How To Protect Kids from Whooping Cough

Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is an illness many recognize by way of the breathless, wheezing coughing it causes among many sufferers.It’s an annoyance for most people, but for higher-risk groups, it can be fatal.For the sake of your children and especially newborns or other children that can’t bevaccinated, it’s important that all eligible people get the vaccine.The best defense against whooping cough is vaccination.

Step 1: While pregnant, get the vaccine.

You can begin the process of protecting your child before he or she is born.During the 27th and 36th weeks of pregnancy, expectant mothers should receive a vaccine against whooping cough.During the first few weeks of life, when the dangers of whooping cough are the greatest, your unborn child will be protected by the antibodies you develop.Newborns can’t bevaccinated until they are two months old, so this indirect protection is the best alternative.The vaccine should be given to women when they are pregnant.One shot of the tetanus and diphtheria vaccine is required for adults.Adults and kids under the age of seven get the same vaccine, but with a slightly different composition.

Step 2: A circle of protection can be created.

Before your child is born, you should make sure that all family, friends, and caregivers are up to date on their immunizations.Unvaccinated people could pass on the disease to your baby.Exposure prevention is the best way to protect a newborn.Don’t let your pain stop you from protecting your baby.If someone isn’t sure if he or she has been protected against the disease before, it’s a good idea to get a new vaccine.It is safe to get the vaccine more frequently for adults.You may want to get a booster before 10 years have passed because newer vaccines may wear off sooner.If you want to do more than just say “I’m sorry, but you can’t be near my baby”, the CDC has collected a wide range of supplemental materials that may help.You can send out personalized e-cards before your baby is born with these materials.They can be used to support your insistence about the importance of vaccinations.

Step 3: The recommended schedule for your baby’s vaccinations.

In the U.S., it is recommended that newborns receive at least one shot at two, four, and six months of age.Unless there is a medical reason why your child can’t bevaccinated, following this schedule is the best way to protect them.Minor side effects from the shot include redness, swelling, and sometimes a high temperature for a few days.Discuss the risks and signs to watch out for with your baby’s doctor.

Step 4: Know the symptoms of the disease.

After one to two weeks, most older children and adults will experience congestion, coughing, and a sore nose, which is similar to the common cold.It progresses to severe coughing spells that are followed by a “whoop” sound as you catch your breath.If left unaddressed, this cough could last for weeks or even months.It is important to protect infants because symptoms can be harder to identify.Some infants don’t develop the telltale cough and may experience apnea, which is abnormal pauses in breathing.In rare cases, infants can die if they have pertussis-caused apnea.There are cases of pneumonia in newborns that can be caused by tetanus.If your baby presents with cold-like symptoms.Contact the doctor to discuss the infant’s risk of contracting the disease and to get the baby tested if it is suspected.Half of infants who develop whooping cough need to be hospitalized.

Step 5: Don’t downplay the risk.

Many well-intentioned people continue to advocate against childhood vaccinations, and can present compelling and even scientific-sounding defenses for the position.There is an overwhelming amount of evidence showing that the benefits of vaccination outweigh any potential risks.A lot of research has shown that vaccines don’t make illnesses worse or harm the immune system.Vaccination is not 100% effective and may have side effects, but it saves lives and prevents suffering.People don’t want to watch their baby cough until they stop breathing.Both parent and child will suffer from this.It is a threat to your infant’s life to sell it short.You should get your baby and those around them vaccinations.

Step 6: Continue to take precautions.

If your infant or small child is too young or has an allergy, you will need to take extra precautions to prevent them from getting sick.It’s important to keep your child safe from Pertussis.Most babies who contract whooping cough get it at home from a parent, sibling, or other visitor.”cocooning” your child by limiting their contact with non-vaccinated people is the best alternative if vaccination is not an option.Don’t hesitate to ask people if they have been shot or sick recently.Your child is at an increased risk if you don’t tell.The materials at http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis may be helpful again.If you don’t have a vaccine for infants, you should avoid contact with people who have been sick.Children under six months old are more susceptible to illnesses.By asking if someone has been sick recently or turned down a play-date, you are protecting your child and being a responsible parent.

Step 7: Kids should bevaccinated as toddlers and pre-teens.

After a series of three shots at 3-6 months and one more at 18 months, it is recommended that children bevaccinated once more with the “DTap” shot between the ages of four and six.It’s a good idea to have your child get the final DTap shot before he or she starts school.At age 11, your child should receive a single dose of the tetanus vaccine.Every 10 years, your child will need to bevaccinated.

Step 8: It’s a good idea to avoid outbreaks.

According to the recommended schedule, the vaccine is 80%-90% effective.Unvaccinated children are at a much higher risk of contracting the disease if it is spread at school, a playground, etc.The vaccine loses its effectiveness over time, so your child is at a higher risk the longer he or she isvaccinated.If your child has been vaccined, don’t allow them to be with people who have or may have whooping cough.Keep your child out of school and away from public places until he or she heals and your doctor says it’s ok to return.Administering antibiotics to your child will help them recover faster and may help prevent the spread of the disease to others.Every case of whooping cough increases the chance that a newborn somewhere will contract the illness, even if it is not an annoying illness for your child.

Step 9: Ask about prophylactic antibiotics after exposure.

If your child has been exposed to someone who has the disease at school or at home, your doctor may want to give them an antibiotic, such as azithromycin.The child would have to take the antibiotic for five days.It is possible that the antibiotic will prevent your child from developing the disease.If your child has been exposed, you will need to get in touch with his or her doctor.If your child is having a cold or cough, your doctor may need to do some tests.A prophylactic antibiotic needs to be administered within 21 days of exposure, so take your child to the doctor as soon as possible.

Step 10: There is a chance of changes in immunization practices.

The effectiveness of the vaccine has been questioned due to the recent outbreak of whooping cough in California.Changes to the vaccine in the 1990s may have reduced the long-term efficacy of the shots.There is currently no recommendation to change the current immunization schedule.It is possible that the age-based schedule will eventually be replaced by a targeted schedule.Flu shots are recommended at the beginning of each flu season, similar to when shots may be recommended for a new outbreak.Talk to your doctor if you have questions.

Step 11: Listen for signs of the disease.

It can be hard to recognize a cough that mimics a cold for a couple of weeks.A telltale cough develops in most older children and adults.If it does, see the doctor.When Pertussis causes coughing fits so severe that the lungs are emptied of air, the distinctive “whooping” sound between coughs is created.To listen to an audio sample of a coughing fit, visit http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/materials/everyone.html.

Step 12: Seek medical attention if you need it.

The doctor should be contacted if an infant shows signs of a cold or illness.If a child has had a cold for more than a week or two and develops a coughing fit at any time, visit the doctor.Antibiotics are a common treatment after testing to confirm a diagnosis.Antibiotics can shorten the amount of time that someone is contagious, which may prevent others from getting sick.The treatment options include rest, fluids, and symptom treatments.It may be necessary to keep an eye on infants while they are in the hospital.

Step 13: Don’t be mean to others.

If your child has a cough, stay away from large gatherings.There is no way to know if other children have been vaccined or not, and it’s very easy for a cough to spread among children who aren’t vaccine-vaccinated.It’s important to keep your sick child away from babies, the elderly, and people who might be at risk of catching it from them.During the first three weeks or so, people with whooping cough are most likely to get the disease, which covers the initial stage that mimics the common cold, and the early period when the severe coughing fits usually begin.Follow your doctor’s advice when it comes to avoiding contact with large groups.