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Making Safe Decisions

by Joe Lawrence | March 1st, 2016 | Preschool, Safety

vaccineParents are constantly thinking about the safety of their children and about what is best for the family. Something I have always wondered is about whether the decisions my wife and I make are the best. Lately, I stumbled across a process that helps me sleep a little better after making a tough decision.

There are so many things out there that are “dangers” for our children. And what makes matters worse, all of those dangers have multiple arguments either for or against the different choices. It can really stress you out to no end. For example, vaccines. There are millions for them and a growing mass against them. The science and research reveal they are not harmful. However, this same scientific method revealed smoking was good for you many decades ago. The problem is not the science; it is “what” they are looking for.

I have done hours and hours of research on this particular topic, and there are very smart arguments for and against vaccines. How do you decide what is best overall for your child with decisions like these and all the others that affect them?

I recently stumbled upon an article that aids leaders in picking the purpose for their business, and it clicked with me when it comes to decisions about my children’s safety. When there is a lot of information with strong arguments on both sides, you have to ignore the arguments for a moment. Instead start with the ideal situation. Where do you want to see your child in 5, 10 years? In the case of vaccines; my daughter will be ready to start her senior year in high school and living in the same community we are now. She will be pushed to be active physically, mentally and creatively.

In this particular decision, our ideal state does not help make this decision, but often it will. So next, you weigh the risks. Same example: over the next 10 years we are not likely to travel to any countries that have certain diseases and with a family history of auto-immune issues, the potential for adverse side effects could be high. However, the dangers of some of the diseases are fatal and can be prevented easily.

This line of thinking really made our decision clearer. Certain vaccines that prevent things like chicken pox or the flu, we are willing to pass over to minimize the potential risks. I have had the flu shot every year for 17 years and still get sick almost every year. My daughter actually gets sick less than I do, and she has never received that vaccine. After getting some of the shots we do get, she has developed patches of eczema in those areas. Therefore, our decision for this topic is made weighing the risks.

When making a decision about our children’s safety, we need to look at the ideal outcome and weigh the risks. One of those two strategies will certainly work for you.

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