Common Vaccine Questions & Answers

April 20, 2012

Did you know that this week is National Infant Immunization Week?

Vaccinating your child can be a very stressful experience. As a parent, you naturally want the best for your child, and there are lots of questions surrounding vaccines.  You may wonder: are vaccines safe? Why are there so many?  Why do you start when my baby is so young? Do they have to be done all at once?

This week highlights the importance of vaccines in protecting your child and the community as a whole. Vaccine-preventable diseases still circulate around the world, and even here in the United States (as seen this year in the mini-outbreak of the measles after the Super Bowl). Between your family trips and other activities that may expose your child to foreign travelers, chances are her or she will be exposed to a large number of diseases by adulthood.

If you choose to vaccinate your child, by the age of 2 years he or she will be protected against 14 serious diseases!  Thanks to vaccines, many of us will never have to see anyone suffer with paralysis from polio, or develop liver cancer from Hepatitis B, or die from complications of the chickenpox.

Below are answers to some of the common vaccine-related questions we hear:

Are vaccines safe?

Yes, vaccines are safe. They are thoroughly studied, reviewed and tested before being given to your child. There are systems to monitor for side effects and report reactions. Common reactions can include low-grade fever, fussiness, or a tender spot at the site where the vaccine was given — but serious reactions are very rare. For example, less than 1 in a million doses of DTaP result in allergic reaction. And no scientific studies have shown any links between vaccines and autism (and this includes both the disease component of the vaccine and the preservative — for example thimerosal, which contains trace amounts of mercury).

Why are there so many?

Many vaccines need more than one dose to build up your child’s immune system so that he or she will be able to successfully fight off the disease if or when it’s ever encountered. The response to some of the vaccines wanes with time and “booster” doses are given to remind your immune system how to fight that particular disease, for example tetanus.

Why do you start when my baby is so young?

From birth, your child is susceptible to diseases in the community. Your baby has some protection from mom’s immune system for the first few months (but only to those diseases that mom is immune to) and also receives a boost in immunity from breastfeeding. But as the natural immunity from pregnancy and breastfeeding wanes, your baby needs to be protected — and this is the time when he or she is most vulnerable to infection with diseases in the environment.

Do they have to be done all at once?

Many parents express concern that too many vaccines are going to overwhelm their baby’s immune system. Each vaccine contains a little part of the disease it is protecting against, and your baby will mount a response to it with his or her immune system. Think of all the toys, shoes, dirt, books, food, etc., that your children put in their mouths all day long — they are mounting a response to germs on those too!

More Rea$ons to Vaccinate!

Immunizations also save time and money!  Many young children need to be hospitalized for dehydration with rotavirus, a vomiting and diarrheal illness that can be prevented with a vaccine, or they need to miss school for the chickenpox and/or influenza — which also causes many parents to be unable to work.

 

The bottom line is this: Your main concern is keeping your child healthy, and that is your pediatrician’s goal too. Talk to your pediatrician about vaccinations, and schedule an appointment to make sure everything’s up-to-date!

Autism Awareness Month: What to Know

April 3, 2012

Did you know that April is National Autism Awareness Month?

Autism is a complex developmental disorder affecting up to one percent of children in the United States. It often goes undiagnosed until late childhood due to the wide range of signs and symptoms. Recent studies have shown that the earlier the disorder is diagnosed in a child, the more help he or she can receive for school planning, support for the child and his or her family, and interventions including speech, physical and occupational therapy.  This can result in better outcomes for the child overall.

Autism affects many areas of a child’s life, including:

Social interaction    

  • He or she may not be able to make friends.
  • He or she may not know how to share interests with others.

Communication

  • He or she may have language delays or not be able to speak at all.
  • He or she may not be able to pretend or play make-believe with others.

Play

  • He or she may appear to be preoccupied or “stuck” with one toy or parts of toys.
  • He or she may have particular routines or rituals that need to be followed.

Has your child been screened?

Ever wonder why your child is seen so often in the first few years?  It’s not just for vaccines. Your child’s development is being closely monitored, from making eye contact, to sharing toys, to first words; each and every step is important.  Recommended routine screening for Autism is done at 18- and 24-month well-visits with short questionnaires or earlier if there are “red flags.”

Red flags include:

  • No babbling or cooing by 12 months old.
  • No gesturing or pointing by 12 months old.
  • No single words by 16 months old.
  • No two-word phrases by 24 months old.
  • Any loss of language skills at any age.

 

Please contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your child!  And visit the Autism Society’s website to learn more about getting involved in Autism Awareness month.

Dr. Lloyd is moving!

On May 21st, 2018, she joined Portland Pediatrics! Her new office is located at:
Portland Pediatrics- Webster Office
(behind the Holt Road Wegmans)
1110 Crosspointe Lane, Suite D
Webster, NY 14580
Phone: 585.872.3390

New Families

We are accepting new patients! Please call to schedule a "meet and greet" visit to look around the office and ask any questions you have.

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