Every parent wants that his or her little one should be well immune to deal with the challenges of life. The most common challenge that affect almost everyone (from the cradle to the deathbed) is that of illness. Thus, as parents, it is our first and foremost duty to ensure that our children are physically and mentally prepared to deal with the same.
Now, while inculcating healthy lifestyle habits and consumption of a balanced meal goes a long way in keeping diseases at bay, the fact remains that vaccinations are given equal importance to (if not more).
From the moment your child is born, the pediatrician hands out to you a list of vaccinations that are to be given to your little one at appropriate intervals of time. It is obvious that in your efforts to take care of your little one, you do ensure that you stick to this schedule at any cost.
This goes on to the extent that many a times you are ready to deal with practical inconveniences and make changes to your routine in order to accommodate your little one's vaccinations. However, what happens to it if your little one has cold or cough?
Do you still go about with the vaccination schedule or do you call it a day? Moments like this puts you to a dilemma over which action of yours will be best suited for your child's interests.
In order to help you in situations like this, the article mentions in details about the different options that are available to you at such a juncture and the ideal course of action for you at this point.
• What happens when your baby is sick?
Broadly speaking, when a baby (or any adult for that matter) is sick, it is due to the germs that make their way into the body. When such a thing happens, it is a natural response of the immune system of the human body to produce antibodies to fight those germs. The rate at which the body does this varies from person to person. Once the antibodies have been picked up, the body gets well equipped. If the person picks up the same germs again in the near future, the immune system uses these antibodies to fight the infection even before triggering infection in the body.
• What happens during a baby's vaccination?
This is pretty similar to the aforementioned process. Here, instead of the baby falling sick and the baby developing the antibodies on its own, the antibodies are injected to the body in the form of vaccines. Thus, the child becomes immune to the disease without even falling sick. The duration for which these vaccines holds good depends on the nature of the vaccine. On a positive note, some of the vaccinations that are given to a child at this age provide immunizations that last for an entire lifetime.
• Understanding the different types of vaccination
It is important for you to realize that not all vaccination is the same and some are more important than the others. The importance of a vaccination is determined by a host of features. Things like whether the disease against which you are seeking vaccination is life threatening, whether the boost is only against a particular disease or a host of them comes into play here. Another factor that plays a role here is whether the vaccination is a part of a series of vaccinations that are to be taken at a definite interval to provide life-time protection against a particular disease (this is applicable in case of vaccination against hepatitis, typhoid, polio among others). In such cases, it is better to stick to the vaccination schedule even if your child has a slight cough or fever. Not adhering to the schedule here will hamper the long-term vaccination schedule of your child and that in the long term will do more harm than good.
• When not to go for vaccination
Having understood the correlation, it does make sense to avoid over burdening your child's immune system when it is already fighting diseases on its own. Thus, if you see that your baby has been having cough, fever and viral infections for quite some days (on the day of the vaccination), it will be wise on your part to put off vaccination till your little one gets all fine. After all, you would not want to burden your child's immune system.
• When is it okay to go for vaccination?
However, having said all of it, it is important for you to realize that children under the age of one are often prone to short bouts of minor illnesses. These may range from that of cough to cold. In either of the cases, it is not usually accompanied by fever and does not last for more than a couple of days at a stretch. In such cases, it is all right to go for vaccination. Thus, the easiest way out would be to ensure that you go for vaccination only if your child is healthy or if she or he is sick since the morning of the vaccination. In any other case, it is advisable for you to wait until the infection has ceased and only then should you proceed with the vaccination.
• Seek medical advice
It is equally important for one to realize that every child is different and so is the medication that is being given to him or her. The way a child reacts to a particular medication will not be the same as someone else and that is why it is difficult for anyone to answer this age-old question at a generic level. In such a situation, it is always better for you to dial up your child's vaccination center and confirm with the medical advisor on the floor about whether you should go ahead with the vaccination for that particular day.