Thursday, April 10, 2008

Polemics of Parenting - Part I

Parenting is almost a religion. I say this because so many parents I meet have their views on what works best for them in terms of parenting style of course they are convinced that their offspring is one of the brightest and best there is (I try not to do this - but it's so easy to fall into this narcissistic trap).

I am a big believer in certain things like Breastfeeding and the link to healthy weight for toddlers, but I think I am still feeling my way around other stuff like vaccination schedules. I don't think vaccines cause autism, but I think that there is something to be said for not overstimulating a young child's immune response. Immunology is a relatively young science, and we're actually not that sure about what we are doing to ourselves and our kids.

Taking into account the fact that Sophie may have some of my highly allergic genes (not quite in the anaphalytic shock from certain allergens but severe enough to be have shortness of breath sometimes) I put it all down to the risk-return decision matrix. This means that Sophie gets shots for the really nasty ones where there is a reasonable risk of exposure or else fairly grim consequences (like Japanese encephalitis or Pneumnocal) and not the ones where the risk is minimal (like rabies - when is she ever going to be in a situation where she could get bitten by rabid rats or dogs?) or where the possibility of serious consequences are remote (like chicken pox).

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