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If you are a parent that believes in getting your child immunized with vaccines, you need to know about the 2 year old shots. While the infant schedule of shots might have been nerve-racking. The first rest set of toddler shots starts at two years old. I have a post about 2 year old speech milestones that you can read. I also wrote a blog post about language development in toddlers that you can also read on the blog.
As a toddler parent, the two-year appointment is necessary. Because, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, your child has to follow eight significant growth categories. Making sure they are hitting them can be stressful.
I can only speak about the practices in the United States since that is where I am. Still, as a vaccinated parent who believes in vaccinations, I believe in having disease control in our population and our personal spaces. One example of that is the covid-19 vaccines. As a parent of a child who is two years of age and in a family with highly immune-compromised people, this was important to me to do.
This post is about 2 year old shots.
Even if you don’t believe in getting shots for your children, they can catch a serious disease at two years old. Especially if they are in daycare. Also, starting at the age of six months, during the winter months, especially if you live in colder climates, doctors will recommend getting a flu shot for your child. And that requires a second dose after the first month of the first-ever flu vaccine they receive.
Types of Vaccine Shots
The first significant shot you get during pregnancy is the DTaP and Tdap, also known as the whooping cough shot. You, your partner, or anyone who will be around your baby full time will most likely get the shot. While it’s not required for anyone besides the mom, you know that the immunization practices of getting these types of shots will help your child in the long run.
After birth, you will hear about combination shots that you might not know exactly are in them. But here are the significant shots your child will be getting (you can find all of this information on the CDC website. This includes information for global vaccines as well, not just those used in the United States.)
2 Year old Shots that Are The Most Important
- Haemophilus influenzae type b
- Haemophilus influenzae type b or the Hib vaccine can cause many infections. These infections usually affect children under five years of age but can also affect adults with certain medical conditions.
- German measles
- Does the rubella virus cause an infection? This disease is often mild, with half people not realizing that they are infected. A rash may start around two weeks after exposure and last for three days. It usually begins on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.
- Polio vaccine
- Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a crippling and potentially deadly disease. The poliovirus causes it. The virus spreads from person to person. And can invade an infected person’s brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis (can’t move parts of the body)
- Measles vaccine
- The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. Measles is a highly contagious virus that can lead to complications. Learn about its history, answers to common questions, and how you can protect your child if you’re a parent.
- Rotavirus vaccine
- The rotavirus vaccine is the best way to protect your child against rotavirus disease. Most children (about 9 out of 10) who get the vaccine will protect children from severe rotavirus disease. About 7 out of 10 children will be protected from rotavirus disease of any severity.
Common Childhood Illnesses
You will learn quickly that the moment your child steps outside, they will get sick. Especially if they are born in the winter during flu season. One of the most common infections that babies and toddlers get is ear infections. There are things and additional vaccines that your child can take to aid in illnesses like the common cold, but there will be things kids will have to go through to build up their immune systems.
They start as colds, which can be misleading, including sneezing, coughing, and fever, but you will know your child had an ear infection if they start playing in or with their ear. Sometimes your child may experience more unique signs like severe diarrhea, so it’s good to watch how the symptoms change over the passing days.
Flu is another common illness that, if not treated, can be severe for babies and toddlers as well. If your child is going to daycare, some facilities require your child over six months to get the influenza vaccine. If your child’s first time getting the flu vaccine, this has two doses of the vaccine you have to get. The doses are a month apart. Another common respiratory infection that toddlers get, especially if they go to daycare, is Respiratory syncytial virus or RSV. It starts as a cold, but you will notice poor feeding and wheezing. Many 2 year old shots do not account for this.
The flu is in the category of free vaccines like the covid-19 vaccine, so you should be able to get it at no cost to you or your family. After the first flu shot, your child will get a booster shot for the rest of their life every year. If you are ever unsure about immunization schedules, always consult your child’s doctor for more information. The American Academy of Family Physicians is also an excellent resource for families looking for more US-based information.
Following a vaccination schedule
If you have been going to the pediatrician as recommended, you will know that you will typically receive a sheet with the routine vaccination schedule based on their age group. Some are optional, and some aren’t, but we usually try to get the vaccines that will be required by daycare and travel. You also want to know about the severe side effects of getting every immunization for your child.
Seeing them getting shots can be stressful for young children. But there are ways to make it a not so stressful experience. One tip is to let your child’s doctor know in advance how your child deals with shots, and usually, the staff has creative ways to give vaccines that are fun for children. I have a blog post on coping with shots for babies based on their months of age that you can read here.
If your child has certain medical conditions, there could be unique situations where you can delay vaccine treatment. But make sure you talk to your child’s doctor about the best ways to handle that. For more information about the standard vaccine schedule, you can visit the CDC’s site. Remember, getting a shot is to get vaccine-preventable diseases. So that your child doesn’t get chronic conditions and the child’s immune system, and development stays on track. Everything is a spectrum, so keep this in mind as well.
How to Handle Serious Complications
When talking about a child’s immune system, you want to trust that your health care provider knows what is best for a child. While some vaccines have mild side effects, knowing about them can prepare you. Some side effects can include irritation at the shot site, runny nose, sore throat, and mild fever. The injection site might also look and feel hot to the touch. Combination vaccines are where you will see them more common.
The first time you see something that you don’t think is normal or in the range of side effects, you want to call your child’s doctor. Waiting too long, especially in small children, can lead to brain swelling, heart failure, serious illness. And you don’t want that. Always make sure that you are keeping an eye on your children. So that if you see something, you can say something.
There might be some conditions for older kids where they age out because of herd immunity. But you will want to stay on track with the recommended schedule since new diseases and conditions pop up. You’d be surprised how many contagious infections the pandemic toddler generation is dealing with. And most of them aren’t even two years old yet.
2 Year Old Milestones
Dealing with the parent’s stress is another concern that can make you worried about. If your child is where they need to be. If you are looking for more ways to handle this, I have a blog post about the seven best ways of managing parent stress that you can read here.
There will be tons of other things to worry about with your 2 year old, so don’t let the shots scare you. When you see your child get their first vaccine, it will probably make you cry (I started crying) but know that you are doing what is best for them in the long run. The goal is to make sure your child can thrive without worrying about a contagious disease or infectious diseases that can be deadly at their age.
Once your child hits around the 15-month mark, they won’t be getting as many shots. Older children have even fewer shots, so the first years of life are essential to ensure your child’s immunizations are up to par. With different diseases coming out, making sure your toddler goes to the doctor regularly is critical. There are a lot of stressors with being a parent, be we are our child’s first advocates of excellent health. Teaching them the importance of why shots are needed and maintaining good health starts with us.