Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Yes! Immunize your child!

Don't listen to her!
I love the internet, but sometimes it's too easy to find out-of-date or just plain bad information.  There was a scare some years ago that it was immunizations that cause autism.  It's not true, but you'll still find lots of junk out there about that idea.  There's a lot in print, too.

About two years ago,  my wife was out of town on business for the better part of a week.  Ben got a flu shot.  It was a little hard to get -- this was back when h1n1 was in the news.  I had just read Jenny McCarthy's book (I refuse to link it), even though I was pretty sure what she said about the immunization/autism link was crap.

That night, a half hour after I put Ben to bed, I heard him crying and yelling.  I went in and saw that he had vomited.  He had a high fever, too.  I washed him off, gave him Motrin, dressed him in clean pajamas and tidied the mess. While I was sitting there with him in my lap, waiting for the Motrin to kick in, a little part of me panicked.  I was already tired from a long week (this was on a Friday), and my spouse was all the way across the country.   What if Jenny McCarthy had something?  What if my kid was extra-susceptible to something in vaccines?  Regardless, he was having some kind of reaction -- I should tell my doctor, right?

I called our pediatrician's office (which was closed, this being a Friday night) and got the on-call guy to call me back. He basically said to avoid dehydration, stick to a BRAT diet, and keep the fever down.  I think he was annoyed to be talking to me, but it helped me banish the McCarthy fears.  In the end, Ben was sick for about a week.

A few months later, I came across this book: Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure .  I'll warn you -- this book may make you really mad.  If you could find a culprit -- someone to blame -- what would you want to do?  There are people in this book who took those feelings and pointed them at vaccines.  The reason they did it was to make money by selling alternate "safe" vaccines.  In doing so, they scared people away from getting their kids vaccinated.

Tip o the day:

Find your public library online and reserve books there.  You can see when they're ready for pickup and just run in and grab them.  I don't know about your kid, but mine doesn't like to let me browse leisurely at the library...or anywhere, really.


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