Connector August 2023

CONNECTOR.AE 38 CONNECTOR.AE 39 Health and Wellness Health and Wellness Boosting A Child’s Immune System Before Back To School As the holidays are coming to an end, and children are getting ready to go back to school, parents are ensuring that everything is in place, and one of the things being looked at is their child’s wellness. Children are prone to picking up germs and it is important to make sure that they are feeling healthy and ready for the start of the new school year. One of the ways to ensure a child is healthy, able to fight off germs and bacteria and maintain a trouble-free school year is by getting their immunity on par. This can be done through immunisations, which provide the right antibodies to fight diseases. Connector has spoken to medical experts around the UAE to get insight into the importance of taking vaccinations, to ensure children are set to go back to school. Vaccinations help in protecting children from catching various illnesses or reduce the intensity of them when contracted, by boosting their immunity to fight them. Dr Aji Mathew, Consultant in General Paediatrics at Mubadala Health Dubai said, “Vaccination is the easiest, cheapest, and most reliable way to protect your child from deadly diseases. In the past, these diseases caused a lot of serious harm, and now, they are on the brink of extinction, primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. Vaccination either protects your child from contracting an illness or can reduce the severity of the illness and reduce the disease burden in the community. Considering the advances in medicine, vaccines are now easily available in nearly all countries and are safe to be administered to children.” Before being administered to children, vaccinations undergo rigorous testing to make sure they are effective in providing the individual with the required antibodies to fight off disease, and only once approved, are given to children. Dr Ghassan Soud, Consultant Paediatrics at Mediclinic Dubai Mall stated, “Only minor side effects are encountered with vaccines and the most common side effects of vaccines are: - Pain, swelling or redness at the injection site - Mild fever - Chills - Feeling tired - Headache - Muscle and joint aches Usually, they last 48 hours and rarely last longer, the vaccine will never give the disease, which it is supposed to prevent.” There are some children that are exempt or are not advised to take vaccinations, due to pre-underlying health issues. In such cases, it is advised to first consult the family doctor to ensure that it is safe for a child with existing health ailments to take vaccinations. Children that cannot be vaccinated, still have a certain degree of protection when they are around other students that are vaccinated. This is due to herd immunity, which is a result of when large numbers of students are immune to the disease after getting vaccinated, which offers additional protection to children that are not. Dr Mihaela J Svorcina, General Practitioner at Dubai Cosmetic Surgery said, “The only children who should not have vaccines are those who had a serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine or those with weakened immune systems. They need to rely on herd immunity, for example, that others in their community have had vaccines and therefore the disease will not be spread.”