Immunisations are a hot topic at the moment, especially with the influenza season just behind us and the government heavily encouraging adherence to childhood vaccination schedules in order to claim benefits and participate in childcare and education. We think that immunisations are a very important part of keeping kids safe and healthy, so we’ve listed a few of the important points that you should consider.
Avoid loss of play/education time
Children should have time to be children – to play and to learn about the world around them. There are a number of illnesses that we can’t vaccinate them for; we shouldn’t waste time in those precious early years on avoidable illnesses. Vaccinations help keep your kids healthy and active for more of the time, and minimise time they have to spend feeling sick and yuck.
Complications of childhood diseases
Children are vulnerable to a range of nasty secondary effects when infected with common childhood illnesses. Influenza can lead to life-threatening pneumonia or system-wide bacterial infections. Measles can cause bronchitis and brain inflammation. Chicken pox can cause neurological and respiratory issues, and resurface as shingles for decades.
Protect vulnerable children
Unfortunately, not all children can be immunised, and in some children, depressed immune systems mean that vaccinations don’t always create the required immune response. That means that some children are vulnerable to childhood illnesses regardless, and these are usually the children who are least likely to weather the illnesses well. Diseases all have an incubation period – the amount of time it takes for an infection to multiply in a person until it’s numerous enough to be shed through touch, breath, or bodily fluids. In someone who’s vaccinated, the disease generally can’t take hold fast enough or efficiently enough, and is not passed on at all. That’s why being surrounded by vaccinated children can help an unvaccinated or immune-suppressed child stay healthy.
Don’t forget your own vaccinations!
One thing that parents often forget, especially when focusing on childhood immunisation schedules, is to get their own jabs. This helps you to avoid bringing illnesses home from work or social occasions.