Before I begin, please be aware that I am not writing this post to scare anyone! This post is purely to inform other mums and dads to be extra vigilant.
I think I can speak for all new parents when I say there is an event in the baby calendar that everyone dreads; the vaccinations.
In the first year babies have them routinely at around two months, three months and four months of age. Nurses and doctors always advise a dose of calpol at the time of the injections and at four hour intervals afterwards.
But what I was never told is that babies can actually have severe allergic reactions to them. Now to some this may come as a surprise. Immunisations are meant to prevent serious illness, not cause it.
Amelia had her first round of vaccinations and aside from screaming bloody murder when they were done, handled them without much trouble.
Fast forward to six hours after her second round of vaccinations and we found ourselves in pembury hospital with her being admitted with an allergic reaction.
Her poor little leg swelled up from hip to ankle and went tomato red and her tiny foot started to turn purple. Her heart rate reached over two hundred and she had a temperature. After observations and ibuprofen – which is not supposed to be given under three months so please do not give your baby this unless told to by a doctor – she finally stopped crying and began to breath normally again.
It was only after this that the doctors told us that, although very rare, babies can actually get anaphylactic shock from their vaccinations.
Yesterday she had her third round of immunisations and unfortunately the same thing happened again. After a trip to Maidstone hospital and very little sleep she is now doing a lot better.
This has left me wondering about future vaccinations. Of course I understand why they are done routinely. Some of the illnesses that they are protected against are fatal. But anaphylactic shock can have an equally terrifying outcome if not treated quick enough. Even now they are unable to tell us what component it is she is allergic to as there are so many.
The nurse that carried out her vaccinations was very impressed that we had brought her for more injections given her previous reaction. However I now wonder why we aren’t told to look out for the warning signs? Only after the reaction, was I told that next time I should listen to her breathing and continually monitor her chest and legs for the rash spreading. I fully understand that it is rare to react so badly and that they do not want to scare all parents but on this I think it is better to be informed.
Please do not take this as a reason not to have your little ones vaccinated. Rather take it as a reason to be vigilant and to keep your little ones legs uncovered for the hours afterwards so that you can check for any localised reaction.