It was in 1966 when Hepatitis B virus was first discovered. During those years, it was said that at least 350 million people have Hepatitis B infection. This virus damages the liver and it can cause liver diseases. Hepatitis B can be prevented by having Hepatitis B vaccination.
Hepatitis B and children
Children with Hepatitis B are mostly infected when birth or their mothers have Hepatitis B infection. This is because there is Hepatitis B vaccine hence children are no longer susceptible to this virus. Despite this belief, there are reports claiming that there are children who missed their Hepatitis B vaccine and causing them to be infected with the virus.
Why miss Hepatitis B vaccine?
A data shows that 33,000 children that are below the age of 10 are infected with Hepatitis B and these children are not born from Hepatitis B positive mothers. The reason why they were infected is because they missed their complete vaccine when they were young. As for children who were born to Hepatitis B positive moms, at least 12,000 were said to be infected with Hepatitis B virus because they did not receive their vaccines on time – meaning they should receive their first shot a few hours after birth to lessen the chance of being infected.
Children at home
Children at home are not safe from Hepatitis B virus either. Since this virus can be transferred through body liquids such as saliva or mucus, children being kissed by adults that are infected with Hepatitis B virus are becoming more susceptible as well. Children that are sharing towels and other personal things also cause high transmission of Hepatitis B virus at home. As for adults, adults that are sharing personal things like needles and razors are at higher risk of getting infected with Hepatitis B virus.
How to protect kids from Hepatitis B
For mothers who are Hepatitis B positive, there is a way to protect your little one from being infected with Hepatitis B virus. Studies have shown that being born from a Hepatitis B positive mother is not enough to cause the infection but rather it happens after birth, when the baby is exposed to the mother’s body fluids and blood. For this reason, it is important to have the baby vaccinated against Hepatitis B virus a few hours after birth. It is highly recommended for mothers with Hepatitis B infection to inform their doctors that they have Hepatitis B infection prior to giving birth so the doctor can prepare what is needed for baby’s vaccination.
For kids that are born from Hepatitis B negative mothers, it is important to complete the full Hepatitis B vaccination that is often given in three to four doses. Completion of the said vaccine is the only way to make sure that your kid is protected from the said virus. As your kid grows, teach them proper hygiene as well because although they are already protected, if they get exposed to Hepatitis B repeatedly due to poor hygiene, chances are they will still get infected.