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    Should an unimmunized child be around my child?
    An_204432 posted:
    My husband has 2 adult children from a previous relationship. He now has 2 grandchildren that are 18 months old and 1 year old. We just had a baby who is now 2 months old. His daughter (mother of the 18 month old) refuses to get her child his immunizations. When I talked to my pediatrician about this, she told me told me that I need to be very concerned and that I need to keep my child and her child apart. She explained that the doctors in her office would refuse to continue care for unimmunized children because they don't want these children in the waiting rooms to possibly infect other children. She told me about a couple of cases that she had come across that almost killed a child because the mother refused to get the vaccines for their babies. I am afraid to even allow her child around mine but I don't want to start a family feud. My husband and I need more information to ease our minds so that we know if we're overreacting or not. Where can we find more information on this subject?

    I also just found out that his daughter has vaginal herpes. I was told that if she has a break out, she could pass this on to her baby or anyone else's baby if she's kissing them. Is that true? Any help on these matters would be greatly appreciated.
    Brubee responded:
    Hello anon. I would not let my newborn around an unimmunized child. At 2 months your baby does not have any antibodies to fight those horrible illnesses that we immunize for. I understand not wanting to start a feud but your babys safety is your first priority. Immunizations work on the " herd" mentality. Meaning the many Vaccinated protect the few who are unvaccinated. With so many parents choosing not to vaccinate there are many more cases of Infants getting sick. I feel very strongly that vaccinations are a good thing that protect not only my daughter but any child she comes in contact with. Also you should mention to your Step daughter that by not vaccinating now her child will have to have all their shots in a short amount of time if the child has to get them later for some reason. That happened to my neice, my sil didnt vaccinate then they moved to a different state where the alternate school she atteneds is in the public domain. Anyhoo she had ALL her shots in a two month period. yuk. Good luck and I hope every one understands why you must be proactive. ~B~
    tothebeach4 responded:
    Yeah, I agree with PP. I wouldn't allow anyone with children who aren't vaccinated to be around my baby. I actually had to deal with a situation that was quite similar to this. It didn't involve anyone in my family, but some friends of ours who refused to have their daughter vaccinated. Needless to say, we're not friends with them any longer because I finally had to tell them why they weren't welcome to visit. It obviously hurt their feelings and I definitely miss seeing their daughter, but my child's safety comes waaaaaay before my need to have a relationship with them.

    I would just tell your stepdaughter how you feel and if she doesn't understand, that isn't your fault. You have to do what's best for your child and having an unvaccinated child around your newborn is NOT a smart idea. Follow your doctor's advice on this one!

    As for the vaginal herpes (click for info), I can't say whether those can be passed around from kissing or not. I would assume that since she is infected in the vaginal area, they could only pass the disease through touching the affected area. However, if she and a partner were having oral sex during an active herpes outbreak, then I would be concerned about oral herpes and passing it along through kissing. Hopefully, she was educated on all the do's and don't's of herpes and is taking the proper precautions not to infect others.

    I would research the topic for your own good so you know the facts for yourself. Hope this help and good luck!

    Protect your baby!
    crunk05177 replied to tothebeach4's response:
    I is better to be safe than sorry. I would not allow my child around her children until yours is vaccinated at least.

    About the herpes....there are two types of herpes....herpes 1 and 2 (vaginal and oral). My son was three months old when someone with a cold sore on there lips kissed his cheek and from then on he would get a herpes outbreak biweekly with at least 200 blisters. As he gets older (he is now 3.5) the outbreaks are not as often thank god. Anyway...the liquid from the blister is what is contageous and that needs to come in contacts with anothers skin and apparently the virus is carried in saliva during the outbreak as well. If the girl has vaginal herpes, I wouldn't worry so much....but do NOT let anyone kiss you or your baby with a cold sore. It could kill a newborn by the way!! Or it could cause lots of damage. Thank god, beside the blisters, my son did not get any other side effects. Good luck and stand up for your child! As a parent it is your job to protect her, not to worry about other people's feelings!
    Jennifer Shu, MD responded:

    Thank you for your questions. Vaccines are recommended for very young children (under 2 years old) because their immune systems have not yet developed fully, making it easier for bacteria and viruses to multiply in their body and produce serious illness and possibly even death. An unimmunized child could pass a vaccine-preventable disease along to an infant who has not yet received his or her full schedule of vaccines and is therefore not protected. It would be easy if you could solve your problem by avoiding unimmunized people when they are sick, but people can be contagious with an illness even before they begin to show symptoms. If more children continue not to be immunized, some of the diseases that are uncommon due to the success of vaccines will show up much more often.

    Genital herpes is transmitted by skin to skin contact so kissing will not pass this type of herpes to a child. However, if a person has a cold sore on their lip, they could transfer the virus by kissing.

    For more information, be sure to talk with your pediatrician further; you may also want to check out these web sites:
    kcb2377 replied to Jennifer Shu, MD's response:
    While I'm sure everyone giving you information may have good intentions, immunized children may not catch the viruses they are vaccinated against but that does not mean that they are not carriers. In fact, a vaccinated child who has been given an active virus such as varicella, or MMR can pass those diseases on to children who are not immunized. It's best to keep any child who has recently been vaccinated away from a child who has not been immunized for a few weeks after vaccination. I work in a hospital and none of our employees were allowed to get the nasal spray for the H1N1 for fear of infecting patients. At that age the biggest fear would be peruses so just be sure that your daughter's child doesn't have a cough for the safest bet.
    In addition to that, many vaccines do not last into adulthood (google peruses outbreak in California). Which means that if non vaccinated people will put your child at risk, you and your husband should be checked for complete immunity to be sure that you two do not pass on viruses to your child.
    An_204433 replied to kcb2377's response:
    Do you know why she wikll not vacinate? Is it for religous reasons or becouse she thinks tha they hurt too much or something else? If she doesn't like the fact of getting them in bunches, many DR will spread them out for you. Try to find out why she won't and then talk about what can be done to get her to do it.
    Wish you the best of luck!!!!
    mcelroy07 replied to An_204433's response:
    I have an additional question based off of this one. I am a teacher and have a student this upcoming year that is not vacinated. Not sure of school's policies on this.(not the first child to not be vacinated). I am due at the end of July. Is there any chance that I may bring something home from this student into my home and infect my newborn? I will be going back to work when my child is 10 weeks old. As a child I was fully vacinated and had the H1N1 shot and flu shot this past winter.
    Dan Brennan, MD replied to kcb2377's response:
    The discussion about vaccines and vaccine preventable diseases is so important. Thank you for offering your perspectives.

    As a pediatrician (and parent of a 7 week old baby) in California, it is so scary to be in the middle of an epidemic of pertussis. In 2010, we should no longer have to fear outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases such as pertussis, measles or H. Flu meninigitis.

    In order for our vaccination programs to be effective, 90-95% of people within a community must be vaccinated. When levels dip below these percentages, it leaves us at risk for outbreaks. Those most vulnerable will be young babies too young to have completed their vaccinations and those with fragile immune systems such as cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.

    To address one incorrent comment above - it is NOT true that a child who receives a live virus vaccine such as MMR or Varicella can transmit measles, mumps, rubella or chicken pox to individuals with an intact immune systems. The strains used in these vaccines are weakened to the point that they are not contagious. In other words, you do not need to keep your recently vaccinated child away from other healthy children.

    That being said, it is my hope that all parents will choose to immunize their children. I dread the day that I will have to go to the hospital to console a family who has a child with a vaccine preventable disease.

    Despite media hype, there is no evidence to link vaccines to any developmental delays. We do have years of evidence, however, to prove that children who do develop measles encephalitis, menigitis, pertussis, varicella encephalitis, etc can have permanent brain damage.

    Unless you are a gambler - a gambler willing to risk the health of your child, I urge you to ignore the erroneous hype and talk to your pediatrician about the benefits of vaccinating your child at the recommended intervals.
    kimberlyalane905 replied to Dan Brennan, MD's response:
    Vaccinating your child is more of a gamble.. i think ill risk the all most non-exsistant diseases vs giving my poor innocent baby a LOAD of drugs before she turns one. I wonder whos idea it was to come up with a vaccine schedule..oh yeah the drug companies who make MILLIONS ..of course they are going to say its safe.. honestly the hep B shot at birth? Im pretty sure my baby isn't going to be having sex or sharing needles..and the chances of some one kissing my baby with hep b on an open sore are slim. If you really want to help your child read up on your vaccines before hand and decide which ones are right for your baby... did you know the pertusis (DPT) for a 2month old baby is the same amount they give a kindergadener hmmmm???

    ps alot of time drug companies give dr. gifts$$$ to push certain drugs
    jlenn replied to kimberlyalane905's response:
    These illnesses are almost nonexistent precisely because people vaccinate. The bacteria and germs that cause them still exist, it's just that vaccinated people are safe from them. If more people refuse vaccinations, the diseases will make a big-time comeback. (As recently as 2000, 800,000 children worldwide died each year from measles. But not in the US.... because of the vaccine.)

    As you say, reading up on vaccines is a great idea. And whether to vaccinate or not is your choice, after weighing the risks. But saying that you don't feel it is necessary because the diseases are nonexistent seems, well, a little backward -- because, as I said, that will change with fewer vaccinated kids. And if the rarity of these illnesses makes it safe for your children not to be vaccinated, it's because most of the rest of us do vaccinate. So make your decisions about this understanding the illnesses, and the risks associated with those illnesses.
    niki20_02 replied to kimberlyalane905's response:
    You know those germs are still out there. Search the web and there are cases of there diseases in the US. There are not many cases, because most people get their kids vaccinated. Whooping cough is on a come back because people came of with the strange idea that the drug companies are making up the need for vaccinations to make money. There are serious outbreaks of this because some people think it is bad to get their children vaccinated. Sure if an older child catches wooping cough its not so bad, but when it is passes to an infant it can kill them. Do you know that Tetnus germs come from the dirt and there is no cure? It is a horrible painful disease where the entire body eventually contracts very painfully until the child dies. The only thing is prevention through vaccination. Our PEDS Nursing instructor showed us pictures of children with this disease. People say it is everyones choice about vaccinating children. The child doesnt get a choice. The parent makes it for them. I think it is scary to encouage someone not to vaccinate their child. My child is fully vaccinated. I so hated to see her get them! I cried seeing her cry, but I would cry worse if something happened to her and I could have prevented it. As for Hep B... you dont have to have sex or share needles to get it. It can live on surfaces for a long time and you can pick it up if you have a cut or scrape from the surface. Hep B is very much out there. Please listen to what your doctors say.
    Dan Brennan, MD replied to kimberlyalane905's response:
    Kimberly, thank you for taking the time to respond to this important thread.

    I can assure you that there are unfortunately real cases of pertussis, tetanus, measles, mumps, H. Flu meningitis, chicken pox, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rotavirus, strep pneumococcus, meningococcus and human papilloma virus diagnosed each year in the United States. Your local and state health departments can give you a detailed report of what has been reported in your community and state.

    You specifically mentioned the Hep B vaccine and I would like to clarify, in part, why the hepatitis B vaccine is so important. An infant who contracts Hepatitis B from birth can develop chronic, severe and permanent liver disease. You do not hear much about these cases in this country because we have worked hard to prevent them. OBGYN's try their best to screen mom's prenatally and pediatricians try to offer universal newborn vaccination to prevent transmission from unsuspecting moms. I can tell you that I have personally treated young children who developed liver cancer from Hep B acquired at birth.

    More concerning, however, is the notion that Hep B is only contracted from sex or sharing needles. There are many documented cases of Hep B in children who have not engaged in these risky behaviors. In fact, there are children who have contracted Hep B from another family member, a teacher or even their dentist who had Hep B. How the transmission occurred is somewhat of a mystery, but it indicates that this virus may spread in ways that we do not completely understand.

    I will share two real-life scenarios with you:

    One was an unimmunized child who needed an emergency blood transfusion after an accident. Once the parents realized that there was a small chance of contracting Hep B from the donor blood, they realized why their doctor had encouraged them to get the vaccine ahead of time.

    The other story comes from a child who was diagnosed with a genetic kindey disease and was in dire need of a kidney transplant. Since this child had not been immunized against Hep B, it delayed the opportunity to receive a donor organ until the vaccine series could be completed.
    Jenslittleones replied to kimberlyalane905's response:
    The reason most of those diseases USED TO BE "almost non-existant" as you said is becuase most people were vaccinating. Now as more and more people are choosing not to vacc these totally preventable diseases are coming back and affecting the ones too young to have had a chance to become vacc.

    Few points to consider: If you choose not to vacc on the CDC recommended schedule your insurance may not pay for the vacc at all and some are upwards of $1k out of pocket.

    Also if your child never recieves the vacc. they may not be allowed to travel to certain countires which (INTELLIGENTLY I MIGHT ADD) require vacc proof before entering. Might not sound like a big deal now but when they are 20 and want to travel abroad and can't you'll be to blame.

    Also, it is unhealthy to receive some of the vacc later in life so if say becuase of a bunch of people dont vacc and something comes back in huge numbers your un-vacc child would be out of luck and unable to quickly get vacc. Years of research has gone into these vacc and have proved their safety.
    An_204434 replied to Dan Brennan, MD's response:
    Just an FYI here regarding the Hep B. I have read off a case in a medical study that documentes the 10 year old child got Hep B from eating a very rare burger at a resturant. It can be gotten in many places, many that you don;t think of. I have worked with a friend who had this also and the only way that they can figure out that they got it was from using the same restroom as another infected person that worked with them. It can be gotten in many different ways. NOT all of them are documented yet. Yes the shots are painful for a second, but the diseases are so much worse.

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