Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Toronto, ON (Canada)
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I would not worry about tetanus. According to Statistics Canada (and another Canadian source that tracks reportable diseases that I can't recall of the top of my head) there has never been a single reported case of a child getting tetanus, ever, even long before the vaccine was introduced.
Even in the 1920's and 1930's, where farming, living and working conditions were "ideal" for tetanus, and when medical resources and wound care were very poor, only 40-50 deaths were reported annually in the entire country, (of an estimated population of more than 10,000,000 at that time) and no cases in children - whom I imagine were running rampant in farms filled with rusty nails and rusty wires etc.. There was a "rise" in tetanus cases in the 1940's, noted as attributable to injuries from WWII and inadequate wound care.
Over the last 47 years, there have been less than 20 cases reported annually in Canada, with less than 10 cases reported annually over the last 27 years.
More than half of the cases reported were in people over age 50. In the year 2000, there were only 3 cases reported in all of Canada. In 2001, 8 cases were reported in Canada; 1 case was aged 30-39; 2 cases were aged 40-59, 5 cases were aged 60+. In 2002, one case was reported in Canada; the person was over age 60. In 2003, one case was reported in Canada; the person was over age 60. In 2004, two cases were reported, one aged 30-39, one aged 60+. None of these cases were ever in children.
And these are not deaths from tetanus, but just reported cases of tetanus. The death rate from tetanus is 20%. Therefore, based on a "worst-case scenario" from data from the last 27 years, statistically, your child has a zero percent chance of dying from tetanus, (IF there were 10 cases of tetanus IN CHILDREN in a given year, out of a current population of 33,043,854; the odds of contracting tetanus are 0.0000003%, and the odds of dying from it are 20% of that = statistically = 0).
There are no traceable reported cases of tetanus in babies or children in Canada, (and no traceable reported cases of a baby or child dying of tetanus in Canada). This goes back nearly 100 years.
If you or your kids ever do present at the hospital with tetanus like symptoms and a laceration/burn/wound, and they suspect tetanus is a possibility, (and even if you've been vaxed for it) they automatically give you the immoglobulin for tetanus at the hospital since the vaccine doesn't guarantee immunity and / or it typically "wears off" after 10 years. So if you will get the immuglobulin anyway, regardless of whether you've been vaxed for it, why would you vax against it particularly when there is a statistically zero chance of your child getting tetanus and since it can only be given to children in combo with all the other vaxes.
My kids are unvaxed and get splinters all the time. I usually let them be, and/or let them have lots of baths as the water eventually swells the wood and it comes out or disintegrates. You can also try putting ice on it to numb the skin, then pulling at it with tweezers (or use a pin to grab the head of it).
But yeah, I wouldn't worry about tetanus.