After the Shots (page 2)
Your child may need extra love and care after getting vaccinated. Some vaccinations that protect children from serious diseases also can cause discomfort for a while. Here are answers to questions many parents have after their children have been vaccinated. If this sheet doesn’t answer your questions, call your healthcare provider. Vaccinations may hurt a little . . . but disease can hurt a lot!
What to do if your child has discomfort
I think my child has a fever. What should I do?
Check your child’s temperature to find out if there is a fever. An easy way to do this is by taking a temperature in the armpit using an electronic thermometer (or by using the method of temperature-taking your healthcare provider recommends). If your child has a temperature that your healthcare provider has told you to be concerned about or if you have questions, call your healthcare provider.
Here are some things you can do to help reduce fever:
- Give your child plenty to drink.
- Dress your child lightly. Do not cover or wrap your child tightly.
- Give your child a fever- or pain-reducing medicine such as acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin). The dose you give your child should be based on your child's weight and your heathcare provider’s instructions. See the dose chart on page 2. Do not give aspirin. Recheck your child’s temperature after 1 hour. Call your healthcare provider if you have questions.
My child has been fussy since getting vaccinated. What should I do?
After vaccination, children may be fussy because of pain or fever. To reduce discomfort, you may want to give your child a medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. See the dose chart on page 2. Do not give aspirin. If your child is fussy for more than 24 hours, call your healthcare provider.
My child’s leg or arm is swollen, hot, and red. What should I do?
- Apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the sore area for comfort.
- For pain, give a medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. See the dose chart on page 2. Do not give aspirin.
- If the redness or tenderness increases after 24 hours, call your healthcare provider.
My child seems really sick. Should I call my healthcare provider?
If you are worried at all about how your child looks or feels, call your healthcare provider!
Medicines and Dosages to Reduce Pain and Fever
Choose the proper medicine, and measure the dose accurately.
- Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist which medicine is best for your child.
- Give the dose based on your child’s weight. If you don’t know your child’s weight, give the dose based on your child’s age. Do not give more medicine than is recommended.
- If you have questions about dosage amounts or any other concerns, call your healthcare provider.
- Always use a proper measuring device. For example:
- When giving infant drops, use the dropper enclosed in the package. Never use a spoon or a cup!
- When giving children’s liquid, use the cup enclosed in the package. If you misplace the cup, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for advice. Kitchen spoons are not accurate measures.
Take these two steps to avoid causing a serious medication overdose in your child.
- Don’t give your child a larger amount of acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or ibuprofen (e.g., Motrin, Advil) than is shown in the table below. Too much of any of these medicines can cause an overdose.
- When you give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen, don’t also give them over-the-counter (OTC) cough or cold medicines. This can also cause a medication overdose because cough and cold medicines often contain acetaminophen or ibuprofen. In fact, to be safe, don’t give OTC cough and cold medicines to your child unless you talk to your child’s healthcare provider first.
For exact dosage recommendations for Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen, click here.
Adapted from www.immunize.org on May 22, 2009. We thank the Immunization Action Coalition.
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