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A thigh of relief

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Many people are afraid of vaccinations, but remember, the benefits overwhelmingly outnumber the risks. For example, the DTap series (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) triggers a serious reaction in only one out of every million children vaccinated. And it spares millions of kids from horrendous illnesses. But the shots can trigger side effects that upset parents and make children uncomfortable: 25 per cent of kids get a fever, redness, swelling and soreness or tenderness where the shot was given. For about three per cent of kids, their arm can swell up for a week. So, when there’s a way to reduce folks’ anxiety about one of the essential childhood vaccines, let’s spread the word. A study of 1.4 million kids aged 12 months to 35 months shows you can slash the likelihood of an injection-site reaction in half by moving the shot from the arm to the thigh — maybe because leg motions dispel the inflammation. (The switch may benefit kids 4-6 years old, too.) So ask your doc to try the thigh next time your child is due for DTap.

King Features Syndicate


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