By Barbara Parker, RN, ARNP, CNM
Q. My son had four vaccinations a few weeks ago. Three of the injection sites became red and swollen, and he ran a fever of 102 that night (his temp was back to normal the next day). The redness at the injection sites is gone except for some slight bruising at one site, but he still has hard knots under the skin. The knots don't seem to be getting better, and someone told me I should massage them or they might calcify or encapsulate. Is it normal for them to last this long? Should I do anything, or will they go away on their own soon?
A. This is normal, and they will go away on their own.
Next time, you might try giving him a little tylenol BEFORE you go for his shots, and then you will skip that fever and misery altogether! I usually advise my patients to give tylenol in the weight-appropriate dose every four hours for 24 hours after shots--that prevents most of the fussy stuff before it even starts.