National Vaccination Day 2023: Dos and don'ts of vaccinating your baby
Check out some essential dos and don'ts of vaccinating your baby to make informed decisions about their health.
The 16th of March marks National Vaccination Day, a significant occasion dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of vaccinations in preventing fatal diseases. While vaccines are critical for people of all ages, infants and babies require them the most. Their small and delicate bodies are susceptible to various illnesses, such as polio, hepatitis, and rotavirus. Administering vaccines early in their lives helps to build their immunity against these diseases. However the vaccination process can be challenging, as infants may be easily frightened, and new parents may be worried about how the whole process would go or about potential side effects. (Also read: Dos and don’ts for new parents: Tips to keep your baby happy and healthy )
Dr. Sameer Awadhiya, paediatrician at Mylo, a one-stop solution for new and expecting moms, shared with HT Lifestyle some essential dos and don'ts for baby vaccinations.
1. Dos for vaccinating your baby
- Bring your baby's health records
Scheduling an appointment in advance gives you sufficient time to gather all the necessary information about the vaccinations, including any potential side effects and the recommended schedule. Make sure to have your baby's vaccination history handy. These records allow your doctor to assess whether your baby is ready to receive a vaccine and has built the immunity to handle any potential side effects.
It is important to note that some babies may require additional shots based on their individual health records, so share these records with your doctor before your baby receives any vaccinations.
- Dress your baby comfortably
Dress your baby in loose-fitting clothes to allow their body to move freely without restriction during vaccination to make the process smoother and more manageable. When your baby is comfortable, they are less likely to become fussy or agitated. Loose clothing can also prevent the injection area from rubbing against the fabric, preventing discomfort or rashes.
- Ask questions
If you have any questions regarding the procedure, precaution, or reason for a vaccine, ask the doctor without hesitating. This enhances your knowledge and prepares you to handle the side effects, if any, in the best way. Some common questions that you might want to enquire about include the following:
- What kind of food should I feed the baby after the shot?
- When should I get the next dose for the baby?
- Is my baby healthy?
- Do we need to administer some medicine for the side effects?
- What are the side effects of this particular dose?
2. Don'ts for vaccinating your baby
- Don’t get them vaccinated by unlicensed doctors
Unlicensed physicians may not have undergone the rigorous accreditation and training necessary to safely administer vaccines. Consequently, they may make errors that could harm your baby. By taking the time to carefully research and select a qualified and licensed healthcare provider to administer your baby's vaccinations, you can help safeguard their health and minimize the risk of complications.
- Don’t skip a vaccination
Skipping a necessary vaccination for your baby can lead to significant health risks and may result in multiple doctor visits in the future. It is recommended that you consult with your doctor to understand the reasons why a particular vaccine is necessary and how it can benefit your child. If you still feel hesitant or unsure, taking a second opinion is always advisable. Remember that vaccinations are to protect your baby against fatal diseases, which should not be left to biases.
- Don’t give any medication before the shot without consultation
Certain medications may impact the efficacy of a vaccine. Check with your doctor before administering any medication to your baby before their scheduled vaccination.
- Don't hesitate to report any adverse reactions
If you notice any unusual symptoms in your baby following vaccination, consult your doctor immediately. It is essential to avoid attempting home remedies, as they may not effectively address the problem. As new parents, it is natural to feel anxious when your baby exhibits unusual symptoms, but it is vital to seek medical care to soothe and comfort your baby over anything else.
- Don't compare your baby's reactions to other babies
Each baby's body is unique, and their reaction to vaccines may vary. Therefore, it is advisable not to compare your baby's response to that of other babies, as this may lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety. Instead, focus on providing individualized care and consulting with your doctor at every step. This will help you ensure that your baby receives the best possible care and protection against potential health risks.
As we celebrate National Vaccination Day, it's important to recognise that vaccinations are pivotal investments in the health and well-being of your baby. By protecting them from preventable diseases early on, we are securing their future and the health of the entire community.