A Pediatrician Discusses DTaP Vaccines and Their Benefits

pediatrician Houston, TX

Your young child’s pediatrician should be an important part of your life. You need this doctor to diagnose and treat different health conditions your child may encounter. This physician will also talk to you about various immunizations and how they guard against serious diseases. The DTaP vaccines are among these. It is helpful to understand what they are and why it is critical.

When to get vaccinated

The pediatrician can help keep parents on the right vaccination schedule for their kids. These shots will occur at different points in life. Doctors recommend that kids get a rotavirus vaccine in three doses at 2 months, 4 months and 6 months. Flu shots should occur every year starting at 6 months of age. The chickenpox vaccine is another common one. Kids between 12 and 15 months old should first have it, followed by a dose at 4 years old. Another one to think about is the HPV vaccine. It comes in three doses and should start around age 11 or 12.

Description of the DTaP

This vaccine protects children under the age of 7 against three harmful diseases: diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough. These diseases can kill and spread in communities where people are not vaccinated. The vaccine signals to the body to create antibodies to provide immunity against the diseases. Unfortunately, the vaccine does begin to wear off. A pediatrician will recommend getting a booster every 10 years.

Protection against the conditions

Immunizing children against these diseases can help prevent serious illness or even death. Diphtheria causes breathing issues, heart failure and paralysis. People spread it by coughing and sneezing. Tetanus, sometimes called lockjaw, infiltrates the nervous system and causes severe muscle spasms. Whooping cough, or pertussis, also causes muscle spasms. These movements can be so intense that seizures or brain damage can occur. The immunizations protect children from these consequences.

The schedule

It is critical that the pediatrician administers these shots to children. Staying up to date with the vaccinations will decrease the child’s risk of getting the diseases. The first dose should occur 2 months after the baby is born. The next two doses come two months apart from the other. Between the ages of 15 months to 18 months old, the child will get the fourth shot. The final one comes between ages 4 and 6, usually around the time the child starts school.

Avoiding spreading the diseases

Not only will getting the immunizations protect children, but these will keep the diseases out of neighborhoods, communities and cities. Failing to immunize could reintroduce these illnesses to places where they might not have been for decades. These conditions are highly contagious, so any pediatrician will highly advise parents to immunize their kids.

Visit a pediatrician today

Though getting a shot is never pleasant, your children will benefit in the long run. As a parent, you want your child to be healthy and strong. Go to your pediatrician and ask about your child’s immunization schedule. Make sure your young ones are on track with the DTaP vaccines. If it is time for another shot, make an appointment at the doctor’s office today.

Get more information about Woodforest Pediatric & Family Clinic in Houston at http://www.woodforestmd.com.

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