band-aids that make mom proud

September 29th, 2014


Do you see that band-aid?

It’s not often that a mom is excited to see a band-aid on her baby.  In fact, I’d venture to say that it’s exactly *never* that a mom greets a sight like this with a smile.

With one exception.

When those band-aids are there after your baby’s four-month vaccines.

See, here’s the thing.  If you look at Facebook or sometimes even the news, you might think that there’s actually some medical controversy over whether or not you should vaccinate your kids.


Let’s be clear: Vaccines save lives.  We are very, very lucky to be living in a country and at a time when vaccines against deadly diseases are safe, effective and readily available.  Children all over the world do not have that luxury. 

And yet, parents — a terrifying number of parents — choose not to offer their children this life-saving protection, because of misguided fears that ignore science in lieu of groundless speculation.  The article that originally claimed to link vaccines and autism has now been universally discredited and withdrawn by the journal that published it.  No medical data has ever supported any link between vaccines and autism. 

And yet somehow this unfounded “controversy” lingers.  And it is putting kids at risk.

As parenting goes, you will almost never hear a whiff of judgment from me.  Breastfeed or bottle-feed?  Both are great.  Stay home or keep working?  Up to you, mama.  Daycare or a nanny?  Either one!  Night-wake till they’re two?  More power to you.  Cry it out?  You gotta do what you gotta do.

Not one of those decisions is life-or-death for your baby.  They are all choices that can be made in different ways by reasonable, caring parents.

Vaccinating your child?

That is different. 

That is life or death — and not just for your child, but for every other child they interact with.

That is a life or death decision you are making for my child.

See, vaccines aren’t 100% effective.  They require multiple rounds before a child reaches immunity, and individual kids may have different immune responses in a particular case, even if the vaccine itself is effective 99% of the time.  The reason we don’t see these illnesses anymore, even though the vaccines aren’t perfect, is because of herd immunity — because all kids get the vaccines, even if your kid isn’t perfectly immune, it’s very unlikely for him or her to be exposed to the actual disease.

But when parents stop vaccinating their kids?  Their kids are at risk, obviously.  But so is every single other child, whether it’s a newborn who hasn’t had any shots or a five-year-old with a severe allergic reaction that prevented his own vaccination.

Deciding not to vaccinate your children is not just stupid.  Sure, it’s stupid. 

But it’s also profoundly selfish. 

Those kids are depending on you.  My kid is depending on you.

So, please.  Please.  Please.  Inform yourselves.  Learn the science.  There is not, and has never been, any scientific evidence of a causal relationship between vaccines and autismVaccines save lives every single day, and as a parent, I am thrilled and grateful to be able to provide them for my child.

So those band-aids?

Yes, they make me smile. 

Tags: baby

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 KMM // Sep 29, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Oh, how I wish I hadn’t read this post.  I really, REALLY enjoy your perspective on fashion and your easy, breezy take on life.  And I respect the heck out of you as a fellow lawyer-mama.  Which is why I was so surprised to see this.  I urge you to review the legislation (and preceding and subsequent discussion) around the federally mandated VAERS program.  I also urge you to read the package insert that accompanies each vaccine with the same, protective lawyer-mama eyes you used to review the hospital’s and pediatrician’s waiver forms.  (After that, I urge you to review FDA guidance documents for reporting side effects.) Vaccinating your child is, like damn near everything else about raising a child, a calculated risk.  Like you, I took that calculated risk.  But, of all the mamas out there, we lawyer-mamas need to do our research!

  • 2 Kirsten // Sep 29, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    loved this!! I feel the same way

  • 3 Katherine Moore // Sep 29, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    THANK YOU for this post. You get lots of traffic and people respect your opinion. Unfortunately, lots of folks get their knowledge about what to do in important situations directly from blogs. So I’m glad that you told them the right thing to do. It also frustrates the hell out of me that there is actually some debate about vaccination.

    As for KMM, I know what you’re saying, but I think that Katy still needed to write this post and write it in this way. Vaccinating is a calculated risk just like eating organic fruits and vegetables (as opposed to some processed fruit snack) is a risk. You could get sick from some bacteria/pathogen/bug on the fruit/vegetable. But putting the two against each other in some sort of debate is beyond absurd because it’s obvious which one is better. Also, most of the side effects from vaccinations are things like swelling, fever. That’s sort of like saying, “well, I take a risk when I make my kid wear his bike helmet. His head might hurt if it’s too tight.” Given the public health aspect of this, it’s all the more important that people vaccinate.

  • 4 katy // Sep 29, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    KMM and Katherine — Exactly.  I would never claim that vaccines are risk-free — a calculated risk is exactly the correct way to view it.  However, I do think that 1) people should consider the public health issues when making this decision, and not just the impact on their own child; and 2) people should know that the alleged autism link has never been scientifically proven, which I think a *lot* of people don’t realize.  But I completely support the VAERS program and I think (both as a lawyer and a mom) that adverse events should continue to be reported and studied! 

    Also, KMM, I really appreciate that you disagreed but wrote your comment so thoughtfully and civilly– I know this is a heated topic and it’s one that lots of people get emotional about!  You’ve obviously come to an informed decision and I respect that.

  • 5 kalyn // Sep 30, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Preach on sister.

  • 6 Cat // Sep 30, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Excellent post! Thank you for this!

  • 7 Stephanie // Oct 3, 2014 at 8:44 am

    My daughter just has her 4 month vaccinations this week. Thank you for bringing attention to this important subject. We all need to speak up more. It’s not a personal choice because of herd immunity.
    It’s not just kids that need to be vaccinated. Adults need to keep their immunizations up to date, especially their Tdap.

  • 8 Stephanie // Oct 3, 2014 at 8:47 am

    *had not has

  • 9 Kristen // Oct 5, 2014 at 2:53 am

    Thank you, ever so much, for writing this post. I agree with you wholeheartedly about vaccinations. There isn’t a logical reason to NOT vaccinate your child. My partner is a doctor, and he is baffled to how parents are refusing to vaccinate their children due to idiotic “professionals” preaching about the risks and autism starters due to vaccinations.

    I applaud you for this post. Thanks again, much love from Sydney, Australia


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