Charlotte had her 14 week vaccinations today. The decision to provide our daughter with her best chance to fight and prevent dangerous illnesses was a no brainer for hubby and I (considering her considerable disadvantage from her extremely early birth) and while I respect the decisions which other parents make with regards to what they believe is best for their child, it did remind me of something that happened last week that (had Charlotte not been with me) I most likely would have caused a huge scene about.
It takes careful consideration, care and planning when I take Charlotte out, it is not always possible to leave her at home and I am acutely aware of the dangers of germs in the outside world and in grocery stores in particular. While standing in line at the till I heard a little girl coughing in the queue next to us. I place her around 5 years of age, and she coughed without putting a hand in front of her mouth and her mother showed no interest in reminding her daughter to do so. This girl was also grabbing chocolate and sweet bars from the shelves and begging mom for one. When another mom and child joined their queue, the little girls mom turned around, smiled sweetly and said “don’t come too close, my girl has the measles”. Right there I wanted to throttle her for bringing a child with a highly contagious disease into a public space, allowing her to cough without a hand or a handkerchief in front of her mouth and then spreading those germs onto every conceivable surface available, to spread to others.
I left my trolley right where it was and ran out of there like my daughters life depended on it, and it literally did.
Which brings me to the point of my rant. I respect your right to decide if you want to vaccinate your child or not, but I will absolutely and 100% take offense when that decision actively puts others lives and health in danger. If your child contracts a highly contagious disease that an immunization could have prevented and you openly show absolutely no active interest in containing the spread of that disease then you and I have a serious problem. Please leave that child at home, and if that is not possible then have the decency to ensure you have sanitizer with you and make an active effort in ensuring minimal contact between your child and objects that innocent people are going to come in contact with. Not everyone has a strong immune system and while your daughter may well be strong enough to fight the disease, others such as my daughter are either too young to fight it and/or haven’t received their immunizations or they have compromised immune systems and are under threat because of your selfish actions.
Spare a thought for the fact that your decisions DO have an impact on others and as much as we respect your decision not to immunize, we do ask that you ensure that when/if your child does fall ill, that you minimize the risk of them spreading that disease with people who are quite possibly unable to try fight it without serious risks to their health and life.
So dear mommy, the next time I see you and your little germ spreader, you had better hope that my daughter is with me, as it’ll be the only thing that prevents me from taking you on about your lack of respect for anyone elses health.
* I am fully aware that vaccinations are a hotly contested topic amongst parents and I am not interested in hearing debates on whether you believe in vaccinations or not *