Blue Children: Or why I am no longer on any natural parenting forums

I let my child be vaccinated on schedule.

I may really not trust doctors, sorrowing in the lack of decent statistics training for the majority, but I do know how to use PubMed and I have more trust in the peer-reviewed scientific method than I have for claims of random crackpots on the internet.

Once I was invited to join a natural parenting forum.  I cheerfully discussed the science behind early potty training, read about the myriad chemicals in mattresses, and reassured people who didn’t want to CIO or follow X, Y, or Z parenting book as if buying the book and subscribing to it completely were the only way to prevent your kid from becoming an axe murderer.  I ignored the free-range parents and the unschoolers and the praise-haters and a number of other techniques that would probably not result in the end of the world if the kid survived to college.

One day, as usual, one of the members was going off on a rant about modern medicine.  Sure.  I understand some of the problems with modern medicine.  The FDA isn’t doing as good a job as it could be on many fronts.  Insurance companies aren’t reimbursing optimally leading to overuse of some medical care and under use of other care.  A lot of doctors don’t understand that correlation is not causation.  Never get elective surgery in July.  I get that.

Then she proceeded to talk about how antibiotics are some sort of weird government plot.  Evil drug companies are also involved.  Note that these people do not tend to watch Fox News.   She would never give her children such poison.

So instead, she gives her kid colloidal silver when he’s sick.  Colloidal silver is a topical preparation.  Silver is a natural anti-biotic.  It is sometimes put on large wounds to prevent infection.

Taken orally, it turns you blue.  It takes a while to get enough built up to actually turn you blue, but it doesn’t leave your system ever, unless you get your skin scraped off and regrafted or some such horrible thing that I was so disturbed by the first time I can’t look it up again because I don’t want to unlock that black box of horror in my mind.

So the one voice of sanity on the forum, herself a Phd student, in the most politic terms (which I am not possibly capable of repeating), suggested that just because big medicine is evil, doesn’t mean that big quack medicine is any better.  (She, of course, did not call it quack medicine.)

The blue mother responded with approximately 10 pages of internet links to medical mistakes and crackpots suggesting that big pharmacy and the FDA are evil.

Me, being the educator that I am, tried to clarify the PhD student’s point…  Just because A-> bad doesn’t mean that B-> not bad (even if B is not A… see, when you’re ~(A =>B) that’s actually ~B=>~A; a lot of people forget to flip the order because they don’t really understand what it is saying).  Only I said it without symbols because I understand that stupid people are generally math phobic.  (Note:  that does not mean that if you are math phobic you are stupid!  I can fix math phobia.  Stupid takes a lot more effort than I have time for.)

Oh, instant anger.  Repeating of points that government is evil.

Clarification AGAIN.

Just NOT understanding.

So I give up.  And I say, because I do not want the other 500 people on the forum to do what blue momma is suggesting, “I am not going to give my small child who is still growing anything that will turn him BLUE.  Especially if it has not been tested…” etc.

FIRESTORM.  Oh, and she’s not giving him enough to make him turn blue.  (Note– that probably means not enough for it to work as an anti-biotic either.)

I send some links about the risks and dangers.

ANGER.  Personal emails to my junk email that I delete unanswered.

I realize I hate yahoo groups (#@$#ing email).  I think about my options.  Option 1:  Call Child Protective Services and really get myself into trouble, taking myself away from a healthy research agenda.  Option 2:  Get off the natural parenting group and pretend to myself that I just don’t know and can’t do anything about it.  And stay away from the crazy people who think too much but not critically enough about parenting.

I chose Option 2.  Yes, I do feel guilty.

p.s.  If you don’t comment on this post, then I will tell you ALL ABOUT early potty training in a future post.  Save yourself while you can!

11 Responses to “Blue Children: Or why I am no longer on any natural parenting forums”

  1. IzzyMom Says:

    Ha! I’m fairly math phobic (actually it’s more like algebra phobic)…but luckily with a good tutor I always pulled through. Pretty sure the rest of my brain is in good shape (read: not stupid).

    I don’t understand why one can’t subscribe to *some* parenting philosophies within a general school of thought instead of having to subscribe to ALL of them.

    Most of the time, I’ve got a foot in one camp and the other in another and I don’t fit in anywhere.

    Anyway, thanks for the link.

  2. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Sure you can subscribe to some policies and not all. But, I draw the line at:

    Feeding your kid actual poison
    Beating your kid
    Telling the kid (s)he is worthless etc.

    I’m on the fence about putting cola in a kid’s bottle.

  3. Donna Freedman Says:

    Hey, it was 7-Up in a kid’s bottle! I would NEVER put cola in a baby bottle. Cola is BAD. If you put a baby tooth in a glass of it overnight, the tooth dissolves. In fact, when they took thimerosal out of vaccines, they replaced it with cola. I know that for a fact because I read it on the Internet.

  4. Sandy L Says:

    This article is fabulous. You are so right. So many of these eco-phobias are not based on good science. Pretty much everything is bad for you at high exposure rates. You definitely have to pick your battles. You can’t shield yourself from everything, but you can minimize the exposure to certain chemicals.

    I just read another article today on BPA. I’m chemical engineer and my company makes a product containing this chemical, so I have first hand experience on some of this random hysteria. You know, before BPA, there was way more botulism and some ridiculous amount of people died every year from tainted canned goods. Is that a safer option? I don’t think so. Then reporters write that it’s found in people’s urine. Um hello..that’s a good thing. That means it’s being metabolized and excreted out of your system in 24 hours vs building up in your body.

    I immunize my kids, but I also try to feed them as many fresh garden produce as possible. I use vinegar as a cleaning product. There are common sense things you can do, but in the end you will have to make choices on what options minimize your risks the most. Immunizations are the perfect example.

    Science is ever evolving. That’s why the FDA can’t be right all the time. The only reason some of these chemicals are coming into the spotlight is because of advances in detection technology. Not long ago, people could only measure to the parts per million levels, and now there’s equipment that can measure parts per billion.

    I realize now that I’m ranting too. Sorry, but there’s so much misinformation out there, it’s not even funny. And most of it is being spread by people who have zero background in science and technology. You think that person spreading immunization phobia is a MD? I doubt it.

    Thanks for letting me vent.

  5. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Donna– HILARIOUS!

    Sandy L– It bugs the heck out of me that so many of these childhood diseases are starting to come back because we’re losing herd immunity. I feel especially bad for the kids who truly cannot take vaccines because of allergies or because they’re immunocompromised. We’re failing them. And we’re failing the elderly.

    I think the main person spreading immunization phobia is a not-so-bright actress, one whose son didn’t actually have autism but had a food allergy that mimics autistic symptoms. The other main person is a thoroughly discredited doctor who doesn’t understand the scientific method or who willfully ignored it so that he could get his payment from a class action lawsuit. It’s nasty stuff out there.

  6. Some people should not be SAHP: A deliberately controverisal post « Grumpy rumblings of the untenured Says:

    […] So usually at Grumpy Rumblings we’re pretty laissez faire about what people do with their lives and the choices they make.  We don’t really care enough about most people to judge them.  (You know, unless they turn their kids blue.) […]

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    […] drama, so at the urging of #2, who is continually baffled at hearing me whine, even if it results in entertaining blog posts (and lots of hits!), I’ve been attempting to wean off the latest […]

  8. dr becky Says:

    Thank you for this post. You nailed it correctly re: the lack of logical reasoning.As a public health scientist, the non-vaccinators make my head spin. We had an outbreak of measles in my city last year that originated from a non-vaccinating family. I think any parent that refuses to vaccinate should also be held to a totally “chemical free” diet of no candy, additives or junk food. Honeslty, I can get down with almost any crunchy natural parenting practice but that for me is a deal breaker. Well that and maybe this:

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