Child health

We provide a full childhood immunisation service, as part of the NHS child vaccination programme.

You will normally be contacted by the child health team when your baby or child is due their immunisations. You don’t have to wait for the letter if you know that they are due, but please check your child will be the correct age on the date of the appointment given to you. It is especially important to note that the first baby vaccinations cannot be given before 8 weeks of age (56 days old) and that the baby immunisations must be at least 28 days apart.

Please telephone the surgery to book your baby or child an appointment.

If someone else is taking your child for their vaccinations, please provide a consent letter for your child to have the vaccines and confirm if they have any allergies or not. Please include your contact details for that day in case the nurse needs to contact you for further clarification.

At present we are not completing your child’s red book, but we will document the vaccinations given on their computer notes and give you a print-out of the vaccinations they have had - please keep this with your red book for future reference.

Some suggestions to help your child's vaccination appointment go smoothly

DO………

  • Dress your baby in clothes that are easy to remove – babies under 12 months have injections in the thigh

  • Dress toddlers and older children in loose or short sleeves – they'll have their injections in the arm

  • Try to stay calm during the vaccination – it's natural to worry but it might make your child anxious and restless

  • Let your child know what's going to happen in simple language – for example, "you may feel a sharp scratch that will go away very fast"

  • Hold your child on your knee during the injection and be guided by the nurse– if you're worried about seeing injections you could ask a nurse or another member of staff to hold them for you

  • Bring Liquid Paracetamol (e.g. Calpol) to the 8 weeks and 16 weeks immunisations only

DON’T…….

  • Rush to get to your appointment – giving yourself plenty of time can help you and your child avoid feeling stressed and anxious

  • Be worried about speaking to the nurse – they can answer any questions you have about vaccination

  • Tell the toddler that it won’t hurt

  • Give paracetamol prior to the appointment. This is not recommended.

What to expect after the vaccination?

Your baby or child may cry for a little while after a vaccination, but they should feel better after a cuddle. Sometimes the area where the needle goes in can be sore and red for 2 to 3 days. This should go away on its own. Some children may also develop a high temperature (fever).

If your child develops a high temperature after a vaccination:

  • Make sure they're not wearing too many layers of clothes or blankets

  • Give them plenty to drink

  • If they are distressed, give them liquid paracetamol for children

It is recommended that you give your baby liquid paracetamol (e.g. Calpol) after the Meningitis B vaccine (usually given at 8 weeks, 16 weeks and 12 months old) to reduce the risk of a high temperature. Please bring this medicine with you to the appointment.

Your practice nurse will explain everything at your child’s appointment and will also give you some information leaflets to take away.

More information about what to expect after vaccination is available online here.

Allergic reactions to vaccinations

It's rare for anyone to have a serious allergic reaction to a vaccination. If this does happen, it usually happens within minutes. The nurse who vaccinates you or your child will be trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately. With prompt treatment, your child will make a good recovery.

Useful Links

NHS vaccinations and when to have them

What to expect after vaccination

NHS vaccinations for babies born prematurely

Giving liquid paracetamol following Meningitis B vaccination