Today we gave the girls their 6 month immunizations. Immunizations seem to be a touchy subject right now, but I am going to hit the nail on the head and share with you my opinions on the subject. Let me start with saying this: I support immunizations 100%.
Now that I have shared that, there are some important things that I feel like parents need to be aware of, or reminded of when they have children.
Why, you may ask?
I don’t think that people are properly informed on the subject, and with a husband who is well versed in the language of vaccinations as a Registered Nurse, I feel like it is my responsibility to share with you what I know.
First, let’s talk about vaccinations.
It is SO important to vaccinate your child. Not only for your child’s health, but also to prevent others from getting sick who can’t get vaccinated. Think of the cancer patient. Think of the newborn babies who haven’t gotten their vaccines yet. Think of the people with immune deficiencies.
Once you have your baby, Alberta Health Services recommends you to vaccinate your child two months after they are born, at two, four and six months as well as at one year, eighteen months and four and a half. You can check with your public health office in your area if you live outside Alberta for their recommended vaccination schedule. While babies are getting vaccinations right away, it’s important to remember that they don’t get all their immunizations at once. An important one which I think most parents would like earlier is their measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox shots, which children don’t get until they are one year old. Due to this vaccine that happens later in the child’s life, many parent’s avoid taking their child into public places to avoid the risk of infection.
What I think some parent’s forget is that if your child is breast feeding, YOU are helping to protect them against these diseases (not as much as immunizing them would), this is due to the antibodies you are giving to your children from yourself while breastfeeding to your child (if you are vaccinated yourself). While I don’t recommend putting your baby in a room with someone who has the chicken pox, I think it’s very important to remember that you don’t have to lock yourself away from the outside world for the first year of your child’s life. Just a reminder, I’m NOT saying don’t get vaccinated. I’m saying don’t lock yourself away from the outside world.
Locking yourself away from other children will just increase your child’s risk of getting sick later in life because they won’t have been introduced to little germs and bacteria that will help build their immune system. DON’T AVOID EXPOSING YOUR CHILD TO VIRUSES OR BACTERIA. Obviously, there are always exceptions, but generally speaking, trust in your own vaccinations and help build your child’s immune system UNTIL THEY ARE ABLE TO GET VACCINATED THEMSELVES.
Other suggestions that will help build your child’s immune system is avoiding using products that get rid of 99.9% of the germs in your house. This kills both the good and bad bacteria in your house, also causing your children to become to susceptible to more germs.
Special thanks to Jarrett who imparted his knowledge into this post and found me links to reputable studies regarding my statements. We will be doing a Nurse Knowledge post once a month to help keep those who are less knowledgeable in family health matters in the loop!