Parents can’t remember when to vaccinate, Babyology survey reveals

How do you remember when it’s time to vaccinate your children? It’s actually quite common for parents to miss all-important immunisation dates – as we’ve just discovered in our Babyology reader survey. Our reader poll also reveals many parents aren’t even sure if their children are up-to-date with vaccinations. We’re delving into the fascinating results and sharing some vital immunisation information from experts, including if it’s ok to vaccinate when your child is sick. 

Our reader survey explores the vaccination behaviour of Babyology parents. We asked our families a host of questions, including if they’ve ever forgotten an immunisation – and we’ve got a hot tip on how to never again miss one of your child’s vaccinations, no matter how busy you are!

How many parents vaccinate?

Our survey of 400 Australian parents reveals that a comforting nine in 10 Babyology parents believe it’s important to vaccinate, and therefore immunise their children.

How do parents remember to vaccinate?

Between feeds, playdates, kinder drop-offs, birthdays, school and everything in between, it’s hard to remember what day it is, let alone really important things like when your child’s vaccinations are due. Almost one in five parents confess they rely on their memory alone to remind them when it’s time for baby to see the family GP or nurse for a jab. And 16 per cent admit that busy lives coupled with bad memories mean they often forget those all-important vaccination dates. There’s a really simple way to make sure you’re always reminded when your child’s vaccination is due – just download the handy Save The Date To Vaccinate app, on either iPhone or Android.

Is your child up to date?

From the start of this year, the federal government introduced ‘No Jab, No Pay’, meaning parents who don’t fully immunise their children up to the age of 19, won’t be eligible for child care benefits and family assistance payments (with some exceptions for children with certain medical conditions and those on a recognised catch-up schedule). Of the parents we surveyed, with youngsters in or about to start childcare – more than eight per cent said their children’s immunisations aren’t up to date, or they weren’t sure if they are up to date.

Is it ok to be early or late for vaccinations?

It seems many parents think it’s okay to push out immunisations, or do them early – with almost two-thirds of children vaccinated a week or more either side of the date the immunisation is due. One of our mums even sent us a question, asking if it’s ok to do this – see the expert response below:

My son is due for his one-year-old shots on the 25th of February – last time he had his shots he was really unsettled for 24 hours, so I don’t want to give them to him on his actual birthday as we have a really lovely day planned. Can I take him to get them a few days early? Or is two days later too late?

Our health expert says, “Children should be vaccinated as close as possible to the scheduled milestones. This is because the immunisation schedule is carefully designed to optimise their immunity at the earliest time their body is ready to respond to the vaccine. A day or two after their birthday is fine however they should not be vaccinated earlier than the recommended timing except in exceptional circumstances such as going overseas when repeat vaccination may be necessary to ensure complete immunity.”

Can my child be immunised while they’re sick?

Half of our Babyology families tell us they’ve missed their child’s immunisation date, because the child was sick. However, the Department of Health says a child with a runny nose, who doesn’t have a high fever, can still have their vaccinations. Even if your child is on antibiotics and recovering from an illness, you can still go ahead with their schedule immunisation.

For more information on immunisation, including myths and facts, head to Save the Date to Vaccinate. While you’re there, make sure to download the app so you never miss an immunisation date for your child.

(This is a sponsored post for NSW Health)

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