Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine protects against a brain infection caused by Haemophilus influenzae bacteria. An infection by these bacteria can cause deafness and brain damage. It can also cause heart damage and pneumonia.
Children should get a dose of Hib vaccine at the ages of 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 12 to 15 months. Not all children will need a shot at 6 months. Your doctor will tell you if your child needs the 6-month vaccine.
Common side effects after the Hib vaccine include soreness at the injection site and a mild fever. Your child may feel fussy or tired. Side effects most often occur within 3 days of the shot. They last a short time.
Your child should not get a second dose of the vaccine if the first dose caused a bad reaction.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
How can you care for your child at home?
- You may give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for pain or fussiness, to help lower a fever, or if the area where the shot was given is sore. Do not use ibuprofen if your child is less than 6 months old unless the doctor gave you instructions to use it. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- Do not give a child two or more pain medicines at the same time unless the doctor told you to. Many pain medicines have acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be harmful.
- Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20. It has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.
- Put ice or a cold pack on the sore area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your child's skin.
When should you call for help?
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
- Your child has a seizure.
- Your child has symptoms of a severe allergic reaction. These may include:
- Sudden raised, red areas (hives) all over the body.
- Swelling of the throat, mouth, lips, or tongue.
- Trouble breathing.
- Passing out (losing consciousness). Or your child may feel very lightheaded or suddenly feel weak, confused, or restless.
- Severe belly pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- Your child has symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as:
- A rash or hives (raised, red areas on the skin).
- Mild belly pain or nausea.
- Your child has a high fever.
- Your child cries for 3 hours or more within 2 to 3 days after getting the shot.
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if your child has any problems.
Where can you learn more?
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