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Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
November 2019

SCIENCE MADE EASY — Babies’ Immune Systems: What Can They Handle?


Science Made Easy video feature Parents PACK newsletter November 2019When babies are born, they leave the sterile environment of the womb and enter a world filled with germs. Bacteria very quickly start to live on the lining of their noses, mouths and intestines, as well as on their skin. They also come into contact with viruses. In most cases, their immune systems are ready and able to protect them against the most harmful infections.

Soon after birth, babies are also recommended to get vaccines. Some people wonder if the vaccines are too great of an assault on their immune systems, but the reality is that babies’ immune systems encounter more challenges from the environment than from vaccines. Indeed, a scraped knee or the common cold is a greater challenge to the immune system than vaccines.

In this new Science Made Easy video, Dr. Offit describes what babies’ immune systems can handle in the first few months of life, which parts of the immune system need time to mature, and how vaccines given during that time period are designed to help babies overcome some of these challenges.

You can find related resources and access the video from the feature article page of the Parents PACK website.

News & Notes

Find an influenza vaccine near you

Do you, or other family members, still need to get the flu vaccine? If you are not sure where you can get it, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) has an easy-to-use vaccine locator. In addition to a flu vaccine-specific locator, the page also offers a general vaccine locator and a health clinic locator.

Check it out today

Parents Are TALKING website helps parents talk about sex with their teens

The Department of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) offers a website to help parents talk to their children about sex. The website includes games with practice conversation opportunities, communication tips, and information about topics relevant to teens as they mature, such as contraception, condom use, abstinence and more. 

Check out parentsaretalking.com today.

Just the Vax Trivia Corner

What is the number of immunological challenges a baby can handle in a given day?   

  1. 1,000
  2. 5,000
  3. 10,000
  4. 15
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