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A Guide for Parents to Deal With Immunization
Congratulations on holding a bundle of joy in your arms. These tiny miracles bring unexplained happiness in our lives with a smile on our lips and tears in our eyes. May they be blessed with health and good luck.
The foremost thing after a baby is born is to evaluate their senses, which is done in the hospital by a paediatrician. You might receive an APGAR score or an evaluation report. On the second or third day, the baby receives the BCG vaccine, and the whole vaccination fiasco starts from there, and I guess we all can agree it is not a joy in parenthood.
There are tons of questions surrounding vaccines. Where is this done? When is the vaccine due? What if my baby has a cold/cough/fever? What if we forgot the date? Can we give the vaccine before time? And the latest elephant in the room is, should we even vaccinate our children? (I have even seen blogs on how some people believe without any evidence that vaccines are causing ADHD).
Yes. Vaccines are important. They have very limited side effects. ADHD was prevalent even before vaccines, but it went unnoticed for a lot of time. Screen time is also a major contributor to ADHD-like symptoms, are we banning mobiles altogether now? Vaccines protect your baby from a range of diseases that were known to have been severe or even fatal in the past. Say you don’t get your child immunized, he/she is at risk for diseases like chickenpox, and it also puts others who interact with your child at risk.
Most hospitals hand out vaccination trackers, and you can use apps for this purpose. Vaccines are provided in all children’s hospitals and some clinics. The government’s immunization scheme also gives out mandatory vaccines on specified days for free of cost in government hospitals, health centres and Anganwadi schools. Please ensure you stick to the schedule and make plans accordingly, and make an appointment beforehand if you can.
Vaccination trackers are important for admission into school, travel, visa, etc. Please make sure all your vaccines are on time and recorded in a single place. Carry your baby’s favourite toy/blanket to the immunization centre to help them feel comfortable. If possible, avoid social gatherings with more people after the immunization as your baby might feel uncomfortable and needs your utmost attention. Apply an OTC ointment on the vaccination site to ease the pain (consult your paediatrician for this). You can also apply a mild heart/cold pack to relieve pain. Watch for fever, and give paracetamol accordingly. Keep the diet simple and keep your baby well hydrated. You can continue with your regular massage and bath regime but avoid applying pressure on the area. If you’re not bathing the baby, give them a sponge wipe with lukewarm water and keep them in fresh clothes. Watch for any change in the potty and report any concerns to the doctor. Spend time in contact with the baby, as that is the best comfort you can offer.