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The worst misconceptions parents of some unvaccinated children hold

The other day, as I was catching up on my vaccines Google Alert, I ran across a blog entry titled The Worst Things People Say About Unvaccinated Kids over at a website called Babble. In this article, the author lists what she considers to be the 5 worst things other people, presumably parents of vaccinated children, say about unvaccinated children, and she provides rebuttals to these assertions.

I am a bit torn about how to properly respond to this entry, as there is some truth to what the author says. For example , she points out that being told that ” I’m a bad parent, I will not be persuaded to see things your way.” This is true. Most parents who have chosen not to vaccinate their kids, whom I have had a chance to have any sort of meaningful interaction with, are not bad parents, but precisely the opposite is true. It is out of what they consider justified caution that they choose not to vaccinate. They are wrong in their analysis of the pros and cons of vaccines, but that does no make them bad parents. And, if your goal is to persuade them to analyze the issue properly, offending them by calling them stupid, idiots, or bad parents is not the way to go. Everyone makes wrong decisions, you and I included. So a little bit of civility and giving the other person the benefit of the doubt is called for, I think.

Having said that, let us look at her list in detail, as these thoughts, in my opinion, are something that a lot of anti-vaccine parents share.

1) You better keep your unvaccinated kid away from mine because I don’t want mine to get sick!” — You do realize that in order for my child to get yours sick, my child would have to…actually be sick? In that regard, only children who are actually ill can pass along illness. It does not matter if a child was vaccinated or not, if a child is sick, then the child can pass along the illness. Unvaccinated children aren’t magical disease-carriers. In fact, many are rarely sick. If they are, they’ll stay home! It’s just not a good argument, because anyone *can* catch an illness, and unvaccinated kids aren’t extra-special in this regard, especially not when it comes to general mingling with society.

If they are sick, they’ll stay home! Simply put that’s a bit naive. Whooping cough looks just like a simple cold in the beginning, and severe symptoms don’t start until 10-12 days after.
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