Before vaccinating your child, here’s what you should know

August 20, 2015
african mother and her son in doctor's office

african mother and her son in doctor’s office

With all the constant showing of back-to-school commercials from Target to Staples, it’s pretty clear that back-to-school season is officially in full effect. But, along with purchasing new clothes and new school supplies come vaccinations.

If you’re a parent of a young child or teenager, then this is probably at the top of your list to talk with your doctor about. In recent years, more and more parents have begun questioning just how safe vaccines really are for their children and themselves even. Many parents are somewhat confused when it comes to vaccinations and the effects they can have on their child. BlackDoctor.org teamed up with Dr. Jennifer Caudle, a board-certified family physician, assistant professor at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, and on-air health expert (The Dr. Oz Show, CNN, The Tom Joyner Morning Show and more), to help give you more insight as to what you really need to know before your child gets vaccinated.

There is no link between vaccines and autism. “Sometimes we hear about personal opinions more than we hear about the actual science and most medical organizations and clinicians with myself included feel very strongly that there is no establishment between vaccines and autism. For the most part, vaccines are very, very safe. There are potential consequences, but that’s with anything. What we know is that being protected from some of these diseases is far more important and greater than the risks of any of these vaccines potentially poses. Just to be very clear, the link between autism and vaccines has not been supported by science and it’s very important that children get their vaccines. Vaccines don’t cause autism.”

Keep up with your children’s immunization records. “This is really going to come in handy when kids get to high school and college when they need to play sports in school. Oftentimes, parents don’t keep copies of their child’s immunization records, so I recommend that parents keep a personal copy and update it as your child is getting their shots.” Vaccines are not only for your protection. “With the flu shot, for example, a lot of people will say, ‘I don’t really get sick. I’m usually healthy – I don’t get the flu, so I’m not going to get the flu shot.’ One really important thing to keep in mind about the flu shot and so many other shots is that they’re there not only to protect you from infectious diseases, but to protect other people as well. There are some people with weak immune systems or with medical problems that make them particularly vulnerable to certain conditions.

It’s important for all of us to get vaccinated to protect everyone. And that goes for all shots.” Don’t be afraid to ask questions. “My biggest thing is when parents have questions about vaccines, such as, “Doctor, what are the side effects?” and “Could this potentially harm my child?” It’s important to not make assumptions, but to actually go into the office and have a frank conversation with your doctor.” There are potential side effects. “Some of the more common side effects of vaccines can be a little pain at the site where the child received the injection. It can be painful for a couple days – they may need a little Tylenol to help relieve some of that pain. You want to check with your doctor to see what can be given to your child to help