7 Common New-Parent Worries

What's the bottom line on vaccines?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics have a standard vaccination schedule(find it at aap.org). Most pediatricians support this schedule as a way to protect children against diseases. "It's safe to immunize your child," Dr. Rome says. "There's no data that says vaccines are going to cause autism in your child. That's a popular myth." But that doesn't mean the issue is without controversy. Some parents prefer alternative schedules to spread out certain vaccines: some wish to postpone the MMR until after age 2 because they think it may lower the risk of autism; others believe that the Hepatitis B vaccine, typically given at birth, isn't necessary until later if the child doesn't have a high risk of contracting Hep B. (One downside is that alternative schedules are harder to manage because most doctors don't follow them.) If you have concerns about the timing of your child's vaccine schedule, talk with your pediatrician.

Originally published in the September 2009 issue of American Baby magazine.

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