Illnesses and infections
- Children and youth with type 1 diabetes in school
- Colds in children
- Common infections and your child
- Croup (laryngitis)
- Dehydration and diarrhea in children: Prevention and treatment
- Ear infections
- Febrile seizures
- Fever and temperature taking
- Fifth disease (Erythema Infectiosum)
- Hand, foot and mouth disease
- Head lice
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Influenza in children
- Lyme disease
- Meningococcal disease
- Pertussis (Whooping cough)
- Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)
- Pneumococcal infections
- Reduce the pain of vaccination in children and teens: A guide for parents
- RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus)
- Strep throat
- Urinary tract infections
Tests and treatments
- A parent’s guide to the participation of children and teens in medical education
- Fever and temperature taking
- Health research in children: What parents need to know
- How to make sure antibiotics are the right choice
- Making treatment decisions for babies, children and teens
- Natural health products and children
- Planning care for children and youth with serious medical conditions
- Preventing conjunctivitis (pinkeye) in your newborn
- Reducing the danger of infection for children with spleen problems
- Testing for HIV during pregnancy
- Using over-the-counter drugs to treat cold symptoms
- When your child needs a red blood cell transfusion
Vaccines for children and youth
MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella) vaccine
What is measles?
Measles is a severe and highly contagious respiratory infection. It is not “an ordinary infection that all children should have.” Sometimes measles is called “red measles” (or rubeola). It should not be confused with “German measles,” which is another name for rubella.
What is mumps?
Mumps is a contagious infection caused by a virus. Mumps is most common in children, although sometimes adults get it too.
What is rubella?
Rubella – sometimes called “German measles” – is also caused by a virus and is different from measles. Rubella is generally a mild disease in children. In pregnant women, rubella is serious because it can harm an unborn child.
How can I protect my child from measles, mumps and rubella?
Vaccination can protect your child.
In Canada, children get two doses of the MMR vaccine:
- The first shot is given at 12 to 15 months of age.
- The second shot is given at 18 months OR between ages 4 to 6 years (before your child starts school).
It is safe to give the second MMR shot as soon as one month after the first MMR shot, if needed.
In many provinces, the chickenpox vaccine is combined with the MMR vaccine (the combination vaccine is called MMR-V).
If your child is between 6 and 12 months old and you live or are travelling to an area that has a known measles outbreak, talk to your child’s doctor about getting an early dose of the MMR vaccine. Keep in mind that your baby will still need to get her regular MMR shot when she is 12 months old.
Older children and adults born before 1970 and who have not been vaccinated or have not had these infections should also be vaccinated.
How safe is the MMR vaccine?
- This vaccine is very safe and effective.
- There may be some redness, swelling, or pain at the place where the needle went into the arm or leg. Your doctor can tell you how to control the pain.
- Between 6 to 23 days after the vaccine, some people will have a mild fever and sometimes a mild rash lasting 1-3 days. Occasionally adolescents and adults have joint pain (usually in the knees and fingers).
- Fever is more common with MMR-V vaccine than with MMR. MMR-V vaccine may also cause a few chickenpox-like lesions around the place where the needle went in.
Who should not get MMR vaccine?
- Because it is a live (weakened) virus vaccine, it cannot be given to pregnant women or to people who have weakened immune systems.
- Anyone who has a serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine (swelling of the face or lips, difficulty breathing or a drop in blood pressure) should not get it again unless seen by a specialist and vaccinated in a special clinic that can control severe reactions.
Reviewed by the following CPS committees:
Infectious Diseases and Immunization Committee
Last Updated: July 2015