For me the decision to vaccinate our kids was a no brainer. I’m a numbers person. When I looked at the chances of suffering side effects from immunisations compared with the chances of complications arising from the various viruses we were trying to quash, the vaccine always won out. I’m not going to go into advocacy mode here, aside from stating my own choice and briefly outlining the reasons. As parents, the decisions we make for the little people we’re responsible for are very personal.
So what’s this all about then?
Cinderella spent what should have been her second week at school home with chicken pox. She had a very happy weekend complaining occasionally of being itchy. As she sometimes suffers from heat rash, and it was a hot weekend I naturally assumed that’s what was causing her discomfort. I packed her off to school on Monday, warned her teacher that she might be a bit itchy and to call me if it got bad, then made my way home without another thought about it.
By the time she got home from school the telltale spots had erupted on her tummy so it was off to the doctor for us.
But she’s been immunised!
The doctor confirmed the diagnosis of chicken pox and ordered Cinderella to stay home from school until the spots had dried up. Second week of Prep! Can you believe it?
And yes, even though your child has been immunised, they may still be affected by the relevant virus, albeit in a much milder way. I’d read about it at the time of the immunisations, but not considered it since. Cinderella hadn’t been unwell apart from her mild itchiness. As it turned out, she only got spots on her tummy. They were small and didn’t trouble her at all, but it wasn’t until Saturday (five full days after the spots erupted) that she was classed as noncontagious.
The Moral of the Story
It always pays to be safe and get a proper diagnosis. I very nearly didn’t take Cinderella to the doctor. Because she’d been immunised and wasn’t unwell I didn’t consider chicken pox as the culprit until a couple of the spots began to look a bit “gooey”. We could easily have infected her class at school, swimming, dancing…you get the idea.
For more information about childhood vaccines, have a chat with your Maternal and Child Health Nurse, GP or take a look here.