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Preventative health measures

What are paediatric preventative health measures?

These are screening procedures and vaccinations or immunisations that are administered to ensure that your child remains protected from potentially harmful viruses. Babies are born with protection against some diseases due to their mothers passing antibodies (proteins produced by the body to help fight disease) to them before birth. Babies who are breastfed continue to receive antibodies from their mothers in breast milk. However, in most cases, the protection may be temporary.

Immunisations or vaccinations are a way to create immunity or protection from some diseases. Vaccines contain weakened or inactive parts of an organism/antigen that triggers an immune response in the body. A child’s first vaccination is given after birth; the other immunisations are then scheduled throughout childhood, with many beginning within the first few months of infancy. Following a regular schedule making sure that your child is immunised on time ensures the best defence against dangerous childhood diseases.

There are many childhood diseases that can be prevented by following the recommended guidelines for vaccinations:

  • Gold StarHep B – This type of vaccine helps protect against hepatitis B.
  • Gold StarMeningococcal vaccine (MCV4) – This vaccine protects against meningococcal disease.
  • Gold StarDTaP - This is administered to protect against diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), and pertussis (whooping cough).
  • Gold StarHib vaccine – This is a type of vaccine that protects against Haemophilus influenzae type b (which causes spinal meningitis and other serious infections).
  • Gold StarMMR - This protects against measles, mumps and rubella, also known as German measles.
  • Gold StarPneumococcal vaccine/PCV13 (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) - A vaccine to protect against pneumonia, infection in the blood, and meningitis.
  • Gold StarVaricella - This protects against chickenpox.
  • Gold StarRotavirus (RV) - This vaccine protects against severe vomiting and diarrhoea caused by rotavirus.
  • Gold StarHep A - This protects against hepatitis A.
  • Gold StarHPV - This protects from human papillomavirus, which is associated with cervical cancer and other cancers.
  • Gold StarSeasonal influenza - This protects against different types of flu viruses.

Most children’s vaccinations are completed between birth and six years. Many vaccines are administered more than once, at different ages, and in combinations. This means that you should always keep a record of your child's shots. Although the doctor’s office may also keep track, people change doctors, records get lost, and the person ultimately responsible for keeping track of your child's immunisations record is you.

FAQ

Why should vaccines be given so early?

The diseases that childhood vaccines are meant to prevent normally occur when the child is very young, which may increase the risk of complications.

Can I give my child aspirin after receiving her immunisations?

Aspirin shouldn’t be given to children or teenagers due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome. Reye’s syndrome is a rare disease that is potentially fatal and causes swelling in the liver and brain.

Will my child be referred to other specialists?

Just like any other medicine, immunisations may cause reactions normally in the form of a sore arm or low-grade fever.

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When should my child see a Paediatrician

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Visits with your paediatrician should begin as soon as your child is born. This allows you to become familiar with your child’s doctor, and also allows your child’s health to be monitored from an early age.

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