Being a parent is a big responsibility. One has to make many decisions on what is best for their child and how to protect their children. The protection comes in many folds, from baby-proofing the house to travel-proofing with a car seat. However, not all possible threats to your children’s safety are visible. There can be sudden and unforeseen incidences, with vaccinations we get that power to safeguard and protect our children. These vaccines help them fight diseases and provide comprehensive protection against acute bacterial and viral infections. During the last 6-7 months, the entire country was facing lockdown and restricted outdoor access. With healthcare available online it’s important to continue to protect children with vaccinations during COVID-19 pandemic.
do not miss any routine Vaccination
Vaccines help prevent possible infectious diseases. Without vaccinations and their timely booster dose, your children may be at risk for serious illnesses including measles, mumps, whooping cough and flu, which could be fatal in some cases. The best thing we can do to our children for a healthy life is to follow the vaccinations schedule and make sure that they receive all their vaccines on time.
You must refer the complete details and recommendation of immunization by Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Immunization for Indian children ages 0-18 years here
New Borns and vaccinations during COVID-19 pandemic
Newborns may be protected against some kind of infection because they have received antibodies from their mothers. But their immunity levels begin to fade in the first few months of life. Skipping their vaccinations during these tough times may leave them vulnerable to infectious diseases. Even breastfed babies need to be protected with all the vaccines at the recommended ages. While breast milk provides important and temporary protection from some minor infections like colds, mild ear infections or diarrhoea, as the baby’s immune system is developing. Breast milk will not protect her against all possible diseases. They would need long-term protection that can only come from making sure they receive all their vaccines according to the recommended immunization schedule, before any exposure to diseases.
Vaccinating children during COVID-19 pandemic
It is important that your children stay up-to-date with their routine vaccinations even during the COVID-19 pandemic. If your child is due for its next dose or booster vaccination, do not cancel the appointment. Call your paediatrician and check for the safety measure they follow. As per current guidelines, all hospitals and clinics are taking special measures and precautions to keep your child safe from coronavirus. You may even choose to get these appointments at your home if you wish for hassle-free vaccinations during COVID-19 pandemic. Alternatively, safeguarding your child with a mask or headgear during a hospital visit too, avoiding sitting there and carrying only the essential files or papers.
High-RIsk Vaccinations: important for comprehensive protection
There are already a set of vaccines that are recommended compulsory for all Indian children by the Government and the Indian Academy of Paediatricians. These include protection against some of the common and dangerous diseases and the ones targeted by the government’s immunisation programme. And paediatricians give a vaccination/ immunisation schedule which clearly reflects these compulsory vaccinations. While those are of utmost importance there are a certain set of vaccinations which are not compulsory and optional. Most of these are often skipped by parents as the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) recommends this for high-risk children. With sudden high-risk situations like these, it feels right to offer complete high-risk vaccination suggested protecting children during COVID-19 pandemic too. These recommendations are as below
- Influenza Vaccine
- Meningococcal Vaccine
- Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine
- Cholera Vaccine
- Rabies Vaccine
- Yellow Fever Vaccine
- Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine (PPSV 23)
Must Read– A Mom’s Guide to Influenza and The missing link in protection against Meningococcal Meningitis
Boosting immunity for the overall protection of children during COVID-19 pandemic
For the overall protection of children, it’s important to follow a holistic approach, along with timely vaccinations to get their immunity level boosted up too. This shall help protect children with vaccinations during COVID-19 pandemic. Also, would ensure they are fit and strong from the inside and stay a happy balanced life. these are some easy tips and tricks to raising their immunity level up
- Maintain a proper sleep schedule. An average toddler needs around 12 hours of sleep a night; children aged three to six – 10-12 hours; seven-12 years old – 10-11 hours; and teenagers – around eight to nine hours
- Include some form of moderate exercise during the day.
- Maintaining good hygiene by taking a bath daily and washing/sanitising hands before and after meals
- including seasonal fruits and vegetables in diet over frozen or canned ones
- Serve warm regular healthy meals and snacks
- Avoid any processed food and try to provide home-cooked meals whenever possible. Don’t forget to include fruits as well.
Read the detailed post here – Boosting toddlers and kids’ immunity
The doctor recommends a moderately active lifestyle, balanced nutrition and timely vaccination to protect children with vaccinations during COVID-19 pandemic. I hope you find this information useful and it shall help you make informed decisions.