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Hi all. I have a dilemma. My son is a fully vaccinated 16 month old. So he has had all the big shots, including MMR. We just found a great daycare for him. The only thing I don't like about it is that they allow vaccination exemptions and several kids there are unvaccinated. It makes me nervous.
I've been trying to call my pediatrician to see what he thinks the risks are to my child, but it's busy all day...guess everyone has the flu. So basically I have two questions.
1. How risky is it for a vaccinated child to go to a school like that? Aren't the ones without vaccinations the ones that are really at risk?
2. Maybe only someone else from Texas can weigh in on this...Is it really worth looking for a school that is more strict about vaccines? The state has required that schools allow exemptions since around 2003 and the director of the daycare told me it's her understanding that all schools are required to allow this. I didn't think his present part-time daycare allowed it, but maybe I just didn't know. If it's going to be the same no matter where we go, we might as well stick with the daycare where we love the teachers and the campus.
So what do y'all think? Anyone else had to make this decision?
Wisconsin allows for parents to refuse vaccines for philosophical reasons, so I'm sure my sons have come into contact with kids who are unvaccinated, and I'm sure your kids have too. My only advice is to try not to worry too much about it, since you can't protect your kids from everything and also because there are still illnesses that children can catch for which there are no vaccines yet. I just try to follow the general advice to stay healthy eg. washing hands a lot, we carry purell with us for when we can't get to a sink, telling my boys to keep stuff out of their mouths (tough one for my 8 month old!), tell them not to put their fingers in their noses etc.
I can understand why your nervous with the situation.
I remember when I was pregnant with my now 11month old is when I first found out that parents weren't vaccinating their children. I was just totally shocked. I also remember seeing a news show, on Dateline or something about this new trend. It was discussing how outbreaks of disease were being caused by the fact that un-vaccinated children were passing disease to the children too young to be vaccinated. I can't quote anything from the show, because it was over a year ago but that was the jist of it.
I live in Ohio, so I can't answer your questions about schools in Texas.
Thanks for the replies. It's nice to hear from another mom who has been there and doesn't feel like it's a huge deal. He's our first/only one and we're naturally overly nervous.
We decided to send him to the school, since we like it so much. We stayed up very late talking about it. A big factor was that he's old enough to not be in a lot of danger from older kids, he's had the big ones that you don't get until 12-15 months.
I think a lot of my nervousness is due to the fact that until I had a baby myself, I had no idea there was big anti-vaccine movement going on. I was surprised, upset and a little angry when I first found out about it, but now I can understand why some people opt out (although I do think they are misinformed-they love their kids and are following their conscience) and I understand why the government does not want to force parents to inject their kids with drugs they are scared of. Anyway...thanks for your input!
Popping in to answer your question from what I have been told in FL.
I do not vax and I was wondering about what if I am refused and was given this answer from the officials at the Schools and Health Dept. We pay our taxes too and our children have the same right to go to school so they cannot deny us.
All schools and daycares that recieve federal money must accept non vax students with exemptions. If the school refuses, they lose the funding. I believe that is how it works with all 50 states. More than likely when your kids get into school, you won't know whos vaxed and whos not because that is not public info.
Private schools and day cares do not have to abide by this unless they recieve fed $$$.
I hope that is the case with private schools here because if so, that is definitely where my kids will go. I get why some people don't vaccinate, but I think it's terribly misinformed and dangerous, and I don't want my kids anywhere near them if at all possible. For me the concern is that I don't know whether my kids have gained immunity from their vaccines or not, and with the herd immunity being destroyed, they also lose that protection. Schools are supposed to be a safe environment, so what about MY tax dollars?
Just wanted to remind you that not all people don't vax because of mainstream info nowadays. There are true and very real medical conditions not to vax. We have to sign a paper that states if there is a case of anything that kids are vaxed for, we keep our kids home. There is a happy medium. Schools are safe, how many schools have measles outbreaks? That is what I was told, I am not trying to argue. Besides, we just wanted safer vaccines not NO vaccines, unfortunately, the way things are set up, it is all or none, so instead of a child being injected with something that will cause harm (again, some cases such as mine) vs. vax for something that they might come in contact with in their life. And as our jobs as parents, we try to do the best for our children, whether it is vax and not and we should all respect that decision and not call each other misinformed and dangerous because your lumping us all together. I could call you the same thing, but I don't because I respect your decisions as a parent and I expect the same from you.
I was just trying to be friendly to a worried mom, I wasn't trying to start anything or be called names.
I know this isn't a place for debate so I won't say anything else debate-ish. I know people choose not to vax and I just deal with it. I try not to judge because their decisions come from a good place (concern for the kids).
I called my pediatrician and was told it's not mainstream to be so lax with vaccinations. I called some other good, private daycares, and so far they all allow medical, philosophical, and religious exemptions so I guess it's pretty mainstream after all. For all I know, some teachers could be unvaccinated too. In the family we all get our shots, but if the teachers don't he could have some unvaccinated care takers as well, which could be a risk for H1N1 or other things he's not old enough to be vaccinated against yet.
I even called his current daycare, and found out they allow the exemptions. I never even knew, because it wasn't as well advertised there. When I filled out the forms, there was nothing to indicate exemptions were an option, like there was with the new daycare.
Just thought that was interesting ... for anyone like me who's just learning about all this, you can't assume anything. It's likely you will end up not having a lot of options anyway, but it's nice to be informed.
Maybe you misunderstood. I think the anti vaccine movement in general is misinformed and dangerous. By that I mean all the people who don't vax because a celebrity says so, or because it MIGHT cause autism despite the studies that have found no link, or the people who freak out about every single ingredient without bothering to learn WHY that ingredient is necessary... You know, the majority of nonvaxers. I understand medical exemptions for an allergy or whatever and I wasn't even addressing you in particular, but if you choose to lump yourself in with those people and take offense, that's your choice. I stand by my assertation that the antivax movement IS misinformed and becoming increasingly dangerous as their numbers grow and I'm not gonna sugarcoat it, sorry.
Last edited by Zanahoria; October 6th, 2009 at 01:19 PM.