Monday, June 20, 2011

To Vaccinate or Not

Back when we were expecting Mikaela, we researched a lot of things.  One of those things was vaccinations.  Ultimately, we decided against vaccinating our children unless circumstances changed.  Our pediatrician accepted our decision without fuss, though he asked use to consider vaccinating against tetanus.  Over the years, he's joked with the kids, "Oh, you're all here!  Time for shots!"  But other than joking, he's never pushed them on us.

Well, our circumstances changed, and we began to reconsider our decision.

When we lived in Tacoma, we didn't allow our kids to play in the dirt.  We lived within the smelter plume.  We had our soil tested at one point, and it was positive for both lead and arsenic.  The chances of them receiving a puncture wound from a tetanus-bacteria contaminated object was low.

Last fall we moved to Lacey.  We have a nice big back yard.  There is a large, old planter box (not above ground) overgrown with weeds back there.  We thought it would make a nice dirt pit for the kids to play in and started pulling weeds.  They love it even though only 1/3 of it has been cleared of weeds.  It's full of rocks and nails.  In fact, our whole yard seems to be covered in nails, old and new.  Some of the nails are right on the surface of the grass and dirt; some are buried.  We have no idea why there are so many everywhere. 

They spend time out there digging, wetting it down, stepping in the calf deep mud puddle they've dug, etc. The risk of them sustaining a puncture wound is much higher than it was.  We talked about it, and the boys got their first vaccination ever today.  Sam got the Td; Josh got the Dt.  They are scheduled for their second dose in four weeks.  The girls will start their sets at their annual check ups coming soon.  Hopefully, they won't have any reactions.  If anyone does, I would expect it to be Sam since he has the most allergy issues.  Hopefully, no one will find rusty, bacteria-laden nails to step on until after their second shot.

As my hubby put it: we aren't completely unreasonable.

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