Parental Approach to the Prevention and Management of Fever and Pain Following Childhood Immunizations: A Survey Study
Antipyretic analgesics are commonly used to prevent and treat adverse events following immunizations. Current practice discourages routine use due to possible blunting of vaccine immune responses. We surveyed 150 parents/caregivers of recently vaccinated 6- and 15-month-old children to determine the prevalence of and beliefs regarding antipyretic analgesics use around vaccinations. 11% used them prophylactically, before vaccination. Use in the first 48 hours after vaccination was 64%, primarily to prevent and/or treat fever and pain. Acetaminophen was administered 2.6 times more frequently than ibuprofen. Ibuprofen was used more in the 15-month compared with the 6-month-old children (28% vs 7.4%, respectively, P = .001). The majority of caregivers disagreed with their use for fever (53%) or pain (59%). Antipyretic analgesic use, including prophylaxis, around vaccinations was common in our study population. Effective interventions are needed to target parents/caregivers to eliminate unnecessary antipyretic analgesic use around vaccination time and foster nonmedication alternatives.