Why Are Vaccinations Important for Kids?

Why Are Vaccinations Important for Kids?

In the first days and months of your child’s life, there are a lot of things to remember. One of the most important is to attend regular wellness visits and to keep your child up to date on vaccinations. Getting all of your child’s vaccinations on the recommended schedule provides your child with life-protecting immunity. 

At Penguin Pediatrics, Dr. Umesh Kodu and Dr. Andrea McKennon, offer all the necessary vaccinations for your child and can make sure they are caught up on all doses. 

Here’s what you need to know about vaccinations and why they shouldn’t be skipped.

What are vaccines anyway?

There’s a lot of confusion about what vaccines are and how they help kids’ health. A vaccine is a dead or weakened version of the virus or germ that causes a particular disease. 

When your child gets a vaccine, their immune system builds up antibodies in response. This means if they are exposed to the virus or germ in the future, their immune system already knows how to fight it off. 

If your child is immunized, they won’t get sick from certain deadly diseases or, if they do, they’ll have a milder case of the illness.

What diseases do vaccinations protect against?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with other organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians, sets a recommended schedule for childhood vaccines. 

Vaccines are available for about 14 different diseases, including polio, tetanus, rotavirus, chicken pox, and diphtheria. Vaccines help keep the cases of these diseases low (or nonexistent) in the community. Getting your child vaccinated protects other people in your community who cannot get vaccinations because of their specific health issues.

Are vaccines safe?

Vaccines are extensively researched and studied. They are extremely safe and no convincing evidence of harm exists. 

Your child encounters thousands of germs every day. They’re present in the air they breathe, the food they eat, and in the surfaces they touch. Protecting your child from these germs outweighs any possible negative effects of vaccines. 

You may notice your child is a little more irritable or cranky for the day or two after they get a vaccine. Sometimes, they might have swelling at the site of the injection and even a mild fever. 

These are signs that their body is building up immunity and not a major cause of concern. 

We let you know what to look for after your child gets their immunizations. 

How do I know if my child is up to date on their vaccines?

If your child has been coming to Penguin Pediatrics since birth, we have records of their vaccine schedule and can let you know if they’re due for any boosters or first doses. 

Your child’s birth records and records from other pediatricians they’ve seen should also have information about the vaccines they’ve received. Most vaccines are completed between birth and 6 years. If your child has missed a dose, it’s important they make it up. 

If your child does receive an extra dose of a vaccine, it’s not a problem. It’s better for your child to be protected. 

Find out what immunizations your child needs and get them boosted today. Reach out to Penguin Pediatrics to set up an appointment. Call one of our offices in Ashburn or Stone Ridge, Virginia, or use the online booking tool to schedule.

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