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Protecting Your Child From Infections

Table of Contents


Overview

Immunizations save lives. They are the best way to help protect you or your child from getting certain diseases that can be spread to other people (infectious diseases). And there are often no medical treatments for these diseases.

They also help reduce the spread of disease to others to prevent sudden outbreaks of the disease, called epidemics. Preventing the spread of disease is very important for people with weak immune systems. These people may not be able to get vaccines, or vaccines don't work well for them. Their only protection is for others to get vaccinated so illnesses are less common.

Other reasons why vaccines are important:

Keeping your child healthy at home, day care, or school

It's impossible to protect your child from all contagious illnesses. But you can teach healthy habits to help reduce your child's risk of infections. Teach your child:

Children younger than age 2 need a caregiver's help to prevent the spread of germs. Wash your child's hands often, and disinfect shared toys. If your child attends day care, closely review the policies about sick children and hygiene issues.

If your child becomes ill, keep your child out of day care and away from other children until the contagious period has passed. If you are unsure about how long this should be, contact your doctor.

Keep your child away from secondhand smoke. Smoke irritates the mucous membranes in your child's nose, sinuses, and lungs, making infections more likely.

Keeping your child healthy in public areas

When in a public area, such as an airport or restaurant, be aware of the risk of exposure to germs that can make you and your child ill. Use these tips to help protect your child.


Credits for Protecting Your Child From Infections

Current as of: February 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine


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