Health Tip: Minor Reaction to Childhood Immunizations

Here's how to ease minor discomfort

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(HealthDay News) -- When children have a severe reaction to an immunization -- with symptoms such as high fever, breathing problems, continuous crying for several hours, weakness, or red streaks near the injection site -- it requires immediate medical attention.

The Lucile Packard Children's Hospital offers these suggestions for much milder post-injection discomfort:

  • For soreness at or near the injection site, apply a cool, damp cloth or an ice pack.
  • Administer an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen. Do not give the child aspirin.
  • For minor cases of hives, apply hydrocortisone cream.
  • Any fever that develops should not last more than three days. Administer acetaminophen and lots of fluids. If the fever lasts more than three days, seek medical attention at once.
  • Your child may be cranky or fussy after the immunization, and may sleep a lot. If these symptoms don't improve after three days, call your doctor.

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