Immunizations are an essential part of your child's first year of life. Not only will your child be less likely to contract deadly disease, but they will also join those who protect people who can't get vaccines from getting ill. However, the day of the vaccines can be rough on some parents. Needles hurt and some babies may need a lot of comforting after the fact.
Here's a guide to help you care for your child directly after he or she has received vaccinations.
1. Let them sleep.
Your child may sleep longer and more often than usual after receiving shots. This is normal. Vaccines trigger your child's immune response to "fight" against the foreign bodies in the vaccines. This is how immunizations work. Because the body fights against the vaccine, it learns how to fight against the real disease in the future.
This extra work can be very tiring on the body, and sleep helps your child to recover more quickly. After a couple of days. your baby should be back to his or her old self.
2. Provide plenty of food and fluids.
Your child may want to nurse or have a bottle more often after getting vaccines. This can be comfort, but it also can be for fuel to stimulate the immune response. Help your child to stay hydrated by letting him or her eat/drink as much as is needful. On the flip side, some children may refuse food. This is not concerning as long as the baby is hydrated.
3. Monitor temperature.
It's not uncommon for some babies to get fevers after getting vaccines. A low fever is nothing to worry about, and you can control the fever with infant Tylenol. However a spiking or high fever that does not respond to medication is more problematic. You should contact medical help as soon as you can if your child develops a fever that you cannot get under control. Sometimes, fevers can cause seizures and these should be monitored in a clinical setting.
4. Provide a cool pack for swelling.
Swelling around the injection site is common after vaccines. The area might be tender or even appear slightly bruised. You can help ease the pain the this area by using a cool pack against the red areas, soothing the inflammation there. Also, note that come vaccines, like the measles vaccine, can cause a rash. The rash is harmless.
If your child has trouble breathing, has seizures, starts throwing up, or becomes dehydrated, seek medical help immediately. It's rare, but some children can be allergic to vaccines and it's important to respond to these incidents in a timely way. For more information, contact establishments like Northeast Wyoming Pediatric Associates PC.