There are a whole host of decisions you have to make when you become parents -- some are huge and others are less important (although it might not feel that way at the time).
One of the trickier dilemmas for some parents is whether to vaccinate your child. There are lots of cases for and against and it is one decision that ultimately is yours to make alone, despite the opinions of others.
We have vaccinated all of our children but the decision was made easier by the fact that we are a family that does not have any allergies. If that was the case it would have been a tougher choice. But the best thing you can do to make the decision making easier is to arm yourself with knowledge.The decision making starts when, at eight weeks old, it's recommended babies have a five-in-one single jab to protect them against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and Hib (a bacterial infection that can cause severe pneumonia or meningitis) plus one against pneumococcal infection.
Further doses are given at three and four months when an inoculation against Meningitis C is included, something that wasn't on offer when my children were babies.
It is, though, the vaccination children have at a year old that's been the most controversial and makes parents worry most. This is the MMR jab, which was once claimed in the Daily Mail to be a cause of autism in children. I have friends who have paid to have separate vaccinations against measles, mumps and rubella.
I always delayed mine having this jab, feeling that 13 months was a bit young. Usually, the decision was taken out of my hands as they always seemed to be poorly when we were called up by the surgery.
Once my children were older I was relieved not to have to make these decisions but, of course, the government introduced one for 12-year-old girls to protect them against cervical cancer, and the fact finding and decision making has started again.
And that's the key I think, in making these types of decisions and the many that will need to be faced throughout our parenting life -- it is up to us to find out as much as we can (rather than just listening to one point of view) to enable us to make the best decision for our children.
To help the government has information on vaccinating children of all ages and if you're interested in why some parents choose not to vaccinate their children there are some informative posts on www.vaccineawareness.com.
Have you chosen to vaccinate your children, or have you decided not to, and for what reason?
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