06-02-17 Pediatrician & Vaccines

Monday 6th February 2017

At 3 years and 2 months of age now, it is time we visited the pediatrician. Today is our appointed day to see the kindly and jocular Dr. Shahid Ali. And I am glad we did because Kingsley’s Meningococcal Vaccine was ready to be boosted (I was totally unaware; bad mumma) and we also find out whether the child is on track with regards to weight and height.

But first to the vaccine. The Hib vaccine protects children against a severe bacterial infection that mostly affects children under 5 years old. The bacteria can cause epiglottitis (severe swelling in the throat that makes it hard to breathe), a serious form of pneumonia, and a disease called bacterial meningitis.

Meningitis is an infection of the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord. Hib meningitis causes death in 1 out of 20 children and permanent brain damage in 10 to 30 percent of those who survive.

Hib, or Haemophilus influenzae type b, can also cause serious joint and skin infections as well as other less common infections.

Before the Hib vaccine was approved for young children in the late 1980s, Hib was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in U.S. children under 5. About 20,000 children in the United States, most of them under 5 years old, contracted Hib meningitis each year. Now fewer than 50 get it.

And as of this evening, Kingsley is inoculated, the evidence being a band-aid on his right thigh (the left thigh plastered too, after his Hepatitis A vaccine – recommended for toddlers who fly abroad often – the little world traveler that he is).

As for this growth trajectory: all fine. He lies on the upper curves for both height and weight, and more to the point, is proportioned well:

  • 91st percentile for height (103cm), and
  • 95th percentile for weight (19kg)