Having a new baby is a wonderful and sobering event. You have now just become responsible for the health and well-being of another human being. While there are many exciting moments you treasure, there are important decisions to be made as a parent. One of these important decisions is vaccination. Will you vaccinate your new baby or not? When you choose to vaccinate your newborn, there are four diseases you can protect them from.
Diphtheria is the “D” in the DTaP vaccine. Symptoms of diphtheria are a thick coating in the back of the throat that makes it hard to breathe. It can not only cause breathing problems but paralysis and even heart failure. Before the vaccine was administered, there were about 15,000 people who died from the disease each year in the U.S.
Tetanus is the “T” in the DTaP vaccine. Symptoms of tetanus include painful tightening of the muscles all over the body. They can also lead to stiffness in the jaw muscles. This can make it hard to open the mouth or even to swallow. One out of every 10 people who get tetanus dies.
Pertussis is the “P” in the DTaP vaccine. Symptoms of pertussis include violent coughing spells. These can make it difficult for a baby to eat, drink or breathe. These coughing spells can last for a few to several weeks. Pertussis, if left unchecked, can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, or even death. It can be very dangerous for infants. Deaths caused by pertussis usually occur in babies younger than three months.
HIB, or hemophilic influenza type b, symptoms can include a headache, fever, stiff neck, cough and shortness of breath. In mild cases there may not be any signs or symptoms. HIB can lead to meningitis, pneumonia, infections of the ears, sinuses, blood, joints, bones and covering of the heart. It can also lead to brain damage and severe swelling of the throat—making it hard to breathe—and deafness. The greatest risk for this disease is found in children younger than five years of age.
Children born in North Charleston, SC are vulnerable to these diseases and can catch them from other children and adults who may not even know they are infected. Before you decide the course to take with your new baby vaccinations, talk to your doctor. If you’re looking for pediatric care and are in the North Charleston, SC area, contact Palmetto Pediatrics at (843) 212-2008 or online at https://www.charlestonpalmettopediatrics.com.