2013 April 19 by Randall Neustaedter OMD
Seeking social media connections
A study published in the journal Pediatrics (April 15, 2013) has determined that parents’ vaccine choices are often informed and influenced by online social networks. Parents who choose not to vaccinate according to the recommended vaccination schedule are much more likely to get information from other parents online compared to a group of parents who follow the schedule.
That is what I have been advising parents for years. Find a network of like-minded people who support your vaccination choices. The pressure to vaccinate children is intense. Doctors, schools, other parents, grandparents and extended family members often exert tremendous pressure on new parents to vaccinate their children. Going against this overwhelming tide of vaccine proponents usually involves some Herculean will on the part of parents who are attempting to make an informed choice. And real information about vaccine risks and side effects is difficult to discover.
Get balanced information
Parents need to discover valid information about vaccines that is free of the propaganda produced by the vaccine manufacturing industry. The first place parents go for information is the Internet. Many resources are available to them including the National Vaccine Information Center and related parent support groups and bulletin board networks online. Parents who choose to make thoughtful decisions will seek out other parents who have already made these vaccine choices.
This study conducted by an anthropologist and published in Pediatrics has uncovered the simple fact that vaccine critics have known all along. Parents seek information and validation for their choices from other parents and professionals in networks that promote informed choice.
Mainstream media has picked up this story and their spin is to try to influence parents to come back to the fold. What we need, they say, is to start parent peer groups to influence and convince wary parents about the necessity of full vaccination coverage for their children. Let’s send vaccine-promoting parents into the preschools and daycare centers to press upon parents the urgency of vaccinating their children. Who dictates to the mainstream media? The pharmaceutical industry. So Time magazine, US News and World Report, MedScape and many other media sources have published articles that tell us it is time for parents to join the ranks of vaccine promotion. Doctors are not doing a good enough job convincing parents, so it is up to the army of vaccinating parents to promote the cause. We can expect more peer pressure and more coercion of young parents who dare to question the dogma of vaccine recommendations and requirements.
Brunson EK. The Impact of Social Networks on Parents’ Vaccination Decisions. Pediatrics. Advanced publication online April 15, 2013.
2013 April 5 by Randall Neustaedter OMD
Whooping cough (pertussis) vaccination continues to be a problem. Despite the ongoing campaigns for universal vaccination, the incidence of children with whooping cough has been increasing since the 1980’s. The large number of yearly cases of whooping cough cannot be explained by the number of parents opting out of vaccine requirements. And it is common for previously vaccinated children to come down with the disease.
This is especially frustrating for conventional medical practitioners who have no effective treatment for whooping cough. The disappointment in the pertussis vaccine is expressed by the authors of a recent study in their conclusion. “Pertussis continues to be the most poorly controlled bacterial vaccine-preventable disease in this country, despite high rates of DTaP coverage.”
The study published in Pediatrics sought to determine the cause of the rising incidence of whooping cough. The researchers discovered that the vaccine seems to lose its effectiveness over a short period of time.
2012 November 6 by Randall Neustaedter OMD
Children’s allergies to nuts have dramatically increased in recent years. Several theories have been proposed for this increased sensitivity.
The role of vaccines
The first theory concerns childhood vaccinations. Vaccines have been suspected of causing an increase in allergic disease because their purpose is to increase antibody production and trigger antibody responses. This shift of the immune system to excessive antibody reactions is often cited by vaccine critics as a possible cause of the increasing childhood allergies. Several studies have confirmed that vaccinated children have a much higher incidence of allergies, at least double the risk, compared to unvaccinated children (Enriquez, 2005). Peanut oil used in vaccine production has also been proposed as a possible cause of peanut allergies in children (Fraser, 2011).
The role of bacteria
A second theory about the cause of increasing allergies is the “hygiene hypothesis”. Lack of exposure to pathogens including intestinal parasites and environmental bacteria has been proposed as a cause of the increase in allergies (Velasquez-Manoff, 2012). This theory postulates that bacteria and parasites educate the immune system. Ridding the body of these pathogens and other healthy bacteria through antibiotic use, sanitation, and deworming medicines causes disruption in the small intestine and the immune system that resides there. The result is an overactive and unregulated immune system with resultant allergic responses. Taking probiotics and other supplements to support intestinal health have been proposed as solutions to this problem of disrupted intestinal ecology.
Nut consumption during pregnancy
A third suggested cause of nut allergies is the exposure to nuts ingested by mothers during pregnancy, which could result in more allergies in their children. This theory was recently tested in a controlled study (Maslova, 2012). According to the results of this study, the opposite seems to be true. Peanut and tree nut consumption during pregnancy was associated with a decreased incidence of allergies and asthma in their children. The children of mothers who ate nuts once a week during pregnancy were a third less likely to have asthma compared to children whose mothers ate no nuts. This confirmed previous studies that had led the American Academy of Pediatrics to reverse their recommendation that pregnant women avoid eating peanuts.
How to prevent nut allergies in children
To prevent nut allergies parents can follow a few simple recommendations based on this research.
- Eat nuts during pregnancy to prevent nut allergies
- Avoid vaccinations whenever possible and sensible
- Use holistic methods of treatment to avoid the use of antibiotics
- Give children a probiotic supplement
- Expose children to common sources of environmental bacteria
2012 September 2 by Randall Neustaedter OMD
Once again whooping cough (or pertussis) is in the news. Dire warnings alert parents about epidemics and the dangers of whooping cough for small children. These reports are intended to provoke anxiety in parents who naturally want to protect their children from danger. If whooping cough is running rampant, then these cries of alarm will rouse the drowsy populace to take heed. That is the strategy of the pharmaceutical industry, which has an ever increasing need to sell their product by vaccinating the population.
The most recent ingenious strategy of vaccine manufacturers is to alarm new parents encouraging them to personally screen all contacts of their babies for whooping cough. Before an adult can come in contact with a baby they must prove their “immunity” to whooping cough by certifying that they have received the pertussis vaccine. This is supposedly due to the whooping cough epidemic that has invaded your community. The truth is a different story. Read more…
2012 August 20 by Randall Neustaedter OMD
The school year is about to begin for America’s children and drug prescribing will be back in full swing after the lull of summer vacation. Parents are being informed that their children will not be admitted to school without their required vaccinations. As parents rush to their pediatricians for completion of school forms, vaccine boosters come fast and furious. Whooping cough, measles, and hepatitis vaccines are now administered to schoolchildren in record numbers.
Parents are not informed that these vaccine boosters are not actually needed for school entry. Quite the opposite. Parents are pressured into giving vaccines even against their wishes. But in all states vaccine exemptions are readily available to parents. Nearly half have philosophical exemptions so that parents can merely submit a note stating that vaccines are contrary to their personal beliefs. In the remaining states parents can obtain a religious exemption, which can also be determined by a personal belief.
Vaccines are controversial for many reasons, not the least of which is the risk of serious adverse reactions. The association between vaccines and autism and ADHD has many parents worried about their children’s safety. But if the increasing number of required vaccines for children is causing an increase in learning disorders and attention problems parents can be assured that other drugs will be prescribed for these problems.
Prescriptions for ADHD have skyrocketed to record numbers. Children are expected to sit quietly and passively in classrooms regardless of their individual learning styles. If a child learns best through exploration and active participation, they may be seen as disruptive. Lack of conformity to the expected norms of behavior can land children in the pediatrician’s office for prescriptions to calm them down. These prescriptions for supposed ADHD behaviors attempt to manipulate brain chemistry and neurotransmitters, sometimes with disastrous results. Side effects of these medications may include insomnia, tics, sedation, and suicidal thoughts. And yet children are routinely medicated with antidepressants, amphetamine-like stimulants, and other ADHD drugs at the request of teachers and schools.
The Holistic Alternative
There are alternatives for parents to all of these drugs. If children have a resilient immune system, then they may not need vaccines to artificially stimulate antibody production. A whole foods diet and a few nutritional supplements will produce a healthy and vigorous immune system with the strength to resist and control infections. Herbal supplements like Astragalus, elderberry, and medicinal mushrooms all have the ability to activate and balance the immune system. Nutritional supplements such as whey protein, vitamin D, and probiotics also support and activate the immune system.
There are supplements also that can improve children’s attention functions and sharpen mental processes. The Omega three fats in fish oil promote healthy communication between nerves that results in efficient mental processing. Other supplements can safely develop more alertness and focus in children. Holistic pediatric specialists are well-trained in using these supplements. However, taking a different perspective on children’s behavior helps to keep a sense of balance when viewing these symptoms. For example, a child who is impulsive and easily distracted will flourish in an environment that encourages active learning. And of course these active, inquisitive, and restless children become the stars on the soccer field and basketball court. They become the innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders in their future careers. It’s a matter of perspective.
It is time that we re-evaluate the use of drugs to control symptoms in children when safer, more effective methods are available.