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It is very reasonable for a parent to worry about vaccines. For one thing, most of them involve sticking the baby or child with a sharp object, thus making the little one cry, and it would be abnormal to not have an automatic reaction to that. For another thing, they are drugs, in a sense. When the little one is ill, and you call in to the health care facility in the hopes that there will be some useful advice, most of the time you hear "No, we no longer recommend giving [fill in the blank with a medicine you thought might work] to children under [one or two months older than your child]. But if [symptom] persists for more than [amount of time that is 12 hours longer than the symptoms ever persist], call back."
So, on one hand, health professionals are telling us that our desire to slip the little one a little cold medicine is undesirable, but they, the health professionals, want to stick our babies with needles in order to deliver literally dozens of different concoctions. Indeed, the experience is so traumatic for the babies that the pediatricians will have nothing to do with it. Typically, if your child is seen by a pediatrician at the same visit that s/he would receive a vaccination, the pediatrician will look the child over first, then get the hell out of Dodge before the inoculations nurse shows up with the needles. This way, the child does not learn to hate the doctor. This whole experience is tough for any parent, and it must be especially tough for adults who happen to have Trypanophobia, which is not very uncommon.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Greg laden has another excellent post over at Science Blogs. I encourage you to click on over and read the whole essay. And make sure to follow the recomendations to the two Paul Offit books, I really can't recommend them enough. I have both of them on my Kindle. Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All and Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure Note the titles. Dr. Offit doesn't pull punches when it comes to the dangerous lies and distortions of the anti-vax pro-disease movement, and the preying they do on frightened parents who really don't know what is happening to their child.