Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Making Vaccinations less painful

I don't know a parent who doesn't dread the pain the their child endures during immunization shots. The child looks at you with these trusting eyes, then gets stabbed in the leg and you let it happen. You know the poor baby is thinking, "I can't believe you let this happen. I trusted you!"According to this new research, putting the shots in a different order could cause your baby less pain. What do you think about changing the order of the shots?

From ABC: Infant vaccinations an important way to protect young immune systems from serious diseases, but the painful experience can stress out babies and parents alike. However, new research finds there may be a way to minimize infants' pain during vaccinations simply by changing the order of the shots.

Starting at birth, babies receive vaccines to protect them from dangerous infectious diseases such as hepatitis, pneumonia, and whooping cough. To ensure children get all their recommended vaccines, pediatricians typically administer multiple shots in one visit - increasing the chances of pain for the baby. But new research suggests doctors can minimize infants' discomfort by changing the order of the vaccines.

Doctors at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto studied 120 babies. Half received a combination vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, and a kind of meningitis before they received the pneumonia vaccine. The other half received the pneumonia shot first.

Researchers videotaped the babies' reactions - looking for signs of painsuch as crying, squirming, or grimacing - and parents rated their children'spain as well. Results showed the pneumonia vaccine was the most painful for babies, and those who received it lsat had lower overall discomfort. Researchers theorize that giving a painful vaccine first makes the baby more sensitive. They recommend doctors start with the least painful shots and then progress to the more difficult ones.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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