Caring For Your Child After Vaccinations

At Gateway Pediatrics we understand that parents are often anxious when their baby has to get shots (immunizations). This page tells you what to expect after vaccinations and how to care for your child.



  • Most children will run only a low grade fever after shots and do not require any specific treatment.
  • There is evidence that giving fever reducers might decrease the immunity that your child will build after a vaccine.
  • If your child develops a fever of 101.5°F (38.6°C), you may give Acetaminophen (2-4 months of age) or Ibuprofen (6 months of age or older). DO NOT give Aspirin.
  • Give your baby extra fluids for the next 2 days (infants – breast or bottle; children – water, juice, etc.)
  • Dress your child in light weight comfortable clothes. Do not bundle or wrap in blankets.


Measures to reduce soreness, redness, or swelling at injection site:

  • Place cool, clean wash cloth over sore area.
  • Encourage movement of the arm or leg that is sore.
  • Give pain reliever as needed.


For a few hours after receiving shots, a baby/child may be fussy and may not want to eat.


  • Offering fluids even if only in small amounts at a time to promote comfort and hydration.
  • Keep your home at a comfortable temperature so that your baby/child does not get too warm.
  • Extra cuddling, rocking, hugs may help after vaccines.
  • Administer pain reliever as needed.

RASH: After MMR and Chickenpox (Varicella) Vaccines:

  • Can cause fever about 6-12 days following injection which will last 2-3 days.
  • May also develop mild pink, rash, mainly on the trunk, which lasts 2-3 days.
  • No treatment is necessary for the rash.
  • Your child is not contagious.
  • Mild fever begins 17-28 days after the chickenpox vaccine which lasts about 1-3 days.
  • Chicken pox rash may develop at the injection site or be scattered over the body; rash develops 5-26 days after the vaccine and usually lasts a few days.
  • Children with these rashes are not contagious unless lesions are widespread and draining fluid. For clarification please contact our office.


  • Has a temperature of more than 101 and will not come down in 4 hours after the correct dose of Tylenol/Motrin.
  • Is pale, limp, or hard to awake
  • Cries for more than 3 hours straight
  • Allergic reaction (swelling of face, mouth, or throat or breathing difficulties)
  • Has a strange, high-pitched cry
  • Has a seizure (body shakes, twitches, or jerks)

Useful Links For Parents:

Seattle Children’s Hospital

After The Shots..









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