Informing and delivering choice for parents
We have developed a common childhood illness booklet. The booklet provides
information on choices for parents.
They will be given to parents by their Health Visitor once the baby is born with the view of supporting them with managing common illnesses. An internet version of the booklet available in a number of local languages has also been produced and can be access here.
Protect your child now and in the future
Immunisations, also known as vaccinations, are usually given by injection but some – the flu immunisation can now be given as a nasal spray.
Children in the UK are offered vaccinations against a variety of diseases as part of the Healthy Child Programme. You can get advice on the vaccinations from your GP or Health Visitor. A record is kept in the Parent Held Child Health Record (Red Book), which is a book you keep containing information on your child’s health.
Immunisations are mainly given during the first five years. It’s important to have vaccinations at the right age to keep the risk of disease as low as possible. It is normal to worry about vaccinations, so don’t hesitate to ask your Health Visitor or GP for advice – that’s what they are there for!
Childhood immunisations are free and most are given at your GP’s surgery.
Some immunisations are given more than once to make sure the protection continues. This is known as a booster, so make sure your child gets it. The whooping cough vaccine is recommended for all women between 28 and 38 weeks pregnant. You should be offered this at your routine antenatal appointment.
Immunisations are used to protect children from diseases which can be very serious and sometimes even cause death. The protection immunizations offer your child are worth the small amount of pain. You may have concerns about the safety of immunisations, discuss these with your GP. Mild side effects are possible.
Health Visitor says
Make sure you keep your child’s Red Book in a safe place. It is your only complete record of their childhood immunisations and they are often needed later in life. Check with your Health Visitor on any updates and future immunisations.
Immunisation begins at two months, when baby’s natural immunity to illness, begins to drop.
Your Health Visitor will tell you when local immunisation sessions are taking place.
Immunisations don’t just protect your child during childhood, they protect them for life.
More about immunisations can be found on NHS Choices including a handy schedule.