against 14 communicable and potentially dangerous diseases. Examples include polio, hepatitis, pneumonia, rotavirus, and more.
How Can Parents Prepare Kids for Their Vaccine Visits?
It’s important that parents not discount the potential anxiety children can feel about getting their routine vaccines. In fact, many adults experience a fear of needles, too.
However, parents can use certain strategies to reduce children’s stress reactions and make vaccine visits easier. Here are some suggestions from the professional team at your pediatrician’s office.
- Talk about vaccinations ahead of the office visit. Don’t make fun of, or minimize your child’s reluctance, but rather tell him or her you understand. However, emphasize the positive and tell your youngster that the vaccines only cause a mild pinch. Plus, through the shot, the child receives medicine that will promote good health for the whole family.
- Hold the child while the shot is administered. A gentle hug can reduce anxiety and still movement, too. Never hold the child down, however.
- Come prepared with the child’s favorite toy or blanket to provide extra security and distraction. Stay calm and distract the youngster with a favorite song or short story.
- Ask the doctor if numbing cream, applied to the injection site, would benefit your child.
- Have your child take deep breaths. Practice this ahead of the appointment. For very young kids, show them how to blow bubbles or make a pinwheel spin. Deep breathing calms the nervous system.
Complete Care at Westchester Park Pediatrics
If you are looking for high-quality, expert pediatric care for your child, visit Westchester Park Pediatrics. Our experienced and compassionate providers offer a comprehensive range of healthcare services for newborns through age 15 to ensure all of your child’s needs are met, including primary care, routine physicals, newborn care, mental health services, wound care, vision and hearing care, ear piercing, and much more. They adhere to the CDC/AAP vaccination schedules as the best way to protect kids’ health for years to come.
To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment for your child, call us at 914-761-1717 or you can schedule a consultation online.