Baby Eddie was born smack-dab in the middle of December in 2017, which was the beginning of an absolutely brutal winter. By nature, I’m not an alarmist, and I never thought about having hand sanitizers nearby and asking people to wash their hands before they picked him up (hat tip to those parents who do do this, though!)
Mark and I have been pretty pragmatic about how we raise him- he crawls around on the floor, he spends most of his days with either our dog or the babysitter’s dog, he puts EVERYTHING into his mouth and, frankly, we didn’t sanitize bottles and we don’t sanitize toys. Knock wood, the kid has been healthy as a horse.
But the one thing that was never at question? Vaccinations. A recent measles outbreak in Michigan is scaring the bajeezus out of everyone, and Mark called Eddie’s pediatrician last week to double-check that he’d already gotten that vaccine (he got it at his 12 month visit.) We stay current on all vaccinations, not only for the baby, but for ourselves as well.
When we took a prenatal baby prep class, I remember the instructor mentioning that grandparents frequently make comments that “we didn’t need all these things when you were babies, and you lived. We had blankets in the crib, you slept in our bed with us, and everything was fine.” Yeah. Luckily, I turned out ok. Also, the infant mortality rate has dropped significantly since parents stopped putting babies to bed with blankets and bumpers and stuffed animals. When you know better, you do better. And today’s science teaches us that through immunization, we can now protect infants and young children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age 2. In order for your children to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, they should be vaccinated according to the CDC’s recommended schedule.
What hurts my heart is the argument that people who choose not to vaccinate their kids espouse: “your kids are vaccinated, so they’ll be fine if mine are carrying measles!” Eddie couldn’t get the MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine until he was 12 months old. Some kids can’t get vaccinated at all. Choosing not to vaccinate your children and continuing to let them interact in public without notifying all parents and families in your area is, in my opinion, the height of selfishness. If you have chosen not to vaccinate your kid, you owe it to society to make that choice known.
Visit I Vaccinate for tons more information, as well as the sobering statistic that only 58% of Michigan’s toddlers are up to date on their vaccinations. How scary. I owe it to this little guy to keep him safe, healthy, and protected, and getting his vaccinations is as natural to me as giving him a drink of water.
Mark called the doctor yesterday and asked for access to his and my vaccination record. The doctor told him that MMR records are spotty pre-1994, but they can order blood work to determine whether we’ve had the vaccine. We will both head in this week to get the test done and will roll up our sleeve if we need the vaccine. *I signed a HIPAA release to let him talk to my doc- make sure you do that if you want your spouse to be able to access your info!