Alicia Silverstone Raises Big Question About Vaccinating Kids

alicia silverstoneIn her new book, The Kind Mama, Alicia Silverstone covers everything from her pregnancy to her beliefs on circumcision and vaccination. Though the book has only been out for two days, it's already got tongues wagging, as does a recent interview the famous vegan actress did with People about her parenting philosophies, in which she says she's "not against Western medicine. The problem is we’re using it as a first step for everything, even when it’s not needed."

Alicia deserves applause for bravely putting that sentiment out there! She's right: We are far too quick to jump to conventional medicine "fixes" -- which can be disappointingly closer to temporary bandages than true cures -- for too many of our ailments.

That said, her take on vaccines (of course) really has people fired up. She admits Bear hasn't had vaccinations for measles or chickenpox or a "drop of medicine." Instead, she feels that her son's body "is a super-clean healthy machine" that "can defend itself and flush out all the nasty stuff much more quickly than a baby whose diet isn't as kind." Eek.

But it's not as though she's staunchly anti-vax. In Kind Mama, she acknowledges that "vaccines are a very complicated issue" and advises other parents to "get educated and make a decision that feels best for you." Fair enough.

Questioning, researching, and educating yourself on a plethora of parenting decisions, like vaccination, is perfectly acceptable. I can't see how anyone would disagree that the more parents know, from multiple, reliable sources, the better.

Ultimately, I love that she's calling attention to that, and the fact that we do have a nasty tendency overmedicate, overprescribe. Moms are told to give their kids antibiotics even if they're just kicking the common cold. Maybe opting out of vaccination isn't the best battle for every mom to pick. Maybe it's choosing not to give them antihistamines when a bit of pure eucalyptus oil would do a far better job of addressing a case of the springtime sniffles.

Alicia's message that moms should explore and decide where and how they want to their little ones to go chemical- and medicine-free is awesome. At the same time, immune-boosting miso soup (or herbs or green smoothies or breast milk) isn't the cure for everything. And Alicia knows that. It's just about deploying healthy skepticism on both ends of the spectrum, which is ultimately what's best for us and our kids.

What natural therapies do your kids use instead of over-the-counter or prescription drugs?


Image via Jason Kempin/Getty

celeb moms, celeb kids, vaccinations, celebrity, general health, vegetarian, vaccines, natural parenting


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Snapp... SnappleQueen

When you or she get a medical degree, holler. 

Einyn Einyn

I don't medicate for pretty much anything but I do vaccinate. My kid won't die from the common cold under close supervision, but measles? Not taking the chance.

nonmember avatar Tracy

SnappleQueen is right. I don't need to hear from a celebrity, just my doctor.

Lane-... Lane-Moja

We didn't need antibiotics for our son until he caught laryngitus months after his 2nd birthday. Still breastfeeding him, which helps. Also, we didn't run to the doctor at each temperature he had, we waited to see if it persisted, and it never did longer than 24 hours. Why jump to give antibiotics immediately when their little bodies can fight most things off. That said, grandma and grandpa are doctors, and looked at him, and advised us, and often I resisted when antibiotics were suggested, and I am so glad we did, because it dlways passed.

I think it is hard for a parent ti see their child suffering, and they want to have quick-fixes

Lucki... Luckicharmz

We vaccinate for sure, but aside from that unless kids are seriously ill (ie: infection) we just let them ride out colds, flu etc. lots of vitamin c rich fruit, sleep and Kleenex in this house.

to many parents run to the clinic at the first sign of a sniffle these days because they assume drugs are always the answer :(

Stephanie Anne-Marie McDaniel

i think we should vaccinate against DEADLY things, but not rotovirus, chickenpox, etc. if its something that wont kill you then why pump your body full of stuff to keep it from happening?


nonmember avatar FarmersWife

I decided not to vaccinate my firstborn, right at the start of this "anti vaccination" movement. I feel it's the right decision for him personally, though a selfish decision regarding the human race. I am well aware that I am solely relying on herd immunity to keep my child safe, AND not contributing to herd immunity for other children. The fact that majority still were vaccinating on schedule, protected my child. I am still not "against" vaccination, but I had to go with my gut. My instincts were screaming that this child can NOT be vaccinated. I'll never know why, but at nearly 3, so far it was the right choice. But with so many people choosing not to vaccinate, I plan to stay on schedule with my next child. It's all about the right decision for YOU and YOURS individually. There's no one size fits all.

fave82 fave82

@stephanie mcdaniel

Adrian O'Brien

You don't need a medical degree to do research...  We engineers do it all the time to make you healthier MRI equipment, sonograms, and even wheel chairs. (along with many things that can kill you... take your water heater for example) She isn't saying 'don't vaccinate'  she is saying 'educate yourself and just because a doctor says it... doesn't mean its correct'  Doctors used to recommend radiating newborns to protect against SIDs, full-body x-rays, and there are even some doctors who still think aspartame is 'safe'.   Personally... when the statistics of my kid dying from a disease are lower than my kid having a leathal reaction to a shot (info gained from the CDC... not some loony-site) I'm gonna go with the numbers on this one. Why is it those who are questioning vaccines preach 'do your research' and staunchly pro-vax people screaming 'shut up and trust your doctor!  You are too stupid to make this decision for yourself'?

nonmember avatar Jennifer

Funny all the people saying they trust their doctors... You missed the piont all together!! Don't just trust your doctor. Your doctor went to medical school and was brainwashed by 'western medicine'. All she is asking is for you to do your own research and fact check what your doctor tells you. Just cause your doctor thinks or believes something does not make it fact! Don't be lazy and do the research!!! Your child is COUNTING ON YOU!!!

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