Immunizations for Children

Children, starting at the newborn stage, are given immunizations to help prevent some of the childhood diseases that were so common in the past. Throughout history, these diseases caused many deaths before vaccinations were developed to help keep children from getting them.

Ever read in a history book about rubella (German measles), mumps, chickenpox or smallpox? Vaccines have been created so that kids today don’t have to suffer from them.

Here is how the immunization process works. A vaccine is created using a weakened non-threatening form of the bug you are trying to prevent. Sometimes, the pathogen is dead and further treated to make sure that it can’t in any way cause the virus in the child.

In the body, these inactivated viruses elicit a response. The body’s immune system goes into overdrive and creates antibodies to fight the invader (antigen). When the same disease is present again, the antibodies rush out to defeat it before it can take hold. That is how a vaccination (immunization) protects your child.

Sometimes it becomes necessary to use a passive form of immunization. When a child is very sick and the disease is identified, antibodies may be injected to quickly defeat the condition. This type of immunization works in the short term to treat disease.

Before immunization, parents and doctors had no choice but to let a disease run its course, treating the symptoms as best they could. If a child’s immune system wasn’t strong enough, they could die or become crippled as a result of the ordeal. Immunizations were developed to stop many childhood diseases before they started.

What childhood diseases are rarely seen anymore? Thanks to immunizations, children don’t usually suffer from polio, smallpox, Scarlet fever, or mumps anymore. And the Varicella vaccine protects them from chickenpox - not usually a serious disease, but very uncomfortable.

Advantages of immunizations

Parents have debated whether or not vaccinations are necessary, especially in the wake of allegations that autism is on the rise due to preservatives in the vaccines. Incidentally, there has not been a proven link between the two to say that one causes the other.

Immunizations protect your child and boost their immunity. They prevent thousands of deaths from common ailments that a child has never been exposed to before. Immunizations are also a cost-effective way to reduce childhood illnesses. Some diseases, like chickenpox, aren’t as dangerous as others, but immunization can prevent it all together.

Immunizations during childhood and beyond can keep your child safe from many illnesses that once caused mortality. The entire family is protected without significant cost, if any.