Family

I Chose Not To Vaccinate My Son — And That's My Parental Right

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mother holding baby

Like most parents, when I had to learn to parent my son on the fly. It’s what we do.

I didn’t really know what I thought about vaccinations when, at 2 months, my son had his first set of them. 

After all, I was vaccinated and didn’t seem to come out any worse for wear. I had also been on a bit of a “health kick” in my later 20s and early 30s, so I knew it was something I “should” look at a little more carefully. 

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But I didn't and I was sorry.

Within days of getting his first set of vaccinations, my son developed cradle cap that moved into a skin eruption that got worse and worse. 

It spread down his face, back, arms and legs until only his belly was clear — and it itched like crazy. We had to keep socks on his hands and watched in amazement as he learned how to scratch his own back by twisting in his car seat.

My son's reaction wasn't mild.

And, of course, it didn’t help him sleep. We were beside ourselves. Skin irritation is a "mild" reaction, but when your baby isn't sleeping because his whole body is inflamed, it's not mild in my book.

Eczema is not a typical reaction to vaccinations, but it’s a possibility. Seizures, brain damage, joint pain, and anaphylactic shock are also other rare possibilities.

Parents need to take responsibility for their children's health.

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Babies' immune systems are fragile, and there are so many more vaccinations given today than when I was a kid. Parents are the vanguard of their kids' health. Please know this and take it on.

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I was lucky enough to have a family doctor that supported my decision — and my right — to not go forward with any further vaccinations. (Even though she didn't agree with me.) 

Not everyone agrees with me or my choice.

I know that there are plenty of people out there who actively fight against this viewpoint.

I think it’s a shame that California's legislature, which recently passed a law removing the “personal belief” exemption from the state’s vaccine requirements for children, has taken that right away from parents. We, as parents, know our children. We have a sense of what might be right or wrong for our children. How can the state strip us of our right to protect our kids?

I believe in natural medicine.

I’ve been a homeopath for 18 years now. I’ve seen my own susceptibilities to chronic sinus infections disappear. My son's skin has been clear since he was two years old. But I also know that a shot of foreign toxic material could us back. It’s not that our immune systems are fragile, but I care what goes into our bodies. And I'm mindful.

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They say vaccinations create healthy kids. Maybe that was true at one time. I think some vaccinations are potentially valuable, but I think, these days, there are just WAY too many. (Editor's Note: Vaccinating children has proven to be safe, per scientific studies and medical professional recommendations.)

My son had a tetanus shot before camp because — I get it — he might step on a rusty nail. But it was my choice, as his parent, to allow him to receive that shot. 

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Parents have both a right and a responsibility to keep their kids healthy and safe, so I believe that, whether or not you want to vaccinate your kids, it's YOUR choice.

Michele Brookhaus RSHom(NA), CCH is a classical homeopath. Learn more on her website.

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