Posted by: | 2017/01/17

My sister is being unreasonable and dramatic?

Hi doctor. My son (7) just got german measles, he's fine and his rash is almost gone. I phoned my sister and told her about it because she's pregnant and I'm aware it's not good for pregnant women to catch it so she must stay away until it passes. She asked is he not vaccinated and I told her we do not vaccinate as we do not see any need to have our child injected with all kinds of things and having him get sick from it for no reason. She just told me that she hopes he gets well soon, that was a few nights ago. She just now sent me a Whatsapp to inform me that she must unfortunately rescind my son's invitation to her daughter's birthday party because she doesn't want to risk exposing anyone. I told her it's insane because the party is only NEXT WEEKEND, he will not be contagious any more by then, how must I explain that to my son anyway?? She told me she doesn't want to be mean to my son, but it would be irresponsible to have him in between her own children and their friends now that she knows he's not vaccinated, it's up to me to decide how I want to tell him and I must get him vaccinated when he's completely better if I don't want it to become a permanent thing. This is all so ridiculous to me, if her children are so perfectly vaccinated then they are protected anyway and I wonder if she asks if all their friends have been vaccinated too or they are also not welcome anymore! She's acting as if my son is a walking cesspool of disease because he caught a childhood disease, oh no, so terrible! It is also not as if most of them aren't minor and easy to manage today anyway, why is it such big issue for her??

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2017/01/18

It sounds as though you have been dangerously and seriously misinformed about the risks and benefits of childhood inoculations, and it would be wise for you to see a good local pediatrician, with your child, and after he has assessed the child, get full and expert information about the risks and benefits and the best plan for your child.
There is no expert, professional dispute that though childhood inoculations can occasionally have complications, that are generally safe and very much safer than for your child to experience those illnesses unprotected.  Indeed,  the fact that your child has apparently not yet experienced one of these illnesses ( which can cause serious damage and even death, in a child ) is probably because most or all of the children he has been mixing with HAVE been inoculated and so are not infecting him.
Your sister is absolutely right to be concerned, and the risk to her and her unborn child of German measles while pregnant are really serious.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Tegan | 2017/01/19

Many childhood diseases can turn quite serious... Even german measles, that is known to generally be mild, can cause severe secondary complications such as pneumonia or similar infection of the brain. The main problem with most of these diseases is that they are caused by viruses, meaning there is no magical antibiotic band-aid to slap on and make them go away once your child has it, doctors can only treat secondary symptoms as best as they can and hope that it gives your child's body enough leeway to actually fight the virus off by itself before their body is completely overwhelmed.. And while this is happening your child can also be in extreme pain. All preventable, I don't know why any parent wouldn't take precaution for their children's sake. You must also then realize that it's not just about you and what you feel is right for your own child, you need to be considerate of the people around you too- Many people cannot get vaccinated for legitimate reasons (very young babies, children who have a comprised immune systems etc.) and it usually those people who are most in need of protection from illness because they are incapable of fighting it off. They rely on herd immunity that is provided by the majority getting vaccinated to prevent the spread of those diseases. I would do the exact same thing if I were in your sister's position. It's selfish and stupid to not vaccinate if you do not have a legitimate reason not to... You are putting your child's well-being on the line as well as endangering other people for no reason. Vaccines exist for a reason, they are also available for next to no cost so that everyone who is willing is able to make use of them.. Just get your son vaccinated and there will be no issue, it's in everyone's best interest.

Reply to Tegan
Posted by: ED | 2017/01/19

You poor misinformed person. In this day and age with free access to inoculations against diseases like polio which is life threatening and can leave a child crippled. Please get your childs vaccinations up to date as soon as possible. It is the responsible thing to do.

Reply to ED
Posted by: Realist | 2017/01/18

I concur with CyberShrink. I don't know how was your 7 year old son accepted at crèche and Primary school this year, if he has not been vaccinated. Your sister have every right and her grounds are reasonable to barr your son rom the party. Please take your son for Vaccination ASAP. He could die from polio and a whole range of other things. I'm certain you have had many needled inserted on your skin before. His health sure should matter more than the pain of the prick caused by a needle. Good Luck!

Reply to Realist | 1 comment (hide)
Posted by: Tegan | 2017/01/19

Fortunately, the polio vaccine is given to newborns soon after birth when most parents are so over moon and disorientated that you could hand them a document to sign there home away and they would sign it without even looking ;P

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