Shocking News, Most Parents Don’t Want Your Plague-Carrying Unvaccinated Kids In Their Day Care

young girl receiving vaccinationGood news for people who don’t like preventable diseases: most parents agree with you that vaccination is a good thing. A recent survey found that 81% of parents believe that all kids in day care centers need to be up to date with their vaccines, which is 19% fewer than it should be, but still better than I was expecting.

While every state requires children to be current with their vaccination schedule in order to enroll in a daycare. But in many states, that obligation falls by the wayside once kids are admitted to a child care program – depending on where you live, your day care provider might not have to keep up with kids’ immunizations after an initial check. This survey conducted by the University of Michigan‘s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital looked into parental attitudes about immunization upkeep and daycare, and in an era where philosophical exemptions to vaccinations (a.k.a. ‘I don’t get how science works’ sign-offs) are on the rise, it’s at least heartening to know that most people are on board with the importance of shots.

Some people make the choice not to vaccinate their kids, and that’s fine (okay, it’s not fine, but it’s what happens). I just don’t see why the rest of us have to put our kids’ lives in danger for that choice. It’s a matter of public health, but also consider this: Do people who don’t like vaccinations really want to mingle their special, ‘chemical-free’, all-natural snowflakes with the rest of our fluoridated, Hawaiian Punch-guzzling, orange-Cheeto-fingered brood, anyway? I sense a business opportunity here for someone to make a lot of money starting their own vaccination-free in-home day care. (And it’s a good thing they’ll make a lot of money, because they’ll probably want to invest in their own biohazard suit to keep all the measles, whooping cough, and chickenpox at bay.)

Interestingly, while 81% of parents thought that all kids at day care should be vaccinated, only 40% thought that unvaccinated kids should have to stay home. An additional 28% were willing to offer a temporary immunization grace period before giving kids the boot, and I’m not sure what the additional 13% of parents required to add up to that 81% think should happen. Unvaccinated kids shouldn’t be allowed to be at day care, but also they shouldn’t be kept out of day care if they aren’t vaccinated, I guess?

I think the issue is that parents want to protect their kids from exposure to preventable diseases, but that it still feels wrong to punish other children for their parents’ bad decisions. It’s a tough line to walk (except for the actual 25% of survey respondents who thought day care providers should provide them with not just the number of non-vaccine-compliant enrollees, but also the names of those children – um, no). But when the actual potential for life-or-death consequences isn’t enough to sway anti-vaccine parents, maybe it’s okay to ask them to deal with the inconvenience of finding an anti-vaxxer friendly day care, or making some other child care arrangements. When kids’ lives are on the line, I have a hard time feeling too bad about showing non-vaccinating parents the door.

(Image: Candybox Images/Shutterstock)

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