Who Is Responsible for Your Child?

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Author of Be Ready for Anything and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course

I think that almost every hot button debate that has been going on recently can be answered with a question.

Whether that debate is how far we should go to protect people with allergies or whether people who object to vaccines philosophically should be forced to have their kids vaccinated, the question is the answer.

Who is responsible for your child?

If your child has a health condition, like allergies or immune system problems, is the onus on you, the parent, to protect that child by keeping them away from potential harm and educating them how to protect themselves?

Or is the onus on the rest of the world to change the way they live, the food they eat, or potentially put their own health at risk to protect the health of your child?

There are many people at loggerheads regarding vaccinations today, and the question is the answer.

If you believe that the parent bears the ultimate responsibility for the child, then you might homeschool your peanut-allergic child until he has the skills to read labels, bleach wipe surfaces, and stay out of dangerous situations. You would educate your child on how to protect himself.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you aren’t letting the school in on the fact that your child has anaphylactic allergies. The teacher needs to know what steps to take in the event of a medical emergency.

If you believe that society is obligated to protect your child, you might demand that your child’s class be peanut-free. You might even insist that the entire school ban all peanut products. You could be the one lobbying for a peanut free society because of your worry for your child.

You might want to ban all allergens that have the potential to be deadly to people with severe allergies.

This question also answers the biggest debate of the day.

The argument about vaccinations can be answered this simply as well.

If you have a child who is immunocompromised, you might want to demand that anyone who is going to be around your kid is vaccinated for everything from the measles to the seasonal flu. Your child cannot be vaccinated, but other healthier kids can.

You are understandably desperate to keep your child safe and you believe that other families should be part of the plan. Herd immunity is the basis upon which your child stays healthy.

But should your child’s safety come at the expense of other children?

Or should the onus be upon you, the parent of the immunocompromised child, to keep your kid away from potential sources of infection? Should you keep your child home during “flu season” or maybe even homeschool to keep them safe from viruses and germs? Sure, you shouldn’t have to do that. It’s not fair to your child to miss out on all the fun that can be had with their peers. But if the world was fair, your child would not be immunocompromised.

While the mainstream media would like everyone to believe that vaccines are 100% safe, the fact is that when introducing these things into a child’s system, there are risks. If there weren’t risks, the vaccine companies would not have been made immune from prosecution in 1986 and the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program wouldn’t be doling out millions of dollars.

Just last year, thousands of cases were heard and thousands of people received compensation because of a vaccine-related injury. You may not think that sounds like many injuries compared to the millions of injections given. You may think it’s completely worthwhile. But you would probably feel quite differently if your child was one of those who was injured.

There are risks of swelling on the brain – that’s what happened to my oldest daughter when she was three months old. She ended up in the hospital with tubes going in and out of her body and she screamed silently in pain. Silently because my tiny baby had lost her voice from screaming and crying. We’re lucky she recovered. We’re lucky she didn’t die.

Why in the world would I risk putting my child through that again? She’s my responsibility, just like your child is your responsibility. Why would I risk putting my other child through it when I saw firsthand how horrifying the outcome could be?

Your responsibility is to teach your kids to get by in this world.

You have to teach your kids to get by in this world with the hand they’ve been dealt.

That means if they have life-threatening allergies, they need to understand that the entire world is not going to cater to them and keep their world allergen free. They need to be taught what to avoid and they need to know what to do if they’re exposed. And they need to be taught this from the time they are very small.

If your child is immunocompromised, they need to understand how to keep themselves safe. And if that means staying home while they are undergoing chemo because someone, somewhere might be sick with a communicable illness, then sadly, that is their current lot in life.

Your children have to be given the skills to survive in the world with their weaknesses. Maybe the world will cater to them when they’re 6 years old, but when they’re 26 and out there in the workforce or at college, the world won’t be as hospitable.

A physical vulnerability requires mental toughness and clever coping mechanisms. It’s your responsibility as a parent to prepare your child for the world in the body they have.

If you have a child with chronic health issues or allergies, I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine the place of stress you must live in daily. If your child is in my care for a sleepover, I’ll do everything I can to keep them safe and healthy. I’ll cancel if my kid seems to be coming down with something.  I will keep allergens away from them and make sure anything they’re exposed to will be clean and allergen-free.

But it is not my job to willingly put my child at risk for your comfort. You can call me selfish if you want to, but making my child my priority is my job.

Because just as you want to keep your child healthy, it’s my responsibility to keep my child safe and your responsibility to keep your child safe.

What do you think?

Who bears the onus of keeping children healthy? Their parents or society as a whole? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • I am responsible for my child. If my child was immunocompromised, I would never demand everyone vaccinate to protect him. There are more things we do NOT vaccinate for than those we do. I DID vaccinate my child and now he has a life long injury. No thank you from the medical community for taking one for the team. No help in paying tens of thousands of dollars to heal the injury. The only thing I got was that my sacrifice was necessary for the greater good. It only takes 1 ingredient in 1 vaccine to harm a child. It is Russian roulette as to whether your child will be harmed. I would never ask anyone to play that game. Any anyone who would, has not done the research into vaccines that they should. No one should ever demand that a liability free product, which has not been adequately safety tested, be injected in one to save another.

  • I’ve had a student whose allergies were so severe that if someone had eaten peanuts and spoke to her, she would break out in hives and have a asthma attack. She made sure to let me know, and gave me permission to tell the class as well. We were able to work around her allergies and didn’t have a problem. Granted, this was high school, but she took full responsibility for her maintaining her health and safety. While it may have been a little inconvenient sometimes, it didn’t force us to change our whole school. Like everything else in life, there’s a balance between personal responsibility and societal responsibility. We seem to have gone too far away from personal responsibility.

  • I agree that it is the parents responsibility to safeguard & teach/protect their children. It is NOT my duty to monitor or edit my lifestyle to care for you or yours.

  • I believe that as a parent of an immunocompromised child it is my responsibility to keep my child safe and to educate her to be aware.

  • Daisy, I agree with you. I have a beautiful great-grandchild, 8 yrs old, who has basically no immune system. She has to take infusions twice a week just to stay alive. My daughter & her daughter (mother of the child) are absolute crusaders for vaccinations & I get it. But I think it’s a very dangerous precedent when the government dictates our health practices. I’ve learned to just not have the conversation with them. They live 2000 miles away so it can be avoided but I probably would not be allowed to visit because I refuse to get a flu shot. It’s an unfair world.

  • I’ll disclose at the beginning that I am pro-vaccine. I also believe that parents have the right to decide what is best for their children. With this current measles outbreak, I am astonished at the fear that people have of unvaccinated children. These children (and the parents that decided not to vaccinate) are not out to spread disease to your children, it is the unvaccinated children who are most likely to get the disease. I think that the country in New Jersey over reacted, however, at the same time, I don’t know if the parents who chose not to vaccinate were keeping their children at home so they would not be exposed to measles. Truthfully I’m not sure that measles deserves the hype that it is getting. When I was a child in the early ’60’s, everyone got the measles. The only vaccines we got were live polio virus on a sugar cube and a small pox vaccine. Plus tetanus shots every time we had an injury outside. no-one got the measles for a long time and now it is coming back. The unvaccinated children need to be protected and I believe that decision belongs to the parents. If I had an unvaccinated child, I would keep the child at home until this was over. I get irritated at the parents of vaccinated children who fear the unvaccinated children are going to get their children sick. Sorry folks, you need to be educated about vaccines, if your child has had the vaccine, they should not get the disease even if exposed to it. Yes, it is possible that a vaccinated child could still get the disease, it’s rare and the child would get a mild form of the disease and recover faster.

  • There was a time when personal responsibility was the standard, and people were expected to choose the most correct course of action for everything they did. To vaccinate or not to vaccinate- do you put your child and the children of others at risk for problems brought about by contact with your unvaccinated child? Are you willing and able to stand being sued by the parents of children who suffer poor health outcomes from contact with your child? We do NOT need the Government at any level dictating the choices we make, but those choices need to be made based on real, accurate timely information from verifiable sources not junk science based on wild guesses and or religious preferences- this world is too crowded for the religion angle to be viable anymore if it ever was a realistic option.

  • I think you did a good job balancing today’s collective spirit with the individual’s right to certain freedoms of action. I was subbing at our middle school yesterday. The classroom was a food free classroom because one of the kids in one of the six periods of the day had an allergy. I and the kids had to keep our lunch bags outside the classroom. I had no idea which kid it was. How does the allergy prone child do lunch in the cafeteria? What is he or she going to do when a food free environment is not possible? I question is it fair to take freedoms away from all because of an unfair allergy problem with one, but I also feel that it is fair to require immunizations of the one and unfairly that one gets a bad reaction, so that all the rest of the immunized may live free of the disease.

  • i am also, mostly, pro-vaccination. in part because when i was a child, there was no measles vaccine, and when i got it, i developed measles meningitis and it affected my vision. i am of northern european extraction, and perhaps 10% of us will have a more serious version of these “childhood” diseases. and remember the tales of native americans who had no immunities to european diseases and died or were permanently damaged by measles and small pox? i wouldn’t want anyone else to go thru that.
    so what to do? school needs to be a safe place before it can be anything else. perhaps those who don’t want to vaccinate their kids might home school, or have a charter school that espouses this cause. or what else can we do?
    schools do, traditionally try to accommodate children with special needs. our ADA laws are an example. are special ed kids or mobility impaired kids any more problematic than kids who don’t vaccinate? or kids who do? do we think special ed kids should stay home? go to special schools? i’m not sure of the answer and would like to hear thoughtful ideas from others.
    and what would happen, legally, if a non-vaccinated kid gives measles, or chicken pox, or whatever to his classmate, who has a very bad case and whose family sues for medical costs?

  • Y’all are missing the point, this isn’t about vax/not vaxing.

    When I was a kid, we were trading PBJ and bologna sandwiches at lunch. I know food allergies can be life threatening. But the point is, do we ban whole food groups for kids lunches? So the schools can serve ‘soylent green’ insteaed?

    How about instead of insisting your school be peanut free, you research how there is such a prevelance of peanut allergies today, when us old folks never had such issues…how about y’all learn how to overcome food allergies…

    And absolutely, if this is an issue of concern, you NEED to teach your children how to deal with it.

    When your children are in my home, I treat them like my own. And we have no allergies, dietary issues, etc. So if your kids do, you need to share that with the hosting parents.

    But lets be real…if it’s not a truly know allergy, your just ‘think’ your kid is ‘sensitive’, , then let the parent know.

    YOU are responsible for your own child. But you also cant expect the rest of us to coddle them or know their exact needs.

  • Daisy, this is a well balanced common sense article. too bad common sense isn’t more common.

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