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#1 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My mind was racing the other day and I found myself thinking, "What if I ever have to take DS to the ER for illness??" For instance, he's teething and we all know that some teething symptoms are the same as ear infections. We're military so getting a Dr. Appt for anything not a dire emergency is ridiculous. I got images of them saying, "Well, his ears are clear and he doesn't have a fever...but because he's not vaxed we're going to run some tests." And then them wanting to do things like blood draws and urinalysis and, IMO, basically torture my baby. It terrified me.


So, what's the case of going to the ER with an unvaxed child? Assume that it's NOT a unvax friendly area.

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#2 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 12:11 PM
 
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I noticed you're in Texas and I've been to the ER in Austin and they didn't bat an eyelash when I told them my 6 month old was on a "delayed" vax schedule.
Here in WA, they just note it and carry on. Even when my daughter had to get stitches and I disclosed that she wasn't vaccinated, they didn't insist on a tetanus shot or anything.
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#3 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I noticed you're in Texas and I've been to the ER in Austin and they didn't bat an eyelash when I told them my 6 month old was on a "delayed" vax schedule.
Here in WA, they just note it and carry on. Even when my daughter had to get stitches and I disclosed that she wasn't vaccinated, they didn't insist on a tetanus shot or anything.
I consider Austin to be fairly crunchy...We're in San Antonio. I don't know about the town itself...but the military base hasn't proven very crunchy thus far. (I've been in for a couple of appts and they like to toss medication at you and move you along)

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#4 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 12:13 PM
 
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You can and should say NO to any tests that don't make sense to you.

If there is a major problem, call a lawyer.

I don't think there's usually such problems though.

My experience does not a trend make, but we've never been asked about vax status at the ER (but granted we never presented with anything that resembled a VPD... just stuff like staples after DD bashed her head open, etc.).

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#5 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 12:33 PM
 
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I consider Austin to be fairly crunchy...We're in San Antonio. I don't know about the town itself...but the military base hasn't proven very crunchy thus far. (I've been in for a couple of appts and they like to toss medication at you and move you along)
When my son was 11 months he had a pretty bad respiratory infection. I took him to the University Clinic (is that what it's called? I forget) and they were so nice. They didn't even give him meds. We did a breathing treatment and a chest x-ray in one of those torture looking devices to keep him still and arms out of the way and she sent me home with a back thumper. He had a spot in his lower lung that was congested and the Dr. said it just needed to work its way out. The health nurse on intake seemed put out that I don't vax but the doctor had no issues with it. I think it's a public health clinic and they push vaxes so I understand the nurse's position, but the doc wasn't like that.

I did have a TWO docs in San Antonio fire me for no vax though. Ha ha. One in Pipe Creek told me how healthy and big my bouncing breastfed baby boy was and then got really rude and changed her tune when she found out he wasn't vaccinated. She told me I would have to start a series of vaccinations right then and there so I picked up my diaper bag and baby and left. She later sent me a certified letter to say he was no longer her patient. The other one was just a place that instituted a vaccinated patients only policy and refused to see us after they instituted it.
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#6 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 12:56 PM
 
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We've been twice. Once becaue he pulled a Pyrex out of the fridge and it fell on his toe. I said he's up to date cause I didn't want to deal with stupid comments, and obviously, no vaccine could have prevented the hurt toe.
When we went in last month for croup we were honest that DS has had no shots whatsoever as we didn't want them to exclude anything. Yet it was clearly croup - so no swaps were done. One doctor asked why we don't vaccinate and I just stammered something about religious reasons, she wanted to know whether we were Jehova's witnesses and I said no, left it at that. Another resident 24 hours later was like oh he might have whooping cough since he is not vaccinated against it, did they do a swap? I said no they didn't, and if you look at his bloodwork you'll quickly see it clearly indicates a viral infection and no bacterial infection at all. So a swap would be pretty useless since it is clearly not a bacterial infection and clearly not pertussis. Sigh. She quickly left our room!!! The real doctor came and never batted an eyelash about our no-vax status. I wish though I had told that resident that the wc shot doesn't protect from transmission or getting it at all.
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#7 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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I got images of them saying, "Well, his ears are clear and he doesn't have a fever...but because he's not vaxed we're going to run some tests." And then them wanting to do things like blood draws and urinalysis and, IMO, basically torture my baby. It terrified me.
I'm an emerg/trauma nurse (granted I live in Ontario) but IME, that has never happened. When we have babies come in with fever NOS (not otherwise specified) we do ask permission to do a urinalysis (we put a u-bag under the dipe - catches pee) and a possible blood culture to see if babe is growing any bugs.

Being vaxed or unvaxed has nothing to do with it. In fact, I've never even asked what a babe's vax status is. If a kid comes in with a laceration, I'll ask the parents if their tetanus is up to date - they either say 1) yes b) no - and I don't vax or c) no - and we'd like vaccine. That's it. I've never had a doctor balk or get involved, etc.

Honestly, an ED is just for that - emergencies. We don't (again IME) have time to quibble over little issues. I can be treating your kids ear infection/cut/scrape one minute - and be dealing with a heart attack or severed limb the next. We mostly wanna treat you and get you out again.

My kids are both selectively/very delayed with regard to vaxes, so you wouldn't get any raised eyebrows from me.

ETA - yes, you do have the right to refuse any and all treatment for your child. But if I and/or a doctor believe it's a life threatening issue, we can/will contact social services or RPD to detain you and work further to discuss/work out the issues. This is rare, but I've had parents try to leave with a child who had a fracture because they were worried about the wait time. Or a child with pneumonina and O2 sats in their boots - and the parents wanted to leave... those kids needed help, ASAP.

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#8 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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my first 2 were ingorantly vaxed, by me.
ds#2 I was not going to get any vaxes done on him. he always seemed sick at 2 months he had RSV, there was no way I was going to vax my sick child.

fast forward he is 18 months still having alot of respitory issues, hes on daily inhaliers. we went yet again to the hospital for breathing difficultlys. the er dr a very nice young man, who really seemed concerned said to me that ds's lungs were weak and it he "Did" get whooping cough he would die. he also said if I wasn't breastfeeding ds would probly have died, just from his history. I started to think about vaxing him then. I did selected and very delayed vaxing. slowly so we could watch him, he was also very allergic to most meds and some foods.

I really like that the er dr took the time to sit with us and listen to our long history. he had alot of info for me. and helped get ds into see a ped, allergy specialicst.

this is just my experince, plese no flaming. I did not cave in or anything like that I made informed vax decsions for my son.

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#9 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 02:19 PM
 
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I'm guessing we're in a pretty crunchy area in general (MA), but we live in a very non-crunchy part of it. I had DS in the ER last Friday for a fall and when they asked his vax status, I replied, "We're as up to date as I feel comfortable with", which could have meant anything. Triage nurse said "That's fine" and moved on. I never heard anything alse about it.

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#10 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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My experience has been that (1) when DS is sick, no one asks about his vax status and (2) that if I say "delayed" schedule no one bats an eye either.

I've also made it a point to inform myself about the symptoms of "VPD's" so in an emergent case, I can inform the doctor that I suspect the possibility of x or y. Many doctors trained within the past 20 years do NOT recognize "VPD's." Many of my friends who have recently completed their residencies in pediatrics have said they are uncomfortable with a no-vax child simply b/c they wouldn't know what the VPD would look like if it appeared in their exam room.

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#11 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 02:58 PM
 
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My experience has been that (1) when DS is sick, no one asks about his vax status and (2) that if I say "delayed" schedule no one bats an eye either.

I've also made it a point to inform myself about the symptoms of "VPD's" so in an emergent case, I can inform the doctor that I suspect the possibility of x or y. Many doctors trained within the past 20 years do NOT recognize "VPD's." Many of my friends who have recently completed their residencies in pediatrics have said they are uncomfortable with a no-vax child simply b/c they wouldn't know what the VPD would look like if it appeared in their exam room.


This is so incredibly scary to me. We now HAVE to know more about these diseases than doctors do. Our child's life may depend on it. This is why I feel that making the choice not to vax is a huge responsibility. We as parents need to be educated about what these diseases are and how to recognize them. Although I think most parents that have made the choice not to vax have already educated themselves about the diseases and have a fairly healthy grasp of the risks. It may be the part about recognizing them and treating them that people need to step it up a little.

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#12 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[/B]

This is so incredibly scary to me. We now HAVE to know more about these diseases than doctors do. Our child's life may depend on it. This is why I feel that making the choice not to vax is a huge responsibility. We as parents need to be educated about what these diseases are and how to recognize them. Although I think most parents that have made the choice not to vax have already educated themselves about the diseases and have a fairly healthy grasp of the risks. It may be the part about recognizing them and treating them that people need to step it up a little.
The thing that I hate about it is some of the "semi serious" ones (Hib, Pc for example) can present as a simple cold or ear infection before going serious. *sigh*

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#13 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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[/B]

This is so incredibly scary to me. We now HAVE to know more about these diseases than doctors do. Our child's life may depend on it. This is why I feel that making the choice not to vax is a huge responsibility. We as parents need to be educated about what these diseases are and how to recognize them. Although I think most parents that have made the choice not to vax have already educated themselves about the diseases and have a fairly healthy grasp of the risks. It may be the part about recognizing them and treating them that people need to step it up a little.
Yes, I was just having this discussion with my best friend who is a pediatrician. Essentially, she's uncomfortable b/c many VPD's have become/are becoming rare diseases so it's not surprising that she would be unable to recognize a case that appeared in her exam room. While it may be covered in medical school texts, it's never/rarely seen by practicing physicians. And, the nature of many VPD is that they are viral illnesses which are self-limiting so it might be difficult to recognize a case until more appear.

I could very well see VPDs becoming a featured story on a show like Mystery Diagnosis, because they are so uncommon now. This is why it's so important to have some knowledge about common symptoms and signs of VPDs

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#14 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 04:21 PM
 
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[/B]

This is so incredibly scary to me. We now HAVE to know more about these diseases than doctors do. Our child's life may depend on it. This is why I feel that making the choice not to vax is a huge responsibility. We as parents need to be educated about what these diseases are and how to recognize them. Although I think most parents that have made the choice not to vax have already educated themselves about the diseases and have a fairly healthy grasp of the risks. It may be the part about recognizing them and treating them that people need to step it up a little.
When dd had a suspected case of mumps, her pediatrician (somewhere around 60 years old), told me it was the first case he had seen in over 30 years. They then called in two other younger peds and nurse practitioners, because they had never seen mumps. They were all staring at dd like she belonged in a freakshow circus. Then they sent us home and told me not to have her around other kids from 10 days from the first onset of symptoms... no one was worried one bit, even though they had all tried to scare the bejeezers out of me beforehand when I could still vax.

For the OP:

A few months ago we took dd to the ER because she fell and needed stitches. I was fully armed with all of my comebacks, prepared for the absolute worst about vaxing, especially for tetanus. Here was my conversation when we checked in:

Nurse: Is dd up to date on vaxes?
Me: No
Nurse: Is that by choice?
Me: Yes
Nurse: Has she been around anyone with measles, chicken pox, or any other communicable disease that you are aware of?
Me: No
Nurse: Moved on to other questions.

I couldn't believe that tetanus was never even brought up. So much for all that fear they put into people all those other hospitals and at the pediatrician. The one we went to seemed perfectly aware that a gaping wound that was about to be thoroughly cleaned out was at zero risk for tetanus. I was so pleasantly surprised!

But, I have to admit, I am not the type of parent that would bring dd to the ER (or usually even the doctor) over a fever or symptoms of an ear infection, so I don't know what they would do or how I would respond in the exact situations you are asking about.
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#15 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 04:31 PM
 
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My son has been in the hospital ER at least 4 or 5 times (3x for very serious problems). NEVER have we been asked about vaccines.

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#16 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 04:50 PM
 
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My daughter went to the ER one time at 2 yo for some sort of serious illness that had lasted for a week and then one side of her face swelled. They did ask me about vaccinations (and have done so at every other ER visit due to head falls sigh). They immediately diagnosed the mumps and suddenly everyone was wearing masks. It was almost funny except I knew they were trying to scare us. I knew better. I wasn't sure if they were right or not but I wasn't afraid of the mumps.

I asked for a blood test and they said they would do it but didn't. They treated her with IV rocephin which is useless against a virus like mumps and the doc recommended two more shots at the ped over the next two days. The IV almost cured her overnight and the next two shots (which made me cringe b/c I know rocephin is painful in shot form) ended it. But at that point we knew she had congenital Lyme and we sought out knowledgeable help after that.

As suggested we took her less swollen face to an ENT right away and he was perplexed why the ER doc would suggest the mumps because it was TOTALLY obvious that it was NOT.

It's ridiculous. That was the only true circus situation that we experienced.

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#17 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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Both of my kids have been in the ER; both are unvaxed.

DS had cut his head open and the doctors were tripping all over themselves trying to convince me he needed a tetanus shot. I didn't object in the least and they said that they were very relieved because they assumed I would put up a fight. To me a tetanus shot for an injury, and the normal vax schedule stuff are different animals altogether. One nurse even came in and had an off-the-record conversation with me about how she thinks her nephew had a vax injury and she didn't blame me all for not vaxing. Very nice lady.

DD stuck a bean up her nose. Her vaccination status came up and the doctor gave me a bit of a dirty look but nothing came of it. We also said we didn't have a normal pediatrician for her as she had never been ill, and we didn't do WBV's. They just gave me a sheet of paper with referral if she got a fever or something, then sent me on my way.

The most awkward vax issue was when DS was going to EI and the school board was asking me routine questions and said, "he's up to date on vaxes, right?" while getting ready to just check yes on the box. I said no, we don't vaccinate. There was an awkward "... oh" all around but then they moved on anyway. That wasn't a medical setting, though.

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#18 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 05:52 PM
 
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We've actually had better luck in an MTF ER than off post. My oldest has multiple allergies & asthma, and they were a bit concerned that "he may have whooping cough..." but that was it. Once I say religious exemption, they're quick to either change the subject or at least be respectful in voicing any concerns.

IME, civilian doctors aren't as easy going. On a holiday at an urgent care, when my then-12 month old had strep, his swollen-from-strep tonsils became, "omg, it's hib, he needs to be admitted at once & he'll likely need a tracheotomy....!" once the P.A. learned we don't vax. He didn't even test for it, just assumed. Thankfully the attending set him straight, but it got pretty ugly.
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#19 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Question: I can opt out for religious and phil reasons here...do I have to have the form on me at all times or just say, "I don't believe in it for my child" and be done with it?

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#20 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 05:59 PM
 
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You shouldn't need it. Although, I believe it's up to the state you're located in.

Here in Ky, exemptions are supposed to just be for school admission, but my kids' ped (civilian, go figure!) insists on having a copy on file.
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#21 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You shouldn't need it. Although, I believe it's up to the state you're located in.

Here in Ky, exemptions are supposed to just be for school admission, but my kids' ped (civilian, go figure!) insists on having a copy on file.
All I can find about TX only mentions schools and daycare.

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#22 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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I'm in PA, FWIW. My unvaxed six-year-old has been in the ER twice in the past two months. The first time, he ran into a pole at children's choir rehearsal at church and split his forehead. They said "Is he up to date on his vaccinations?" I said "We don't vax." They never mentioned it again.

The second time was last weekend. He had a freaky rash that spread very quickly and looked like it was eating his face off. His not being vaxed got us seen really quickly. But really, they didn't say anything. The doc did ask more detailed questions about whether he had been vaxed against measles. I said no and he didn't pressure me in any way. It turned out to be a rather aggressive form of impetigo.

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#23 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 06:12 PM
 
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The form is for schools and such. You don't need to show it to the doctor or the ER staff or carry it on your person or anything. It's not illegal to not vaccinate - it's simply a requirement to have certain vaccinations to enter most schools (or some camps, daycares, etc.), or have a waiver.

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#24 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 06:20 PM
 
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I also think it's important to remember that, in general, people in the medical profession really are not looking to "torture" your baby. Honestly. I have 4 kids and they've all spent their fair share of time in doctor's offices, emergency rooms, and hospitals, and I've yet to experience someone trying to punish us for not vaccinating by ordering extra tests and procedures. I'm not saying it's never happened, but in that case, you would have the right to refuse or seek out a second opinion.

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#25 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I also think it's important to remember that, in general, people in the medical profession really are not looking to "torture" your baby. Honestly. I have 4 kids and they've all spent their fair share of time in doctor's offices, emergency rooms, and hospitals, and I've yet to experience someone trying to punish us for not vaccinating by ordering extra tests and procedures. I'm not saying it's never happened, but in that case, you would have the right to refuse or seek out a second opinion.
Intellectually I know that...but emotionally? Yeah, I get that "mama bear" thing really bad.

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#26 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 06:28 PM
 
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Me too.

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#27 of 44 Old 05-07-2010, 08:38 PM
 
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The form is for schools and such. You don't need to show it to the doctor or the ER staff or carry it on your person or anything. It's not illegal to not vaccinate - it's simply a requirement to have certain vaccinations to enter most schools (or some camps, daycares, etc.), or have a waiver.
heh. I know that and you know that....
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#28 of 44 Old 05-09-2010, 11:24 AM
 
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I'm in San Antonio. I've taken ds to the urgent care three times this year and his doctor once and they did not ask about vaccinations. His previous ped is non-vax friendly as well.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#29 of 44 Old 05-09-2010, 02:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I also think it's important to remember that, in general, people in the medical profession really are not looking to "torture" your baby. Honestly. I have 4 kids and they've all spent their fair share of time in doctor's offices, emergency rooms, and hospitals, and I've yet to experience someone trying to punish us for not vaccinating by ordering extra tests and procedures. I'm not saying it's never happened, but in that case, you would have the right to refuse or seek out a second opinion.
Good lord yeah. I like taking care of kids & babies the LEAST. No one, no one in their right mind would do anything to 'punish' a child for a vaccination status.

All the emerg docs I work with hem & haw, and sigh and generally dislike ordering lab work and x-rays for kids. It's definitely not a fun part of the job...

Full time working mom to two bright and busy little girls! treehugger.gif
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#30 of 44 Old 05-09-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honey-lilac View Post
DS had cut his head open and the doctors were tripping all over themselves trying to convince me he needed a tetanus shot. I didn't object in the least and they said that they were very relieved because they assumed I would put up a fight. To me a tetanus shot for an injury, and the normal vax schedule stuff are different animals altogether.
wrong. the tetanus shot is useless in an emergency. the dr's should have given TIG, not a tetanus vax. you may want to brush up on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AFWife View Post
Question: I can opt out for religious and phil reasons here...do I have to have the form on me at all times or just say, "I don't believe in it for my child" and be done with it?
why would you carry your vax exemption with you? there is no law that says children must be vaxed. there are school board regulations that say in order for a child to attend school or daycare they must either submit a vax record or exemption form. you turn the exemption in to the registrar at school and go on your way. it's not like a drivers license or something.


ETA: i guess i may be the only one who was sitting on the bed holding ds while the curtain filled with med staff who surrounded my bed and repeatedly asked questions about why i didnt vax and threatened to call my exdh to get permission and tell me i was 5 mins away from having CPS called. after that, i learned to just lie and say my kids are UTD.

Bring back the old MDC
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