If you're a parent, one of the worst sounds you can hear is your child crying. Chances are you are going to hear a lot of that during their first 18 months of shots. Getting your child immunized is tonight's Avera Medical Minute.
19 month old Josiah McLaughlin is a happy, healthy toddler. He runs circles around his mom Meagan, his uncle Reilly and cousin Justin. But when Josiah gets his shots it's a different story.
Josiah's mom, Megan says "It's miserable to get shots because he has a bad reaction, he gets rashes and a fever."
Megan says it's probably even harder on her than it is on Josiah. But experts say in the long run the benefits of the shots will make up for all those tears.
Dr. Carilyn Van Kalsbeek of Avera McGreevy Clinic says "It's hard for parents to watch their children get shots but the short-term pain is much better than the long-term pain or a long-term side effect from a disease that could have been preventable."
Some of those disease are easy to forget about because we don't hear about them everyday. But that doesn't make them any less dangerous.
Dr. Van Kalsbeek says "Measles can cause death or severe permanent brain damage. Meningitis can obviously cause brain damage or death also."
Josiah is all caught up on his shots, and won't have to get any more now until he goes to kindergarten. Megan says even though there have been some tears along the way she thinks its worth it.
Megan says "Doctor knows best. Even though when they're crying it doesn't feel that way, but it's a lot better for them in the long run."
The need for immunizations don't end when you're a youngster. Some shots are now recommended through adulthood...And even in the later stages of life. Talk to your doctor to find out what you need, and when.