Protecting Your Child From Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is the inflammation of the liver caused by the Hepatitis A Virus (HAV), and in some cases may lead to Acute Liver Failure (ALF). It becomes crucial for parents to pay attention to the symptoms since Acute Liver Failure is a serious and life-threatening condition. Watch out for symptoms like jaundice, loss of appetite, fatigue, stomach pain, nausea, dark-coloured urine, and abdominal pain. Hepatitis A can be prevented and treated completely with vaccination and proper care. Read below to learn more.

What Is Hepatitis A and How Does It Transmit?

Hepatitis A is a liver disease that spreads from person to person via the faecal-oral route and affects children. When an uninfected child ingests food and water which is contaminated with the faces of the infected individual, the child contracts the Hepatitis A virus. Children can easily get infected and transmit this virus unknowingly through poor hand-washing or coming in contact with sewage-contaminated water.

How Can Hepatitis A Be Prevented?

The spread of Hepatitis A can be restricted by:

  • Vaccinating against Hepatitis A, which is one of the best preventive methods.
  • Avoiding direct contact with the infected person.
  • Properly disposing of the sewage waste.
  • Consuming safe and purified drinking water.
  • Following personal hygiene practices like frequent hand washing before each meal and after using the bathroom.

When Is the Hepatitis A Vaccination Given to Children?

Pediatric Health authorities recommend the first dose of Hepatitis A vaccination for children to be taken when they are 12–23 months old. This is to be followed by the next dose at least six months apart from the first dose taken.

The vaccination is also recommended for older kids (2-18 years of age) who haven’t taken it previously. In case the Hepatitis A vaccination is missed, the parent/guardian should seek advice from their doctor regarding the catch-up dose.

Please consult your paediatrician for more information.

Are There Any Side Effects After Receiving Hepatitis A Vaccination in Children?

The side effects post-vaccination are generally mild and commonly seen with other vaccines, too, such as redness at the injection site, appetite loss and, at times, mild fever. These signs last for a day or two, in case it lasts further, then please contact your paediatrician for further information.

Prevention is better than cure, so encourage your child to always wash their hands thoroughly with water and soap before eating their meals and after using the bathroom. Ensure you and your child’s caregiver wash your hands after every diaper change. Proper sanitation and good personal hygiene go a long way in preventing the spread of the Hepatitis A virus and protecting the future of your little ones

Click here for more information on Hepatitis A and its vaccination.

Get in touch with your child’s paediatrician if you have any further queries.

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Disclaimer: Issued in public interest by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited. Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai 400 030, India.

Information appearing in this material is for general awareness only. Nothing contained in this material constitutes medical advice. Please consult your doctor for any medical queries, any question or concern you may have regarding your condition. The disease list indicated for vaccination is not complete, please consult your doctor for the complete vaccination schedule. NP-IN-HAV-OGM-220001, DoP Jan 2023

This post was last modified on February 2, 2023 3:31 pm

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