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What do I need to know about the Hepatitis B vaccination?

Hepatitis B is the most common liver disease in the world, and it’s a serious viral infection that can cause serious or fatal liver diseases, like cirrhosis, cancer and liver failure.

Many people who contract hepatitis B have no obvious symptoms at all.  However, others will have joint pain, jaundice, abdominal pain, nausea and loss of appetite, vomiting and fever. It’s usually transmitted sexually, or through bodily fluids, although it can be transmitted from mother to child at birth.

Immunisation against Hepatitis B is the best way to prevent your child from contracting the disease. You should also be tested for the disease during your pregnancy, and if you are infected, your child should be given a vaccination, and another injection known as an H-BIG shortly after birth, to help prevent him or her from contracting the disease.

There are ways to prevent contracting hepatitis B as an adult, that include taking precautions when having sex, avoiding sharing needles if you take drugs, and not sharing personal items with infected people, however, for your child, vaccination is the best prevention.

More questions

There are very specific guidelines when it comes to safely administering over the counter medications to babies, toddlers and preschoolers.
A cold bath can actually do more harm than good to a feverish child.
Many children have a mild reaction to the MMR vaccine – it’s not usually full-blown measles though, and it’s usually not serious. There are a few things to watch out for though...
Injections are necessary - the thing is to just have them and then get on with it. If needs be, have your child’s favourite toy or something else that will distract him while he has his shot.
Antibiotics do not kill viruses, such as the common cold, and by over using antibiotics, particularly when they aren’t necessary, you are weakening your child's future defences! 
In general, chewable medicines are only designed for children two years and older, who are adept at eating solid foods.
Giving any child aspirin could contribute to them getting a serious illness known as Reye’s Syndrome.
As a parent you should understand the risks associated with various different types of medication
Both ibuprofen and paracetamol are effective pain and fever treatment options for babies and children.
Choosing between a vaporiser and a humidifier is a personal choice but both help to make children feel better



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