If you walk into any store right now, the prevalence of the “Back to School” displays is an instant reminder that summer is coming to a close and it’s time to get your children ready to hit the books.
Aside from picking up school supplies such as backpacks and notebooks, or getting ready to send your rising freshman off to campus, it’s also time for you to think about what vaccinations your child needs before the school year starts.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends an annual check-up for children and adolescents from ages 3-21, which can also be a practical time to verify your child is up to date on all recommended immunizations.
Vaccination is one of the best ways parents can protect their children from harmful diseases. When you’re getting your kids ready for the upcoming school year, make sure to include vaccinations on your checklist!
Getting a shot administered can be a scary feeling for some children. There are things that parents can do before, during, and after vaccine visits to make them less stressful. Here’s how…
Before the Visit
Make sure you come prepared! Take these steps before getting your child’s shots administered to help make the visit less nerve-racking:
- Read up on required vaccinations for your child and write down any questions you may have
- The CDC has provided a comprehensive immunization schedule list to see which shots are recommended for your child’s age
- Learn more about the benefits, and risks, of the vaccines that your child will receive
- Pack your child’s favorite toy or blanket that they use to keep them calm
- Explain to your child that they will be receiving a shot, and while it may pinch or sting, it won’t last for long
- Remind them that vaccines can help keep them healthy
- Bring your child’s immunization record with you to the appointment
At the Doctor’s Office
For babies and younger children
- Distract and comfort your child with their favorite toy or blanket
- Talk in a soft voice and let them know that everything is okay
- Hold your child in your lap
For older children and adolescents
- Encourage them to take deep breaths to help them “blow out” the plain
- Talk to them throughout the process to distract them
- Support them if they cry
Before you leave the appointment, be sure to ask about using non-aspirin pain reliver, or about side effects from getting shots such as fainting, and other steps you can take at home to comfort your child.
After the Visit
Some reactions such as pain at the injection site, a rash, or a fever are normal and will soon go away. You can use the following tips to help you identify and minimize side effects:
- Review any information your doctor provided you about the shots
- Soothe the injection site with a cool wet cloth to reduce any redness, soreness, or swelling
- Reduce a fever by keeping them in a cool area, giving them a cool sponge bath, and if approved by a doctor, give them a non-aspirin pain reliver
- Keep your child hydrated with lots of water
Vaccinations at Synergy Immediate Care
Did you know that August is National Immunization Awareness Month? This is the perfect time to make everyone aware that vaccinations are necessary to prevent life-altering diseases. And now that you know how to prepare for your child’s vaccination visit, now is the time to set up an appointment. At Synergy Immediate Care, we provide a range of vaccinations for children from ages 7 and up. If you would like to set up an appointment, please call us at 703-942-5331.