One of the most frequent questions I’ve been asked is, “What are you doing about vaccinating your children?” I answered this question at length a couple years ago in a nine-part video series on vaccines for children and babies.
I based much of my research around Dr. Sear’s The Vaccine Book, which I still regard as essential reading for all parents who aren’t 100% at peace with the standard immunization schedule by the American Academy of Pediatrics. In very plain language, Dr. Sears describes all of the vaccines for children and the ingredients that go into them, along with the corresponding risk of each disease. He then challenges the reader to make their own decision about when and if to schedule each vaccine. He also provides helpful guidelines for different child and family scenarios (for example, a breastfed baby who stays at home versus a child who spends the week in daycare).
I structured my videos the same way, breaking down each vaccine, the ingredients, and the diseases it treats. Think of them as a Cliffs Notes to Dr. Sears’ book (although I still recommend buying his book to go deeper).
Here are all the videos in my series on vaccines for children
So that was then
When I made the original vaccines for children series, my son Griffin was still very young and taken care of exclusively by me, Mike and my mom. At that time, we were only going to consider vaccinating if we planned to travel to the developing world, or if we were having a second child.
Well, that day arrived with the birth of Paloma Skye.
Vaccines for children: What are we doing now?
Griffin is three years old and not vaccinated. We’re still not comfortable with the idea. And the more vaccine injury stories I hear, the less I want to vaccinate our kids at all.
Griffin is entering preschool this January, and we’ve elected to practice our religious right to decline vaccines in the state of Illinois. You can find more information on state exemptions here.
Griffin is a very healthy child, and we continue to find natural and gentle ways to boost his immunity. Of course, one of the best ways to do so is through diet. We keep his sugar and flour consumption to a minimum at home. I prepare nourishing foods that include pastured eggs, raw cod liver oil, butter, grass-fed meats and organ meats, vegetables, probiotic foods like pickles, kefir and yogurt, as well as fruits and the occasional treat (such as these or these.) I also boost his immune system with probiotics and use elderberry syrup and mushroom complexes to ward off colds, flus and other sicknesses.
Additionally, I’ve started looking into homeopathy as an alternative or a complimentary course of action in preventing childhood diseases. This book is an excellent resource for folks who want to learn more; it’s based on the work of Dr. Isaac Golden, an Australian doctor who has had great success treating infectious disease with homeopathy.
Vaccines for children: The bottom line (for us, for now)
Our stance on traditional vaccines for children is the same as it was when Griffin was an infant: We are refraining for now. But I never want to say never. If we’re planning an extended trip to the developing world, we will look into selective vaccinations. Ditto if there is a huge outbreak of some sort.
In the end there are no easy answers. Vaccines have saved countless lives over the years. But I do think the side effects aren’t very well researched, and that vaccines contain some nasty ingredients. The CDC wants to paint our children with an extremely broad brush when it comes to vaccinations. Additionally, other factors have “saved” lives in regards to infectious disease like better sanitation, clean water, and good nutrition.
How about YOU?
What do you think about vaccines for children? How did you make your decision about vaccination? Please share with us. And please be respectful toward the opinions stated in this post and in the comments.