Biological basis of child health 14: understanding the immune system, vaccines, allergy and disease
CPD    

Biological basis of child health 14: understanding the immune system, vaccines, allergy and disease

Kate Davies Associate professor of paediatric prescribing and endocrinology, London South Bank University, and honorary research fellow in paediatric endocrinology, Queen Mary University of London, London, England
Rebecca Batt Advanced nurse practitioner in paediatric allergy, Evelina London Children’s Healthcare, London, England
Doreen Crawford Consultant editor of Nursing Children and Young People and nurse adviser, Crawford-McKenzie, Colsterworth, Lincolnshire, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To refresh your knowledge of innate and acquired immunity and the different types of immune response

  • To reflect on the importance of immunisations and how to explain it to parents

  • To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD, or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

This article, the 14th in a series on the biological basis of child health, focuses on the immune system. It provides an overview of pathogens to which the human body is susceptible, some of the milestones in the embryological development of the immune system, and some of the mechanisms of innate and acquired immunity. The article explains the importance of immunisations and provides examples of immune system dysfunctions and autoimmune conditions that children may experience. It is essential that children’s nurses have an understanding of how the immune system develops, how it is structured and how it functions, since such knowledge will be relevant in the care of a range of conditions where nurses need to explain infection, inflammation and immune processes to children and parents.

Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2021.e1341

Peer review

This article has been subject to open peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

@sausmash

Correspondence

kate.davies@lsbu.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Davies K, Batt R, Crawford D (2021) Biological basis of child health 14: understanding the immune system, vaccines, allergy and disease. Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2021.e1341

Published online: 04 October 2021

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