To vaccinate your kids or not vaccinate...that is the question. Whatever side of the fence you're on, or if you're riding the fence, it's good to go into your pediatrician's office with a cheat sheet. You want to know what she believes and why she believes it. It's such a difficult decision that you need all the information you can get.

Vaccination Questions — Conversation Starters

Remember to keep a level head and be unemotional while asking questions. I've heard stories of pediatricians that act more like drill sergeants than doctors. If that's the reaction you get, take your child somewhere else. These are not the people we want looking out for our children's well-being. Here are some questions you may want to consider asking your pediatrician before getting your child vaccinated.

  1. What are your thoughts on vaccinations?
  2. Why do you think that?
  3. Do you have children?
  4. Have they been vaccinated?
  5. What is your schedule for vaccinations?
  6. How do you feel about modified schedules?
  7. Do you offer modifications?
  8. How much would modified scheduling cost?
  9. Do you have a problem with using some vaccinations and leaving others?
  10. What are the possible reactions for this particular round of vaccinations?
  11. What do we do if there is a bad reaction to these shots?
  12. Is there thermisol in any of these vaccinations?
  13. Do you believe I should get a flu shot for my child?
  14. How do you feel about saving vaccinations until my child reaches school age?

Hopefully, a pediatrician is someone who will have a long relationship with you and your child. You want to make sure this person is willing to work within the boundaries you've set for your child, as well as offer their advice freely. It should be a respectful relationship, where the doctor listens to you and your concerns, while also being able to solve health issues before they become major problems.

Discussing Controversial Vaccinations Reveals a Doctor's Character

There's no hotter topic to bring up than vaccinations to see how your pediatrician will respond to questions. Will she listen patiently and offer her advice? Or will she get enraged and shut off communication? Whether you believe in vaccinating your child or not, asking about vaccinations will allow you to see how your doctor responds. The point is to see if this doctor has the capacity of being in a long term relationship with you and your child. If you love vaccines and believe firmly that every child should have them, it's still a great idea to bring up these questions to a potential pediatrician. I don't believe they can answer the questions wrong, per se, but they will definitely give you a glimpse into the way they operate.

With health care in such a precarious place right now, I think it's a good time to find a pediatrician if you don't have one. Make sure her beliefs align closely with yours. And if they don't, at least make sure she'll respect your choices.

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