October 13, 2010

Vexing Vaccines

So, last week, I arrived to pick Colton up from his babysitter's and was promptly greeted with a "we need to talk." Now, at 6 months old, Colton is literally incapable of misbehaving, so I was quite perplexed. It turns out that one of the other little girls at Colton's daycare was not vaccinated and the babysitter had only found that out the day before.

To give you a bit of background, we were lucky enough to find Colton an in-home daycare with a lady and her daughter who have been doing this for 30+ years. I feel so incredibly fortunate that I know, without a doubt, that Colton is well taken care of while I am not able to take care of him. Because it is an in-home daycare, there are very little rules and regulations and we certainly did not have to submit any of Colton's medical records or anything to have him attend.

OK, so back to my story...one 15-month old had not had her shots because her parents believe that the alluminum levels in the vaccines were dangerous to a developing brain. They fully intended to get the little girl vaccinated at 2 years old. Now, I am not trying to get into a vaccinate/not vaccinate debate because if there is one thing I have learned about parenthood, it is that everyone does it differently and should be respected for the decisions they choose for their children.

BUT...my babysitter had what I thought was a legitimate issue with this situation, one that I think raises an interesting question. You see, at 6 months old, Colton is not fully vaccinated...not by choice, but because he is not old enough. In fact, there are even a few shots that Colton has not been able to have at all yet. Here's a handy-dandy little chart for those of you unfamiliar with these things, like I was just a mere 6 months ago...

Therefore, the babysitter worried that this child would inadvertently bring in a disease (because she was not vaccinated against it) that Colton would then get infected with (because he could not be vaccinated against it yet) and that the babysitter would then feel terrible. She asked the parents of the other girl to consider bumping up the shots that Colton hasn't yet had to prevent this, but they got very offended and took their child out of the daycare...problem solved!

I don't know why, but I found this to be a very interesting issue, though! Obviously, each parent has a right to choose what they believe to be best for their child, but at some point, do those choices conflict? And if so, who "wins?" (at least in this case, we did I guess) And does the babysitter really have a responsibility or right to say anything?

As a sidenote, I can't tell you how appreciative we were that she would risk her own reputation and income for our baby boy:) Again, so incredibly fortunate to have someone we totally trust!


  1. Michelle,
    We were fortunate to take Bennett there when he was a baby and luckily did not have those issues. Carol and Cathy are great! It's a shame the other family couldn't compromise-hope things are going well at school!

  2. I follow this a little bit on the news b/c I find the issue very interesting, especially with all the case studies. Jenny Mccarthy and the autism. I'm not sure how I feel really. I'm hoping by the time I need to really care there is more concrete evidence to sway one way or the other.


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