Anything new can be, well, hard to accept. Witness "Downton Abby's" Lady Grantham (Maggie Smith) in a conversational fencing match with the oh-so-modern Mrs. Crawley (Penelope Wilton): "You are quite wonderful, the way you see room for improvement wherever you look." Mrs. Crawley: "I take that as a compliment." Lady Grantham: "I must've said it wrong." The Lady doesn't like progress.
Many people feel equally unaccepting of vaccinations. We recognize people's concerns and want to make it clear that the benefits overwhelmingly outnumber the risks. For example, the DTap series (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) triggers a serious reaction in only 1 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 percent of kids get a fever, redness, swelling, and soreness or tenderness where the shot was given. For about 3 percent 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, we want to spread the word. A study of 1.4 million kids ages 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. It's a sure "thigh" of relief.
© King Features Syndicate