Most Parents Believe All Children In Daycare Should Be Vaccinated

Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Nearly three-fourths of all parents in the US said that they would consider removing their children from a daycare center if they knew that other youngsters there had not been vaccinated, according to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.
While all states require children who attend daycare to receive vaccines, those requirements may not necessarily include every vaccine from birth through age five, the researchers said. As a result, some kids still do not receive all recommended immunizations, leaving parents and daycare providers left to decide how to deal when a situation arises involving a child who is not fully up-to-date on all of their booster shots.
In June 2014, experts from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital polled a national sample of parents of children aged birth through 5-years-old, and found that 81 percent of parents agree or strongly agree that all children in daycare centers should be vaccinated, and that the majority of them (74 percent) agree or strongly agree that daycare providers should ensure that all participating children’s immunization status is up to date every year.
[ Watch the Video: Many Parents Would Remove Kids From Daycare If Others Are Unvaccinated ]
“Results of this poll indicate that most parents want strong policies around making sure children in daycare are up-to-date on vaccines,” Sarah J. Clark, associate director of the National Poll on Children’s Health and associate research scientist in the University of Michigan Department of Pediatrics, said in a statement Monday.
“Checking vaccination records every year is beyond the scope of many state requirements, and may represent a significant change in practice at many daycares,” she added. “Our poll finding that parents want to know the number of children lacking vaccines makes sense. That information might help parents understand the risk that their child could contract a vaccine-preventable disease – or transmit the disease to a vulnerable family member.”
Parents who participated in the survey were presented with a scenario in which one-fourth of the children in their kids’ daycare center were not up-to-date on vaccines – a situation which Clark said mirrors national statistics indicating that roughly 25 percent of preschool children in American have not been fully vaccinated.
When asked how they felt daycare facilities should deal with a situation involving a child who did not have up-to-date vaccines, 41 percent of parents said they were in favor of excluding the youngster until all of his/her vaccines were received, while 28 percent said there should be a grace period and 21 percent insisted that the parent provide a waiver from the child’s doctor. Only 10 percent were in favor of allowing the child to continue attending as-is.
In addition, Clark revealed that 39 percent of parents said they would definitely consider pulling their children out of that daycare center in this particular situation, and another 35 percent said that they probably would consider doing so. She said this indicates how seriously parents take the risk of disease spreading through unvaccinated children, and that it was perfectly legitimate to ask daycare providers questions about this issue.
“Our poll finding that parents want to know the number of children lacking vaccines makes sense. That information might help parents understand the risk that their child could contract a vaccine-preventable disease – or transmit the disease to a vulnerable family member, such as a person with cancer,” Clark said. “Parents should feel empowered to ask about daycare vaccination policies, such as how the daycare handles the situation of children who are not up-to-date, and whether they check children’s vaccination status every year.”
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