If a vaccine is given when a baby still has antibodies to the disease, the antibodies can stop the vaccine working. This is why routine childhood immunisations do not start until a baby is two months old, before the antibodies a baby gets from its mother have stopped working. This is also why it is important for parents to stick to the immunisation schedule, as a delay can leave a baby unprotected. A delay can increase the chance of adverse reactions to some vaccines, such as pertussis (whooping cough).
Click here for the schedule for all vaccinations
Health Visitors are registered nurses/midwives who have additional training in community public health nursing. In Sandwell, Health Visitors work from bases in each area of Sandwell alongside Nursery Nurses who support the work. Each team are led by a Team Leader and there is administrative assistance from the Health Visiting Contact Centre.
Health Visitors work with other professionals as part of the Primary Healthcare Team. These include GP’s, Midwives, Early Years Workers and Children’s Centres.
Health Visitors work with parents and carers who have new babies, offering support from the antenatal period until your child starts school at 5 years. Health Visitors may see you at home or in clinics and invite you to join groups and networks run by either us or our colleagues such as Nursery Nurses or Children’s centre staff. Every GP practice in Sandwell has a Named Health Visitor.
Health visitors offer advice and information on a wide variety of health issues in order to promote and encourage healthy lifestyles for you and your family. They offer developmental reviews of your child for early detection of any problems. To address any concerns you may have and provide appropriate advice and support.
Each family can expect as a minimum five contacts. These are:
- Antenatal contact
- Postnatal visit between 10-14 days of birth
- Six to eight weeks after delivery
- Nine to twelve months
- Two to two and a half year old
Health Visitors link: www.swbh.nhs.uk/services/health-visiting