Measles cases have recently been on the rise. Unfortunately, the increase in this serious viral infection jeopardizes many people, especially babies. They do not receive the measles vaccine until they are at least one, making them particularly susceptible, as their immune systems are not fully developed. As a result, their ability to fend off the virus is compromised. Below are some pediatric care tips for protecting your child.
How to Protect Your Child From Measles
1. Keep Your Baby at Home
If colds and the flu are going around, or you live in an area with a measles outbreak, aim to keep your child at home as much as possible. By limiting their exposure to others, you are lessening their potential exposure to the virus. In particular, keep them away from large crowds and environments where there are a lot of children present, when you can.
2. Wash Your Hands
Like many other viruses, measles spreads by contact with the germs of an infected person. Throughout the course of any given day, the average person encounters dozens of people and countless objects touched or handled by others. Wash your hands thoroughly throughout the day, especially before picking up your baby. Use soap and hot water, scrub for at least 20 seconds, and rinse thoroughly. If there are toddlers or other small children in the home, teach them proper handwashing practices. Suggest that they sing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star as they scrub, as this tune lasts the right amount of time.
3. Talk to Care Providers & Other Parents
It's not realistic to expect your baby to stay at home all the time. Getting fresh air and interacting with others are important for healthy development. However, plan your outings in advance. If your child is going to day care, contact the provider to find out about their measles vaccination policy. If you're taking your baby along to the park for a play-date with friends, contact the parents to see if their kids have been vaccinated. You have every right to ensure your child's safety and inquire about vaccination policies and practices. If you ever suspect your baby was exposed to the virus, see a pediatric professional right away.
HDR Healthcare Network offers pediatric medical care to patients throughout the Bronx, NY. They are a family medicine and urgent care center dedicated to providing medical treatment and support to community members of all ages. From routine checkups and physicals to pediatrics and senior care, they are here for you and your family. Call (718) 617-2500 to schedule an appointment.