What is your child allergic to? What’s your vaccine of choice?

Children are known to be the nation’s greatest health risk, accounting for close to one in three childhood cases of flu and making up most cases of pneumonia. And however well you may be educated about your children’s health, it’s important to have a handle on where they’re getting infections, and how they’re getting better.

With so many infectious diseases being thrown at kids each year, vaccination can be a hugely effective way to ward off certain strains, and even possibly mitigate the most common problems. Of course, there’s a wide range of age groups that can get vaccinated, from babies just crawling around, to teens smoking bongs and playing Farmville.

Many children already get their flu shots – but it’s still good to know that for everyone else, there’s a mixture of potential vaccines available. Why? Because, although there are certain diseases you really need to be vaccinated against – and others we’d really rather you didn’t get at all – that’s also the case with allergies.

Now you may be thinking, “OK, it sounds hard, but there must be something else that’s harder to get right.” But the truth is, there are and there aren’t. First off, you can’t get allergic to vaccines, not at any stage in their development, though it can be hard to convince people who don’t get it to stop scratching themselves.

But allergies can be present and dangerous before vaccines are given, too. There’s a subset of the population who are allergic to eggs, or dyes or just a generally unappetising look about them. Research has shown that people can be allergic, perhaps unknowingly, to many common vaccines. It’s considered “preventable” allergies, with studies based on volunteers who had only had the possibility of a vaccine for them before, not the dose.

Research has also shown that people’s allergies can contribute to life-threatening reactions even if the vaccine is given following an allergy. The risk is so high that authorities have begun limiting the amount of eggs and MSG in vaccines.

So, whether you’re taking children on a safari or down a dodgy waterslide, it’s important to remember that everything in moderation – which, with so many strains of vaccine in circulation, sounds like a very easy mantra to remember.

Should your child have a particular allergy?

Clearly, nobody wants to take your child to a dodgy waterslide, or with you for any parent-fees-and-more-chains-now you need to buy. But anyone should be able to work out, whether they have an allergy or not, whether that’s a feasible vaccination location for them.

Then again, it’s also worth choosing vaccination locations carefully. There are plenty of places that are catered for people who have allergies to peanuts, gluten, nuts, and even syringes and needles. This means that, if your child is allergic to any of these, or if they are allergic to something that’s actually used to make those vaccines, they can be safely injected with it there – but you might want to consider taking them elsewhere.

As you can see, it’s a tricky issue for parents – but you should make sure your kids are getting the right vaccines, for the right reasons.

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