Being a parent is like being a juggler. You need to juggle the joys of your new born and the ever expanding duties of parenthood. Those responsibilities include immunizations and baby health checks according to the schedule based upon your child’s age. These immunizations start at birth and need to be tracked through primary and secondary school and beyond (for adult vaccinations).
Giving the right vaccine at the right age is very important. Some of the vaccines are given just once, whilst others occur on multiple occasions. You cannot give multiple doses of the same vaccine at the same time, just because you have missed one. The immunizations have to be given to your child in a specific order and it is advised that you do not change this procedure. As you can easily guess, keeping track of the specific dates and times of immunizations could prove to be a highly daunting task. Particularly, if you have multiple children? Even your pets have an immunization schedule. Scheduling the various appointments for each individual child presents a challenge. You cannot afford to miss even a single immunization, if you want your child or children to have a healthy future. Here are a few tips to schedule your children’s immunizations so that they are not missed.
#1 Maintain a clear immunization record form. Do not just rely on the records maintained by your healthcare provider. In case you happen to change your healthcare provider or change your address, you run into the risk of missing your child’s immunization records and associated notifications. Certain vaccinations can’t be repeated without medical oversight and since timing is important, parent’s need to keep track of the schedule. It is wise to be precise when it comes to your child’s immunizations.
#2 You should also consider setting alerts for the entire immunization schedule in your smartphones. The problem here is that people frequently change their mobile phones and in the process forget to synchronize their new phone with the reminders or alerts. You could inadvertently end up missing important vaccinations or forget about it completely.
#3 Immunizations required vary from country to country and there are sometimes choices in the type and frequency of the immunization program. Don’t forget to also carefully plan your baby health checks. Take the time to keep the records of your baby’s growth and development. These records will remain precious to both you as parents as well as your child, particularly as they grow to adulthood and in turn plan their own families. For some vaccinations, such as tetanus and influenza, there can be a need for a life-long plan and these records are best retained throughout childhood and beyond. Health checks for adults are equally challenging and often as parents we miss out on our own health priorities. In this case, the schedules for men and women vary according to gender and age. For some medical conditions, there is a need to track appointments and health pathways in a similar way to immunizations and baby health checks. These may be short-term such as for patient discharge procedures at a hospital, or long term depending upon the regime for each condition’s treatment plan.
#4 Keep track of all your important medical and health provider emergency contact numbers. Have these at hand. You never know when you will need your health records and may need to share contact details amongst health professionals, particularly if there is an emergency. You may also need to make sure that certificates are lodged for statutory tracking by government departments and insurance providers. Healthcare providers will help you keep track of your schedule, but it is better for each parent to look after these records, just in case your notification is missed (e.g. change of address).
#5 Be careful with privacy. All too often, our records are passed from department to department, health provider to health providers and beyond. Often, our records are compromised, incorrectly identified or lost. The most important advice about you and your family’s health is to plan your own health, keep you own records, and choose carefully with whom you share your records with. Care must be taken to not compromise you and your family’s entitlements and rights when it comes to health insurance, employment, travel, education, etc.
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