Are Vaccinations Safe for My Child?

The majority of parents choose to vaccinate their children according to the standard doctor-recommend schedule; however, many parents still have questions about vaccination. If you are wondering whether vaccinating your child is safe, the answer is yes: the United States currently has the safest vaccine supply in history and millions of children safely receive their vaccines every year. A vaccine can prevent infections and diseases that would once kill or cause lasting harm to infants, children, and adults. An unvaccinated child is at risk for contracting diseases such as whooping cough and measles, which can cause severe illness, pain, disability, and even death. A vaccine uses extremely small amounts of antigens to help your child’s immune system learn to recognize and fight serious diseases. Antigens are parts of germs that activate the immune system. This allows your child to gain future protection from a disease without getting sick.

While some children do experience side effects from their vaccines, the main effects tend to be extremely mild and go away within a few days. Serious side effects, such as severe allergic reactions, are extremely rare and medical professionals are trained to handle them if they do occur. In addition, all legitimate scientific and medical studies into vaccinations have concluded that there is no link between vaccinations and autism.

The disease-prevention benefits of vaccinating your child far outweigh the possible side effects for the vast majority of children. The only exceptions are cases where a child has a strong allergic reaction to a previous vaccine dose, a serious chronic medical condition (such as cancer), or a disease that weakens the immune system.

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Teething

Teething is the cause of occasional worry by parents, occasional fussiness by infants, and just plain curiosity by both! The general guidelines for incoming teeth are as follows: Central incisors usually come in around 6 months of age, lateral incisors around 8 months of age, first molars around 14 months of age, canines around 19 months of age, and second molars around 24 months of age. By 2 1/2 years of age, children should have 20 teeth. Remember to brush them daily! These 20 teeth remain until school age; then, the baby teeth will start to fall out and be replaced by the permanent teeth. Children should start seeing the dentist regularly around 3 years of age.

 

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