How would you react if...
If by keeping away she means not coming to their house, fine. I am of course happy not to go to the home of anyone who doesn't want me there. But in public, no, unless my kid is sick in which case we'd stay home anyway, but no parent has the right of expectation to go into public with their child and not come into contact with anyone who has not been fully vaccinated to the current cdc schedules.
I would not go to her house.
I would not re-arrange my schedule for events that are outside her house.
if I knew the parents well and thought they were reasonable people, I might give them a heads up if we were going to an event they were also going to, so they can decide whether or not to go. This would be done as a courtesay - not because I feel I have to or anything. I would not give them a heads-up if they were likely to make a fuss or demand we stay home.
Everyone thus far is in agreement we would not go to your house.
If you (or someone else) did not want my kids to touch your baby, I would hope you would tell me ahead of time, so I could create an action plan before the event.
If my kids are older, I would simply tell them that we need to stay away from the baby as the mother is limiting visitors out of fear of the baby catching something. If my kids are old enough to question things, it is possible I might tell my kids that in my opinion the parent is being irrational because:
a) most adults are not up to date on their boosters, so excluding just unvaxxed kids seems odd
b) unvaxxed=/= sick (although I know people can show symptoms before being ill, but given the low number of cases of Polio ( for example) kicking around, is that really likely??)
I would also re-iterate that she is the mother, and even though I disagree with her reasoning, it is her call and we need to stay away from the baby.
If the kids were younger, I would just keep them near me/away from the baby. Kids can move fast, though, and don't always listen - so I would expect the mom of the infant to gently back me up on this if the kids were little. If you see an unvaxxed 3 year old barreling towards you (perhaps while I am blinking) stand up while holding the baby, and say something like "go see mommy"
An outbreak would not necessarily change my behavior unless I know we had been exposed - in which case I would play it by ear. Something really serious would cause me to stay home. I don't think you can expect more from an unvaxxed person than you expect from the general public. Many of us are exposed to the flu ( or other viruses that we think might be the flu) every year - yet most of us do not curtail activities due to exposure. As stated in a previous post, if the mom of the infant is reasonable and respectful, I am more likely to share info with them as a courtesay on such things as exposure, our wherabout ahead of time so they can plan accordingly, etc.
I think it is worth noting that something like pertussis is frequently circulating, teens and adults ( both vaxxed and unvaxxed) are likely culprits, they do not usually know they have it, and it is a lousy vaccine. To avoid pertussis, you should either keep an infant away from crowds for the first few months, when pertussis is most dangerous, and if you cannot do that, at least keep the baby away from anyone who has a cough - vaxxed or not.
Edited by kathymuggle - 9/6/13 at 1:25pm
Would your reaction be different at all if there was a measles/pertussis/etc outbreak in your area?
I had a newborn last summer when pertussis went through a neighboring town. There were not many cases, there never are, but I still felt it prudent to not take my newborn baby into places where there might be lots of children present. I would suggest if vaxxing parents are very concerned about their unvaxxed newborn catching something like that, that they do the same. Pertussis is a really iffy vaxx anyway and because it tends to make symptoms milder, rather than preventing pertussis, I would not assume that just because someone had been vaxxed that my child was safe around them, especially if they were coughing.
There were, I believe, 3 cases of measles in our state this year and we have the lowest rates of vaxx here. One of them was an immigrant or visitor from India and he spread it to two other adults in a medical facility. Go figure. Again, if it were spreading like wildfire through the community, I might find it prudent for my children and I to skip out on any extra-curricular activities for a few weeks, so it would really be a moot point as to whether or not someone wanted to have us over.
I'd understand. I'd feel bad about it for sure, but I get it. I was pretty worried about my kids getting sick when they were newborns. I don't ever remember being worried about vax diseases though. I was more worried about people germs in general. Like a fully vaxxed person kissing/touching/putting their face close my newborn and I was all like .
Thank you all very much for your honest replies.
I actually have a friend who was in a situation similar to the one I described. She made the choice she needed to for her baby, but I was curious about some other points of view. I think every parent makes the best choice they can for their children. I do think it is possible for different people to interpret the same data in different ways. I don't believe that someone who makes a different choice from me is necessarily "misinformed." I do believe that each family has to do a cost/benefit and risk analysis for themselves, and decide what the best choice for their family is.
Part of that assessment, in my mind, is the impact your choice will have on those around you and how you will handle their reactions. For families who don't vaccinate, that means, you may be asked to keep away from people with compromised immune systems etc. (I have a friend who was very ill and asked, via Facebook and other methods, that anyone who was not up to date on all vaccines, including flu shots, not to come to his house/keep their distance). For vaccinating families, especially those living in communities with high populations of non-vaccinators, it means deciding how much exposure you are OK with- if you will ask adults and children who are not up to date to stay away for a while, etc. I don't believe it is an easy thing for anyone to decide to ask of their friends and family, but for some families it is their best choice. Either way, I think it is important to accept that not everyone is going to like your choice. I guess the hallmark of a true friendship is being able to respect each other's choices even when you don't like them.
I'd be little peeved, honestly, at the ignorance of it all, but I wouldn't come out and say it. I'd respect their wishes and depending on the relationship I might just re-evaluate why I was hanging on to his relationship. Non-vaxxed people have no greater chance of passing along disease then fully vaxxed and I would find it more of a gamble for someone who's immunocompromised to say they were ok hanging out with those *up-to-date* but not someone who's unvaxxed. Diseases can be carried by anyone and they may be asymptomatic regardless of vax status, so maybe because I'm aware of this fact because I do question doctors and science, that it makes the decisions of others seem so much more bizarre at times. And I in no way want to control other people anymore than I want someone controlling me, so I absolutely believe in choice. But I'm also human so in my mind I do criticize ;-)