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BCG & TB


Maki

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My 10 month old daughter is due to have her BCG jab and I am in a quandry about whether to let her have it or not, or whether to wait until she is a bit older. I have researched a bit on the JABS website but am still unsure.


Having read the (rather heated) thread on homeopathic immunisations, I am not interested in hearing from those of you that think I am selfish for considering the possibility of waiting to get my daughter immunised, but rather I would be interested to hear from anyone who has any particular negative side effects from having the jab or anyone who has contracted TB or heard of anyone who has contracted TB in the area?


I know we live in a high risk TB area, but also that you would need to spend quite some time breathing the same air as somebody with TB in order to contract it. My baby goes to nursery in an area which is low risk for TB.


I would also like to know if anyone knows if she could get the jab in her thigh?? There is a LOT more fat there so think it would hurt less. MY HV is unsure.

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Both mine have had the BCG jab in their upper arms - eldest when she was 8 months and the scar oozed and did all sorts of interesting things and didn't heal for a good 6 months. My youngest was much younger at 4 months old and the injection site healed very quickly.


Living in a high risk area coupled with the fact that we also previously lived in China was reason alone for us to have them.


I'm pretty the jab is always given in the upper arm as a matter of consistency.


Good luck with your decision.

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Both mine had theirs at 8 months - I asked about the thigh and was told it HAS to be in the arm as this is the internationally recognised site for the jab, and this is where they would look for the scar if you were to be taken ill.


Of the various injections it seems to be the one that bothers them the least, just takes a while for the scab to heal, but as I recall having it at 13 was far worse with people at school finding it amusing to try to thump your sore arm etc.


Molly

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My eldest had the jab at two weeks old with no ill effects and you cannot see any scar at age 12. The second had it at age 18 months and it took longer to heal and is a little more visible. I think the older you are the more likely you are to scar.


A few years ago one of my relatives got TB at age 13. She had never been out of England so the doctor assumed she picked it up from a child at a secondary school in SE14. Fortunately she wasn't ill but she did have to take medicine for a whole year.

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My daughter had her BCG at a week shy of 4 months as we went to Singapore and New Zealand so were advised she should have it. She had it in the arm - as the needle skims the skin she did not cry at all. She did cry with her normal immunisations as they pierce the muscle. It was fine and only started oozing about a month afterwards. Have kept it clean and it has healed nicely. There is a scar. If and when I have another child I would do the same again and she certainly did not suffer any side effects.
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I would definately recommend doing it now rather than later if you are going to do it. I had my daughters done at 2.5yrs as we moved from a borough that didn't do it and it was the most traumatic injection out of all of them as she was aware of what was going on and it seemed to hurt quite a bit. (Also the talking i.e Ow Mummy that hurts, what is she doing etc etc was v traumatic for me, more so than for her I think actually) It seemed to be worse than the boosters etc.

My son didn't even cry when he had his done at 9 months which was much more like it!

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Thanks ever so much for all the replies! It has certainly helped and very interesting to see that almost everyone agrees it is worse to put it off. Melbourne groover I can totally understand that once they start questioning what's happening, it would be harder to handle, especially as we are there allowing their pain to be inflicted. I don't suppose at 2.5 years they can really understand bigger picture stuff like the fact that it is for their long term health and so that they can go to adventurous countries when they are older.......(although I don't know - not even sure what a 12 month old can understand! Motherhood is one great big wondrous learning curve for me!)


Anyway, safe to say we will be getting her inoculated sooner rather than later.


Interesting to hear also that it doesn't get injected into the muscle and also the reasons why it gets injected into the arm (and brought back memories of my hospital cleaning yoof days when I had several nurses inspecting my arm to see if I had an immunity to TB or not - I had, but they can tell by finding the scar and I don't have one).

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Health visitor advised us to have this done before flying due to the recylced air on planes. Anyone know how long after the injection you are considered protected? Is it immediate, or is there a lag time for it to take effect.
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I had similar dilemmas about the bcg but eventually went for it when my daughter was 5-6 months old. About six weeks later I found a hard lump on her arm a couple of inches away from the site. We took her to Kings and if I understood correctly the consultant we saw seemed to think this was a lump of TB - I didn't actually understand exactly what he was saying but seemed to be suggesting that she might need to have TB antibiotics if it carried on growing. Fortunately it didn't. However a couple of months after that she developed very TB like symptoms - she was tired all the time, she wouldn't eat, lost a lot of weight, would get temperatures at night, a bad chest etc. It was really scary. This was followed by various appointments at Kings at which another doctor suggested that she might need to have antibiotics against TB. She was given normal antibiotics (with much grief and lots of horrible green poo)and that seemed to clear up whatever she had. She still has a tendency to get coughs and her chest is her most vulnerable area even now. I don't know what the link was between all these symtoms or exactly what the lump in her arm is. However the lump itself is no longer a problem and a doctor friend suggested having it removed only when she was older so that the scar wouldn't keep growing which it would do if we had it removed now. you are welcome to pm me.
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Excellent and very useful link


So while eucalyptus has very limited efficacy in relation to TB, and none in humans ("Intramuscular injection of the essential oil (500mg/kg body weight) inhibited the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in guinea-pigs"), it does have clear dangers for children - "Eucalypti should not be administered internally to children .... Eucalypti preparations should not be applied to the face, especially the nose, of infants or young children (17). Keep out of reach of children."

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Going to back to the post about giving them injections before they are old enough to know...what until the pre-school boosters at 4 years....I found them really traumatic as they have to have one in each arm...my little girl skipped into the nurses office full of beans and all excited about the injections (don't think she really quite understood what it was all about)...then as the first needle came towards her started leaning away and crying and I had to literally hold her down while they did it...then had to do it all over again for the other side.


Awful.


Mind you, she recovered almost immediately when she realised she got plasters AND a sticker, and especially when she was told she wouldn't have to have any more until she was 18!


Molly

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Us too Molly, 4 year old boosters were absolutely dreadful. My husband had to hold our screaming daughter down while I sat in the waiting room with my toddler pretending nothing was wrong despite the awful shrieks. To this day she has an absolute fear of doctors, needles, and anything that resembles a hospital!


Sorry for going off topic.

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I had my BCG when I was a teenager, however I don't have a scar, not even a little one, is that normal since people are saying the scar is recognised as having the BCG jab?


Magpie, they are giving babies the BCG now in areas that are considered at risk of TB, London being one of them, though I have friends who live out of London and this is not considered a risk area so their babies do not have to have the BCG jab.

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It's some years' ago now, but when my daughter had her boosters, they used two nurses to simultaneously inject in each arm - all over at once that way. Perhaps it's something you could ask for?


Re TB, my father had it and has practically lost the use of one lung - very debilitating. If you are thinking twice about having the innoculation, don't!

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I am in the same predicament with my 10 month old. I didn?t have mine until I was 13, and it wasn?t painful and nor did I scare.


Can anyone tell me how often the child needs to have the booster - is it just the once at 4 years old?

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Mine had the TB jab with no ill effects. Can't remember what age, but under one. I happened to be at the hospital to see the paediatrician just beforehand and asked if it was safe and he said it's been around for many years and it's really safe. I know you don't want a lecture about vaccination Maki but it's everyone being immunised that keeps these horrible diseases at bay - I know there have been quite a lot of measles cases locally, though not sure about TB.
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