There are so many illnesses that a baby can be susceptible to and one of them is measles. Measles often occurs in breakouts because it is a very contagious illness and without adequate protection, your baby could contract it too. Measles can be very serious and, according to the CDC, 1 to 3 out of 1000 people could die from measles. In Nigeria, measles is the fifth leading cause of child mortality from five years and below. Some of the common symptoms of measles include rashes, fever, runny nose, watery eyes, small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the early stage, and they could get worse as the illness continues to spread.
There is a vaccine, measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, that offers protection against measles but it can only be taken by children who are 12 months and above. This means that those 11 months below who are not eligible for the vaccine are at risk of getting measles.
Although measles vaccine is available, measles is still a prevailing endemic disease in Nigeria. One study showed that measles is still burden to Nigeria, especially many parts of Northern Nigeria. In this post, we would be looking at how to protect your unvaccinated baby from measles.
Keep Them Indoors
The first thing you should do is to limit how much your baby goes out. There is no telling what is out there and if there is a measles outbreak, there is no reason why your child should be outside. Only take them outside when it is necessary and when you do, avoid getting them in a crowd and especially in contact with people who have not been completely immunized.
Keep Your House Germ Free
Another thing you should do to protect your baby is to keep your house as clean as possible, leaving almost no chances for germs. Wash dirty clothes, clean the floors and wipe dirty surfaces. Clean up every area where germs could breed. Clean the baby’s chair and tables, and always wear them clean clothes. Having a clean house would make your baby safe from other illnesses as well.
Breastfeed The Baby
Breastmilk is very important for a child. Not only would it provide them with the nutrients they need to grow but it also contains unique antibodies that would protect your baby and help them fight illnesses and infections. Feeding your baby breastmilk would boost their immunity, protecting them from measles and other illnesses.
Wash Your Hands
You as the parent have the bigger role to play in protecting your child from measles. Since you are the one that comes in contact with them the most, you should do your best to ensure that your hands are clean at all times, especially before you handle the baby. This habit should also be spread to other people in the house such as relatives and visitors. Let everyone wash their hands before coming in contact with the baby.
Protecting your baby from measles is very important but easy to do until they are eligible for the vaccine. If you are travelling out of the country with a child who is between the age of 6-11 months, the child would have to receive one dose of the MMR vaccine and take two doses after they clock 12 months. The measles vaccine is available in Nigeria. The price of MMR vaccine in Nigeria is about $82.499, which is about ₦31,432. This is according to the CDC vaccine price.
Children who are 12 months and older would have to receive three doses of the MMR vaccine. One when they turn 12 months and the other two would follow months later. This would offer them protection from measles and other illnesses.