Sunday, November 1, 2009

Vaccination and Fever

When the vaccine is administered, either due to the process of immunization or due to the pain of the needle prick, the kid might develop mild to moderate degree of fever which is very natural. There is a popular myth that one should get fever in order for the vaccine to be effective. No, it is absolutely fine even if the kid does not have fever and it is also absolutely fine if the kid has low-grade fever. Just ensure that you monitor the baby for fever or any signs of pain all the time. A fever below 100 is normal. However if is consistently above 100 not dropping even with wet-cloth wipes, then better consult the doctor.

Administer Calpol/Tylenol (check about the latest recall before you administer) drops immediately after the vaccine.. yes, they are the fever drops but also used for pain control. If the child still suffers from fever despite of giving Calpol drops 3 times a day, wet-cloth wipes, etc. then it is a case of concern.

One of the main reasons to ensure fever control with or without vaccination is that some kids tend to develop high temperatures and in extremely rare cases it might give way to febrile seizures.. so fever control in a kid is absolutely must. It is easy to control, but once it goes out of hand, then starts aggressive medical intervention. So, better be safe than sorry.

Also, once the vaccine is administered ensure that you keep holding the needle-pricked area for a while and then rub it mildly thereafter. Also, keep checking if there is swelling or redness in that area and if the swelling continues, do hot-water compresses.. if the redness and swelling persists beyond a couple of days and the kid is in very severe pain, just call the doctor or take the kid. However, simple and constant care and monitoring will not let things go far, so be alert and cautious the day of vaccine administration and keep a watchful eye.

It is advised not to give the kid anything including water or milk for 30 minutes to an hour after the vaccine, so better ensure that the kid is well-fed, non fussy by the time of the appointment. Do not overdo with giving fever drops/syrup until it is an absolute must. If it is just a low-grade fever of say 99, see if it still persists after a nap or some time and only then go for the medicine.

Usually for the first vaccine the kid might just cry a little while at the time of the prick but just forget it later on, it is only at the later stages when they realize pain that they tend to cry for a longer time. My personal experience says that first time the parents cry more than the kid and from the next on both of them get used to it :).

Good luck and yeah, the moms/dads out there do not cry, easy to say.. i did cry and the doctor still jokes that I had flooded his office on Sreya's first vaccination :). dont wince, dont cry, just take care of the baby. :).

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