Kids and Shots: what matters to them

With the news this week that ProQuad seems cause an increase in fever-related seizures, many parents are now left wondering how to schedule their child care visits. Are more visits needed if they separate out the shots?

ProQuad is a combination vaccine of measles, mumps, rubella and Chicken pox. Clearly, any combo shot has a great advantage for the child if it preserves immunity. But, in this case, as reported by AP, a study showed a two fold increase in seizures in toddlers getting that shot. Clearly enough of a reason for us to pause and consider whether the reduction in that one shot for that visit is worth the risk of a seizure.

What is a child’s experience? Turns out kids remember more the amount of visits they have for shots than the amount of shots per visit. So, even though 4 or 5 shots in a visit is a big number, a child still just recalls the one visit. The overall anxiety of the child is minimized by consolidating those shots to that one visit, as opposed to having the child return for multiple visits where the child’s anxiety would be repeated for each of those visits.

I’m sure more studies will be done. In the mean time, good fever control is the key for parents opting to use ProQuad for their children. Your pediatrician will review that with you. Since that is the side-effect in question, eliminate that with anti-fever medications, and all should be fine. And, if you are still concerned, just give your kids the shots the old fashioned way – separately.

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