Build­ing blocks of good health

Your Baby & Toddler - - Vaccinatio­ns -

Life­long health starts through clinic vis­its and vac­ci­na­tions

CLINIC VIS­ITS

Once your baby is born, it’s im­por­tant to visit your lo­cal Net­care Baby Clinic reg­u­larly to track her de­vel­op­ment and dis­cuss any ques­tions or con­cerns you may have re­gard­ing feed­ing, mile­stones, sleep prob­lems, etc. It’s a good idea to sched­ule clinic check­ups at the fol­low­ing ages: • At two weeks and then ev­ery two weeks there­after un­til six weeks of age. • Ev­ery four weeks from six

to eight weeks of age. • At six months, nine months and ev­ery three months un­til 18 months. • An­nu­ally there­after up to

six years.

IM­MU­NI­SA­TIONS

Child­hood vac­cines are very care­fully mon­i­tored and those rec­om­mended are aimed at pro­tect­ing chil­dren from a va­ri­ety of se­ri­ous or po­ten­tially fa­tal dis­eases that are com­pletely pre­ventable.

1IS NAT­U­RAL IM­MU­NITY BET­TER THAN GET­TING A VAC­CI­NA­TION?

A nat­u­ral in­fec­tion may of­fer more com­plete im­mu­nity than a series of vac­ci­na­tions, but there’s a price to pay for this. For ex­am­ple, a nat­u­ral chick­en­pox in­fec­tion could lead to pneu­mo­nia. Vac­ci­na­tion helps pre­vent dis­eases and their po­ten­tially se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions.

2DO THEY CAUSE AUTISM?

Vac­cines do not cause autism. The orig­i­nal study that ig­nited the de­bate years ago has been re­futed and re­tracted. Al­though signs of autism may ap­pear at about the same time chil­dren re­ceive cer­tain vac­cines – such as the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vac­cine – this is sim­ply a co­in­ci­dence and is quite rare.

3WHAT ARE THE LIKELY RE­AC­TIONS TO VAC­CI­NA­TIONS?

Your child may have no ad­verse re­ac­tion at all, but some chil­dren may seem un­well for a short while after the im­mu­ni­sa­tion. They may de­velop red­ness or swelling around the point of en­try in the case of an in­jec­tion, or a slight tem­per­a­ture. Don’t give your baby parac­eta­mol prior to a vac­ci­na­tion to pre­vent fever (as this can af­fect the ef­fi­cacy of the vac­cines) and don’t fid­dle with the swollen area. If you are con­cerned that your child is hav­ing an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion, please seek med­i­cal as­sis­tance.

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