To keep your child healthy and happy this involves making sure that they eat the right foods, exercise regularly and get quality sleep. Of course, visiting your pediatrician for routine checkups and care is also necessary for maintaining optimal health in your child or teen. Along with making sure that your little one is reaching those developmental milestones, our pediatricians can also protect your child from a variety of serious and potentially life threatening illnesses through regular immunizations.
What do immunizations do?
Immunizations or vaccines are used to boost the body’s natural defenses to help it properly fight infection. In order to do this, a vaccine needs to contain either a dead or weakened form of the infection. This is just enough to trigger the immune system to start producing the necessary antibodies to fight the infection without actually causing an infection. Even once the body fights off these germs it will still maintain these defenses to prevent being infected in the future.
Your child won’t build up an immediate immunity once they’ve been vaccinated. It can take up to three weeks for the body to build a complete immune response to the specific germs. Therefore, during this time it is possible that your child could still become infected with any of the viruses for which they haven’t fully been vaccinated. Each vaccine is different and your pediatrician can discuss with you the expected length of time that a vaccine will take to fully work.
Why are immunizations important?
Immunizations are one of the most effective preventive tools we have for protecting children and teens from potentially dangerous or fatal infections and diseases. Since many of these conditions can also cause serious complications including hospitalizations, getting your child vaccinated can prevent the need for extensive and expensive medical treatments.
Certain people, especially those with weakened immune systems, may not be able to get certain vaccinations. This means that they are particularly susceptible to infection. By getting more and more children vaccinated we can also protect other members of our community who can’t be vaccinated so they don’t deal with life-threatening illnesses, themselves.
We know that parents usually have a lot of questions when it comes to getting their child vaccinated and during your child’s next visit we would be happy to discuss these options with you. The CDC also has a handy immunization schedule that every family should follow to make sure that their child is getting the proper immunizations at the right time so they are always fully protected from certain illnesses and diseases.
If you have questions about the immunizations your child is supposed to be getting or if you need to schedule their next checkup call your pediatrician today.