Ensuring your child is happy and healthy

- 17 July 2020

“You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.” ― Franklin P. Adams

You shouldn’t have to worry about your child’s health, so let us reassure you

We understand how it feels to be worried about your little one’s health and development.

Assessing your child’s developmental milestones along with receiving all their immunisations will ensure they are reaching their full potential, and helps to avoid any future issues with their health.

Australia wide, as of 2018 94% of all 5 year olds were fully vaccinated. Things are improving every year!

However in the Sydney Local Health district, the rates were 92.4%, the third worst after Northern NSW and South East Sydney. There can be many reasons children might not have received all their vaccines by the age of 5, but we want to ensure no one misses out on a chance to prevent some serious and significant illness.

Along with the scheduled childhood immunisations, it is a great opportunity for your doctor to review your child’s developmental milestones.

Below are some examples of what the majority of children can do at each age group.

Developmental Milestones

6 months old– Roll over
– Sit with support and a straight back
– Make 4 or more distinct sounds
– Search for sound by turning head
– Enjoy and respond to play
– Resist toys being taken away
– Examine what is in hand
12 months old– Walk holding onto things (cruising)
– Pull to standing position
– Crawl well
– Pick up objects using pincer grip
– Sat two clear words
– Shake head for ‘no’
– Understands ‘no’
– Babble short sentences of 6 or more sounds
– Play ball
– Point at wanted objects
– Wave ‘bye’
– Copy actions
– Find hidden objects, eg. a block under a blanket
18 months old– Climb stairs
– Pushes a pram
– Walks backwards
– Stacks 3 blocks in a tower
– Scribbles
– Says 4-8 clear words
– Babbles long sentences with some clear words
– Plays games with other people
– Enjoys looking at books
– Completes simple puzzles
– Searches for objects in multiple places
2 years old– Runs
– Throws a ball
– Jumps
– Builds a tower of 4-8 blocks
– Scribbles in circles
– Says 20-50 clear words
– Names pictures/objects
– Follows 2 step commands
– Parallel play
– Helps with dressing and undressing
– Uses a spoon
– Opens up screw toy
– Does puzzle with 3 items or shapes
3 years old– Stand on one leg
– Climb stairs, one foot at a time
– Copy (draw) a circle and cross
– Threads beads
– Uses scissors
– Be understood most of the time
– Follows 3 step commands
– Demonstrates imaginative play
– Washes hands
– Can describe simple feelings, eg happy, sad
– Names own sex
4 years old– Walk independently up and down stairs
– Runs well
– Climbs ladders
– Can throw and catch a ball
– Draw stick figure, simple pictures
– Brushes teeth
– Mostly dress themselves
– Holds conversations
– Plays group games with simple rules
– Imaginative play with stories with different roles
– Counts to 5

Extra Vaccines

NSW Health provides the vaccinations in the Childhood Immunisation Schedule.

However there are some vaccinations that we can opt to do to add extra protection against certain conditions.

Meningococcal B Vaccine

Meningococcal disease can cause meningitis, septicaemia and unfortunately can be fatal. Although the number of cases in Australia are rare, children under 2 are most susceptible and the consequences catastrophic.

While Meningococcal A, C, W and Y are covered under the normal schedule, in NSW Meningococcal B isn’t for most children.

2 or 3 doses are needed depending on the age your child receives their first dose, and the vaccine can be given from 6 weeks of age. If you would like to add this vaccine to your child’s next immunisation appointment, please call us to let us know so we can have some ready for you.

Varicella (chickenpox) Vaccine

In the Childhood Immunisation Schedule children receive a chickenpox vaccine at 18 months of age. But a second dose which isn’t funded by the schedule can improve protection from about 80-85% with a single dose, to 98% with 2 doses.

Children can receive their first vaccine from 12 months of age.

Influenza (Flu) Vaccine

NSW Health funds influenza immunisations for all children from 6 months to 4 years. After the age of 5 they must be purchased privately, except if your child has an at risk condition.

In the first year of getting the flu vaccine, your child should receive 2 doses 1 month apart, and this is especially important if they have a higher risk of complications such as being born prematurely, have asthma or any heart conditions.

Measles Vaccine

The Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR) is given at 12 and 18 months of age according to the immunisation schedule. However if you and your bub are travelling overseas to a country endemic with measles before this, we can give the vaccine as early as 6 months of age.

However at this age, immunity wears off quickly, so they will still need to have their scheduled doses at 12 and 18 months.

What should I do if I have more questions?

If you and your doctor are happy with your child’s development, then just keep up your scheduled appointments.

However if you are worried your child isn’t meeting their developmental milestones, or for any reason their vaccination history isn’t up to date you can;

  1. Book online with by pressing the button at the top of this page, to your right, or at the bottom
  2. Make a list of all the things that are concerning you
  3. Work with your doctor to make sure we’re on track to keep your child happy and healthy!

You can book here with the doctors who enjoy and excel at childhood development:

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