A.M. asks from Bozeman, MT on April 29, 2008
Traveling Abroad with Unvaccinated (As Yet) Baby
I have a nine-month-old unvaccinated baby, I plan to do a delayed and limited vaccination schedule, but as of yet we have not vaccinated. It looks like we will be traveling abroad in October and I am wondering about good books for preparing for travel, especially in so far as vaccination is concerned, and also about your experiences with traveling abroad with babies.
H.W. answers from Colorado Springs on April 30, 2008
I also delay vaccinations for all of my children since one of the oldest had a reaction BUT would NEVER consider even boarding an airplane with all of it's nasty recirculated air without vaccines. There is just too much out there...and abroad.
D.P. answers from Denver on April 29, 2008
I applaud you for choosing the delayed and limited vaccination schedule. I also have done this with all five of my kids. I had one have a very bad reaction to them and decided to do the same thing. And know I beleive there is a strong connection to autism and the vacines. I have met several mothers with autistic children and they were fine until after they had their shots. I really don't know about traveling abroad though.
D.K. answers from Denver on April 29, 2008
Traveling without vaccinations is putting your babies health in serious danger. I realize it is a personal choice, however even in the US measles, mumps and whooping cough are coming back due to non vaccination. I would never leave the US without proper vaccinations with my children, my two cents.
Just exposure to all the things on an airplane especially an international flight you are taking a huge risk.
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C.B. answers from Denver on April 29, 2008
I really would not travel outside the US without shots. It is to dangerous.
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J.H. answers from Colorado Springs on April 29, 2008
I have not done this but also have a unvaxed boy with desires to travel abroad. Mothering.com has a lot of resources to help with a variety of subjects. You may want to check out what they have. Also you can ask questions there if you don't find what you need here.
J.O. answers from Boise on April 29, 2008
Personally I would not travel abroad until the baby is vaccinated, no amount of precautions will completely protect your baby from virus's, if we were talking the common cold that is different, but you are talking about the possibility of some very deadly ones. If you still decide to go look into the countries vaccination programs and see where statistically they stand, how many reported cases do they get, those kinds of things. Beyond that I don't know that there is anything you can do, I would still be worried about sitting on a plane with an infant who is not protected even if the country is "safe".
A.K. answers from Fort Collins on April 30, 2008
I completely understand your desire to delay vaccinations, however, traveling outside of the US can present a risky situation for your family and, furthermore, for those around you after you return to The States. Even well-developed countries have high incidences of vaccine-preventable diseases that can lead to life-long debilitations and are potentially deadly. Several countries have serious outbreaks of Measles currently, with Switzerland and Israel "leading the pack" in number of cases every month. In fact, the CDC just recently released an advisory to healthcare facilities (including school health offices) to be aware of the serious cases of outbreak among unvaccinated children in the US. All of which have been carried over here from international travelers and thus have exposed many other people inadvertently. PLEASE research the country(ies) you are wishing to visit and set up an International Travel Health Assessment with your Family Physician as well as your child's Pediatrician. Also, do some research into the present health risks in your destination areas by contacting the local Health Department at least. The risk really is not worth it when you consider not only your family, but also all of the families you are in contact with once you return to the US. One more thing to be aware of, there are some countries in which you will be required to be vaccinated to some degree to be allowed to travel there.
Be grateful you live in one of the very few states that is so lenient in their vaccination laws. Most states require much more to be allowed to delay or forego vaccinations. Some states will not even allow an exemption without a documented medical reason that must be signed by a physician every year once a child enters school. Just something to think about.
L.N. answers from Providence on April 29, 2008
I agree that it is very dangerous to go abroad with your baby not being vaccinated. It is also risky not to have them vaccinated in the U.S. because they can still get many illnesses & then be a risk to other children.
S.S. answers from Denver on April 30, 2008
Hello, A.. Our dd, over three years now is not vaccinated and we have traveled throughout the US and this last Fall, visited several eastern European countries. She was fine - all was fine, nothing to be worried about. We are also visiting Ireland this summer and she will not be vaccinated for that either.
I really would not worry about it. We make sure that our dd eats a good diet and that has always been enough. She has had a minor cold here and there, but never anything serious. Her health has maintained itself in the US and overseas.
Have a wonderful time on your trip, S..
K.W. answers from Denver on April 30, 2008
I too applaud your research! I think it is wise to look into what the risks truly are wherever you are traveling to and use your own judgment as to whether you should vaccinate.
I find it hard to accept that your unvaccinated child causes danger to others, and often as parents of unvaccinated children we are made to feel irresponsible. Vaccinations can be dangerous so a balance and informed approach is best. It may be worth looking into homeopathy, there are often remedies you can take instead of vaccinations - all natural. My sister (granted, she is a grown woman) has lived in India for 7 years and has never vaccinated herself, the first time she went she consulted with a homeopath and was very happy.
Good luck, the only advice I really have is to follow your instinct and do what feels right after your research.