Has your child gotten his or her shots? "Shots" is the out-dated term for childhood immunizations, or vaccines. These medications are injected into the muscle at prescribed doses and intervals to help the immune system produce antibodies to shield against communicable diseases. At ABC Pediatrics in McKinney, your team of four doctors stress how important these child immunizations are in keeping your family healthy for life.
Why are child immunizations important?
Immunizations help control the spread of communicable diseases, such as measles and the flu. These diseases by themselves cause harmful symptoms and potentially catastrophic side effects, and even death. When they spread unchecked throughout a population, such as a school, daycare or neighborhood, they do considerable harm to people with weakened immune systems, the elderly and others who cannot receive vaccines because of medical limitations.
The concept of immunizing as many people as possible, and protecting the medically weak, is called herd immunity. Also known as community immunity, herd immunity helps reduce or eliminate diseases from a population.
According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, pneumococcal infections are a great example of how effective herd immunity can be. The occurrence of this disease has decreased drastically since children have begun receiving pneumonia shots.
The child immunization schedules in McKinney
In all, your child be protected against 18 communicable diseases by the time he or she reaches the age of 18. ABC Pediatrics follows the immunization schedule published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Schedules cover ages 0 to age 6, ages 7 through 18, and also include a catch-up schedule for children who have started late or were interrupted by illness or other circumstance.
Included in the schedules are diseases such as:
- Chicken pox
At ABC Pediatrics, your child's physician will keep track of his or her vaccines and distribute documentation to schools, sports teams, day care and other organizations as needed. Also, the CDC provides parents with an immunization tracker tool on its website so you know what vaccine is administered and when.
Reactions to vaccines
ABC Pediatrics maintains that vaccines are safe and effective in protecting your child against the harmful communicable diseases. Many vaccines cause no localized reaction at all, while some may make your child run a low grade fever or make his or her arm tender and warm.
We'll be happy to answer any questions you have regarding child immunizations. To schedule your next well-child visit, phone ABC Pediatrics in McKinney, TX, at (972) 569-9904.