Immunization is the best way to protect your child’s health from diseases that could cause serious complications and harm. Vaccines are safe and effective.
Having your children vaccinated on time is important and helps ensure that they get the protection they need as early as possible. Some parents are concerned that multiple vaccinations could overwhelm a young child’s immune system. This is not true. Rather, vaccines strengthen the immune system and prepare your child’s body with the defense it needs to fight disease before the child is exposed to the disease.
Delaying or refusing to immunize your child puts your child and others at risk and for illness, especially children and adults undergoing medical treatment that weakens their immune system such as cancer treatments, and those with chronic diseases (including heart or lung disease or diabetes). It also puts other people at risk, such as newborn babies who are too young to be immunized and the elderly. As more people become immunized, the spread of disease is reduced, which reduces risk for everyone.
Checklist for your child’s immunization visit:
- Bring your child’s immunization record to keep it up to date.
- Bring your child’s favourite toy to comfort them through the procedure.
- Book your child’s next appointment to ensure it happens on time.
Parents, other members of your household, and grandparents need immunization too. Ensure your immunizations are up to date so you don't infect others with a vaccine-preventable disease.
Video: How to talk to your children about vaccines
Further reading about childhood immunization:
The Canadian Paediatric Society’s guide for parents called Your Child’s Best Shot (4th edition).
Order online or check with your local library.
The Public Health Agency of Canada’s A Parent’s Guide to Vaccination.
The Public Health Agency of Canada’s Teens, Meet Vaccines.
The Canadian Paediatric Society’s When parents choose not to vaccinate: Risks and responsibilities.