Tetanus and the vaccine (shot) to prevent it : diseases and the vaccines that prevent them : information for parents
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Tetanus and the vaccine (shot) to prevent it : diseases and the vaccines that prevent them : information for parents

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      The best way to protect against tetanus is by getting the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis shot (called DTaP). Doctors recommend that all children get the shot. INFORMATION FOR PARENTS Tetanus and the Vaccine (Shot) to Prevent It Last updated April 2017 The best way to protect against tetanus is by getting the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis shot (called DTaP). Doctors recommend that all children get the shot. Why should my child get the DTaP shot? The DTaP shot: • Protects your child from tetanus, a potentially serious disease, as well as diphtheria and whooping cough (pertussis). • Protects your child from painful muscle stiffness from tetanus. • Keeps your child from missing school or childcare (and keeps you from missing work to care for your sick child). Is the DTaP shot safe? Yes. The DTaP shot is very safe, and it is effective at preventing tetanus. Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. Most children who get the shot have no side effects. What are the side effects? Most children don’t have any side effects from the shot. When side effects do occur, they are usually mild and may include: • Redness, swelling, or pain where the shot was given • Fever • Vomiting These types of side effects happen in about 1 out of every 4 children who get the shot. More serious side effects are very rare but can include: • A fever over 105 degrees • Nonstop crying for 3 hours or more • Seizures (jerking, twitching of the muscles, or staring) What is tetanus? Tetanus is a serious disease caused by a toxin (poison) made by bacteria. It causes painful muscle stiffness and can be deadly. What are the symptoms of tetanus? Tetanus in children starts with headache, jaw cramping, and muscle spasms (sudden, involuntary muscle tightening). It also causes the following: • Painful muscle stiffness all over the body • Trouble swallowing • Seizures • Fever and sweating • High blood pressure and fast heart rate Tetanus is often called “lockjaw” because the jaw muscles tighten, making it hard to open the mouth. Doctors recommend that your child get five doses of the DTaP vaccine for best protection. Your child will need one dose at each of the following ages: CS HCVG15-CHD-144 05/30/2017 tetanus-basics-color.pdf
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