The Worst Thing You Can Do If You Don't Vaccinate Your Kids

boy vaccination

Wherever you stand on vaccines, you might think, "Well, as long as most kids are vaccinated, the few that aren't don't pose much of a risk." Right? Nope: according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, anti-vaxxers tend to cluster together. The result? They're putting the health of their kids at risk.

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By analyzing the immunization records of more than 154,000 kids in California -- where a measles outbreak is currently spreading, by the way -- researchers found that the average rate of under-immunizations (where parents refused or delayed at least one immunization) was about 11 percent. Yet in certain areas, this rate spiked to 18 to 23 percent.

Researchers even found five pockets where the parents had refused ALL vaccines. In one area in south Sacramento, for instance, 13.5 percent of kids had had no immunizations at all.

The problem? According to the researchers, this boosts the odds that these unvaccinated kids will have run-ins with each other ... and if either of those kids is carrying a contagious disease like measles, it can easily spread.

More from The Stir: Quiz: How Much Do You Really Know About Vaccines?

Of course, the pro-vax crowd will say this is a reason to just vaccinate your kids already!

But there's also a darker lesson here for those who still decide vaccinations are not for them: odds are, you probably rejoice when you find parents who feel the same way you do and think, "We've gotta hang with these people more often!" Only according to this study, that's the absolute worst thing you can do when it comes to the health of your kids.

Have you skipped any vaccines for your child -- and do you know others who have as well?

 

Image via Luiscar74/shutterstock

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