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.
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.
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!