Shameless Purell

From the Purell e-mail blast I just got:

Your little ones are headed back to school and so are millions of germs!  

I’m leaving aside all the nasty things I want to say about how we are MADE of germs and must get ACCUSTOMED to germs and when did start treating everyday life like lung surgery? But instead I will leave you with my son’s remark:

Oh, the germs took the summer off? – L.


104 Responses to Shameless Purell

  1. Layne August 30, 2012 at 2:33 am #

    Insert rim shot.

  2. Momof2 August 30, 2012 at 2:41 am #

    I am not a fan of hand sanitizer in the everyday world, however….I work in the healthcare field and not just with regular patients, but with mentally ill ones who do NOT care for themselves. I have been doing this job since February and yet I have not gotten sick.

    But within weeks of my girls returning to school, our entire house was struck down and it was my daughter that brought it home from school. So maybe a little use of the sanitizer at school is not such a bad thing.

    (I RARELY use it at work, by the way)

  3. Tracy Whipple August 30, 2012 at 2:47 am #

    Sometimes I use it just to feel the burning sensation on my rough cuticles, I am kinda weird like that. But seriously……we don’t use it at my house. I am not that worried about cooties

  4. Kate August 30, 2012 at 2:56 am #

    I appreciate a little hand sanitizer! My daughter has a heart condition, and what is a minor 3-day cold to your kid could be a major health event to her. (She is under proper care and has doctor clearancde ot attend schook, so please don’t hate.) Germs may not take a vacay over the summer, but school IS a place where kids and their germs congregate!! Obviously proper hand washing should be taught — and practiced. But sanitizer can certainly have its place.

  5. cheryl August 30, 2012 at 3:17 am #

    Sanitizer has it’s place on the hands of one out of every 1,000 kids. don’t do this to yourself folks!! Not Every Kid.
    Soap and water does 100% more for you and for them. If you are worried about the germs coming home?? Have them wash their hands when they get home!!

  6. Dani August 30, 2012 at 3:27 am #

    @your son HAHAHAHAH thats great! @Kate please please please continue to use hand sanitizer and good hand hygiene policies with your daughter! But she is the exception, not the rule. For the most part, immune systems need excersize just like brains and bodies. If they don’t ever have to do any work then they are not able to function properly when we really need them. And a number of studies show that real life exposure is far more effective than vaccination when it comes to that kind of thing. (For the record, I am NOT anti-vaccine, just anti OVER medicating/vaccinating.) Kids should get exposed to some things, if they are healthy to begin with. Also before people start trying to rip my “opinions” to shreds, my degree and job are both in Mircobiology, I actually do know what I am talking about and keep current on research and development.

  7. Amanda Matthews August 30, 2012 at 3:28 am #

    Purel is a bad thing because germs evolve to avoid being killed. If we put Purel on the hands of everyone, the bad germs will evolve to the point where the Purel can’t kill them… then to the point where NOTHING can kill them. Even healthy people will stand no chance, much less people with issues.

    The reason kids get sick at school is 1. few people are willing to keep sick kids home, or even see a reason to do so and 2. if you have 30 people packed into one room, they will share germs. Combine that with the fact that many of these kids don’t know how to properly cover their mouths when sneezing, coughing etc., how to properly wipe their noses, and don’t have ample opportunity to wash their hands, etc. and you’ve got an illness fest. These things are better solved with education than with Purel.

  8. MHM August 30, 2012 at 3:34 am #

    My husband works for a lab that does Bio research. He was having a conversation with some co workers who said that we do not have the studies regarding the chemicals used in hand sanitizes to know what they do to developing bodies. UC Davis recently published a study that suggests that a common anti-bacterial chemical can cause muscle paralysis.

    My daughter started K this year. Today I told her teacher that she is not to use Hand sanitize but to wash her hands instead. There are other things on their hands besides germs that need to be washed off anyway.

  9. Obi-Wandreas August 30, 2012 at 3:35 am #

    There are three main problems with the use of hand sanitizer:
    1) It is less effective than hand washing, and does nothing to remove actual dirt
    2) Living in an antiseptic environment is a very good way to build a weak immune system
    3) They kill 99.9% of bacteria, thus providing a very fertile breeding ground for that (currently small) percentage for which we have no defense. There’s a reason superbugs are found in hospitals – the cleanest places around. You may wish to hasten the coming of the next epidemic, but I would prefer not to contribute to the deaths of millions, thank you very much.

    Obviously, if someone is already immunocompromised or otherwise has health issues, then the use of any sort of sanitizing solution makes sense. But, just like antibiotics, there is a time and a place. If used sparingly, in targeted situations, its fine. When you start using them all the time, however, you are deluding yourself while killing others..

  10. MHM August 30, 2012 at 3:39 am #

    @Dani, I agree our immune systems need the practice. I figure that by the time she reaches high school or college her immune system needs to be strong. K is the place to be sick. My daughter already has her first cold, before sending her to school I asked to show me how she is to cover her mouth when she coughs, with her elbow. She knew. Its such a mild set of sniffles.

  11. Uly August 30, 2012 at 3:40 am #

    Apparently, hand sanitizer use in the classrooms has a slight correlation with a decrease in gastrointestinal disease. Does nothing about respiratory ills which, let’s face it, are the bulk of what ails kids. And slight means slight. Better to just remind them to wash their hands.

  12. Emily August 30, 2012 at 4:03 am #

    Was it the “subway son” who said that, or the other son? Either way, Lenore, your kids are awesome–I love the way they’re picking up on the classic Skenazy sarcasm so readily. :)

  13. Dani August 30, 2012 at 4:14 am #

    @Obi if hands are visibly soiled (dirt, food, etc) then soap and water should always be the first stop. But it isn’t true that hand sanitizer is less effective than handwashing when it comes to germs. They are actually about equal and if you’ve washed your hands recently but say petted an animal or were handling money, etc and are about to eat hand sanitizer is a good option. Not after every experience with money, or animals or doors or people. And people are using it almost like lotion, or as a nervous, what do I do with my hands, oh let me pull out my sanitizer and rub it on, type thing. Thats where the bacterial immunity to the effects start to happen, when it is OVER utilized. There is a place for it, just not after every time we touch something.

  14. Nicole August 30, 2012 at 4:33 am #

    Similarly, I heard a radio ad for Clorox wipes. The ad was encouraging parents to donate wipes to their son/daughter’s classroom. Then, at the end they mentioned the child should NOT transport the box to school. What kinda antics are kids getting into with a container of wipes?! And- if they’re so dangerous should we be slathering the classroom with them?

  15. Kristi Baumbach August 30, 2012 at 4:38 am #

    Every year, I hear about some kid who threw up in the lunch room, hallway or classroom. How is hand sanitizer supposed to stop THOSE air born germs? Kids are just dirty and sanitizer won’t fix that….have them wash a few times a day with real soap and water and let them be kids!

  16. Lollipoplover August 30, 2012 at 4:41 am #

    My kids had Purell on their school supply list!
    They didn’t request it last year and they didn’t use any. They haven’t had sick visits for the past two years (except poison ivy) so we are not changing our strategy. Hand washing, exercise, and healthy eating and sleeping seem to be working fine for my family.
    Should I send in hand soap instead?!

  17. Warren August 30, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    Face facts. We are the generation that wants a pill, shot, nasal spray, patch, or magic elixer, so that no one gets sick ever.

    I do not believe in the flu shot, chicken pox vaccine or running to the doctor every time someone sniffles or has a muscle ache.

    Hand sanitizers rank right up there when it comes to a big waste of money. I have no problem using it when entering a building where people have compromised immune systems, hospitals, senior’s homes and such. But in our house, you feel the need to cleanse your hands, get up off your butt and go wash em.

    At my last employer they handed them out, and made it a policy to use them regularly, during the flu season. The four of us in the shop, that repair tires, trucks, bobcats, cranes, hydraulics and so on just laughed. In our case the sanitizer would be harmful. Our grease covered hands were safer for us than any sanitizer. All the sanitizer would do is remove some of the oil, and grease.

  18. Renee Anne August 30, 2012 at 4:44 am #

    Personally, I don’t mind using it if we’re in a place where handwashing isn’t available (like when we’re at the dog park, or the kid park)…but you can bet that one of the first things we do when we get home is properly wash our hands.

    When I used to be a substitute teacher, it appalled me that teachers were actually using hand sanitizer in place of handwashing with soap. I asked one of them once why the school had the policy (yeah, it was the school, not just the teacher) – supposedly they were trying to save money on janitors because sending all those children to the sinks would cause a huge mess in the bathrooms and/or classrooms and they didn’t have the funds to have a full-time day janitor.


  19. lskenazy August 30, 2012 at 4:44 am #

    really — what WAS the point of not transporting them? should they MAIL them? L   Lenore Skenazy Author of the bookand blog, Free-Range Kids Host of Discovery/TLC International’s “World’s Worst Mom” (the title is ironic!). Here’s a 2-minute sample. Busy twittering at FreeRangeKids And while we’re at it, also author of the trivia book that puts the fun in short term memory loss:”Who’s The Blonde that Married What’s-His-Name?”  646 734 8426 (cell)


  20. Momof2 August 30, 2012 at 4:56 am #

    Keep in mind, Warren, that if your kids don’t get chicken pox now (which they likely won’t since most kids get vaccinated), they can get it as adults and it is much more serious to get chicken pox as an adult.

  21. Warren August 30, 2012 at 5:20 am #

    Well aware of adults with chicken pox. But I still think I will side with our family doctor on this. He has yet to fail us, on anything.
    When a child gets the chicken pox, their immune system builds an immunity to the virus. At the same time, the immune system gets stronger in general. Also, the vaccine has not been proven to protect one as an adult, so you might just be looking at a lifetime of boosters.

    He does not suggest the flu shot for most of his patients, either. The elderly, the immune challenged, or those in regular contact with the previously mentioned. A relatively healthly person has just as good a chance of not getting the flu without the shot, as one who does. And for the record, since stopping the shot, I have come down with the flu once in 14 years. Before that, while getting the shot, about every 2 to 3 years.

  22. Dulcie August 30, 2012 at 5:47 am #

    My sister is a MAJOR germiphobe and practically bathed in hand sanitizer, so, in an epic case of karma, one day she developed a severe allergic reaction to the stuff and now has to resort to boring old soap and water to keep her hands clean. Despite the seriousness of her reaction, I have to admit that my other siblings and I had a major giggle over the irony of it all -we’ve all had her following after our kids with a dustbuster in her house while we would visit – I don’t go to her house at all anymore due to her fear of dirt.

  23. Mark Potter August 30, 2012 at 5:55 am #

    @Warren: Science disagrees with you:

    When the vaccine is well matched with the flu virus you get a 50-70% efficacy from the vaccine and when not well matched you end up about 48% efficacy. Your statement that person with the vaccine is as likely to get the flu as someone without is demonstrably false. Furthermore your anecdote about your personal flu experience is just that, an anecdote and nothing more. Anecdotes are the weakest form of evidence.

  24. Dani August 30, 2012 at 5:56 am #

    @momof2 actually the problem as adults is if you HAVE had chicken pox, because the virus is still in your systems and can evolve into Shingles. Its actually a concern for children who have been vaccinated, because since the vaccine is so new (less than 20 yrs) those who have been vaccinated haven’t quite reached adulthood and the possibility of shingles still exists because the vaccine contains actual virus, and so introduces it to the system. We don’t know how the vaccine virus strain will react, and how strong the shingles will be… Again, this is my job, I know what I am talking about.

  25. awombatsweb August 30, 2012 at 6:19 am #

    I think these products are good to have but not for using all the time.

  26. Mandy August 30, 2012 at 6:22 am #

    Hand sanitizer does not lead to resistant bacteria, and it is considered as effective as handwashing by the WHO. The main ingredient in Purell is alcohol, which immediately evaporates. Kids are exposed to plenty of germs at school, whether they use sanitizer or soap and water to clean their hands. As a nurse, I use hand sanitizer all the time at work and have absolutely no problem with my kids using it at school to try to prevent the spread of disease.

  27. BK August 30, 2012 at 6:34 am #

    Teachers often have students use hand sanitizer because it is quick. With one sink in the classroom, we would lose a lot of instructional time waiting for 25 kids to use soap and water –scrubbing long enough to sing “happy birthday” — before snack and before lunch. Now we are required to have a separate Material Safety Data Sheet for every brand of hand sanitizer that the parents send in. I even need an MSDS for the dish soap I use on my own dishes when I eat lunch in my classroom!

  28. Warren August 30, 2012 at 6:52 am #

    Your numbers are correct, but that is based on the assumption that they are immunizing you with the correct strain, for that season.

    What the CDC is not telling you, is that most of us, who have been exposed to many different strains of influenza, already have a natural immunity to many of these strains. Also as a healthy person, I have no fear of dying or serious damage if I do succumb to the flu.

    So let’s see……….inject a virus into my healthy body with the hope it is the right strain, or risk some sniffles, aches and crankiness. Damn, I’ll take my chances. Besides, never found a strain of flu that could get thru my work enviroment.

    The only reason they started recomending shots for everyone, is to boost sales of the vaccine and possibly cut down on lost manpower in the workplace. God forbid we should actually take our sick days.

    @Dani……thank you for the factual backup. My daughters school actually tried to deny her admission, because she had not been given the vaccine. LOL, until our doctor reminded them rather assertively that they did not have any authority to dictate any medical procedures or treatments for one of his patients.

    Yes, I put alot of faith in him. He is constantly educating himself and staying ontop of things. Hell he prescribed my one daughter a prescription heartburn medication. Which threw the pharmacist for a loop. Why would a 12 year old suffer from chronic heartburn? She didn’t, one of the side effects of the drug was it killed the planters warts she had. This treatment was easier on her entire body than any of the regular wart treatments.

  29. Warren August 30, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    One other thing Mark………..influenza has become a huge source of income for so many companies, researchers, retailers and advertising. So just playing devil’s advocate here, could the numbers be skewed a little, say to keep the economic wheels a turnin’?

  30. Mark Potter August 30, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    @Warren: It’s not easy to pad double blind randomized trials to begin with as they span multiple institutions .The profit margins on flu vaccine are very low as it’s offered almost at cost. So no I don’t think the numbers are skewed. The CDC has no reason to skew the numbers at all.

    As for your first point the CDC numbers cover that. If it’s not the right strain the efficacy drops to about 48% from 70% (at the highest efficacy) so even then you are lowering your risk substantially. The flu is very well understood virus and the prediction algorithms are very accurate but even when they are off you still lower your risk. With only a 48% efficacy you essentially cut your chances of getting the flu in half, minus two percentage points, so if you had (and I am making these numbers up for the purpose of illustrating the point) 1 in a 100 chance of getting the flu and were vaccinated against the wrong strain you still end up with, basically a 1 in 196 chance of getting the flu. The studies are controlled and account for your natural immunity as the control group has the immunity of which you speak. So the numbers aren’t lying by ignoring natural immunity but rather saying that the efficacy is in addition to your natural immunity.

  31. CrazyCatLady August 30, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    In the “Kinder is the NEW 1st Grade” attitude that my daughter’s teacher had, everything was “hurry, hurry.” She would NOT let the kids wash their hands before snack, because “It takes too long!”

    I spoke to my doctor, whose daughter was also in the class, and the compromise was hand sanitizer. My kids have my immune system, which means, it sucks. I was happy that they got to do something.

    At home I have hand sanitizer. I never use it to sanitize. It works pretty good at getting ink out of clothing when kids put a pen in the wash. It also works great for cleaning off the whiteboard that I put all my shopping needs on.

  32. Dani August 30, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    @Mark, 48-70% is not good enough for me… and just for the record, I know for a fact that the flu shot did not cover the seasonal flu that ACTUALLY went around for the last 3 yrs running. If you remember, they quickly came out with the swine flu shot after the regular seasonal flu shot had already been administered to most of the population the year of the Swine Flu epidemic. They also told all of us at the hospital that anyone who was alive to recieve flu shots in the 70’s most likely already had immunity and had already been exposed to the swine flu that caused the most recent epidemic (just to back Warren up a little more)

  33. Warren August 30, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    So Mark, because of the minimal markup on the vaccine, there is no money to be made. Maybe if your sales were in the dozens. Even minimal markup, when sold by the millions is big money. And it is not just the vaccine sales at stake, it is hand sanitizers, over the counter rememdies, tissues, thermometers and a whole array of items right down to comfort food.
    So do not tell me that the flu isnt a financial winfall for some.
    If you want to have a virus introduced to your body, in the hopes you wont get a fever, sniffles and body aches then go for it. But you will never be able to sell me or my family on it.
    Here is something for you to chew on, people employed in the mechanical fields have lower occurances of the flu than the public average. So given that, why would I, who is already at lesser risk than the public, why would I inject a virus into my healthy body?

    Let me guess, you are a shareholder in a drug company, right?

    As for your algorithms, and predictions, well it is still not a sure thing that they will get the right vaccine for the right strain, for that season.
    I will gamble in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, but not a doctor’s office.

  34. Warren August 30, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    thank ya thank ya thank ya

    Strains of influenza and child abductors, what do they have in common?
    The public at large are scared to death of both. And will go to extreme’s to overprotect against them.

  35. Dani August 30, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    PS, the CDC probably doesn’t publish the fact that they screwed the pooch coming out with the vaccine. They just tell you its still 50% effective. Which if you actually think about statistics etc, only means that you have the same chance whether you get the shot or not. So the 50% that didn’t get the flu probably weren’t going to get it anyway. And those vaccines aren’t tested for their safety, only efficacy, AND they come out with them in less than a year. It just doesn’t make sense for a person with a healthy immune system to get it.

  36. Nicole August 30, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    Apparently adults must deliver directly to the school:

  37. Warren August 30, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    Go Dani Go!!!!

  38. Stephenie August 30, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    I have not been a fan of leave-on hand sanitizers since there were invented and this is why:

  39. lucy August 30, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    We never use the stuff. The BIG thing that bothers me is most schools around here have the WORST bathrooms – no soap and definitely no hot water. Even if the school is teaching about hand washing they are not providing the tools to do so.

  40. C.J. August 30, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    I carry hand sanitizer in my purse. I rarely use it on my hands though. When my kids need to use a public washroom that looks gross I use it to clean the toilet. Kids are not good at hovering and some people leave public washrooms just wrong! Then they use soap and water to wash their hands.

  41. bmommyx2 August 30, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Personally I’m more concerned about the ingredients in Purell than the germs

  42. Mark Potter August 30, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    @Warren: No I don’t hold any stock, in anything all actually. I just know science which apparently doesn’t mean much to you. I never said you should get the flu vaccine, in fact I personally don’t. All I did was correct factual errors in the things you stated and backed what I said with science. I never said the drug companies don’t make a profit off of the vaccine but their profits off of it, and they are public companies you can look it up, are orders of magnitude less than anti-depressants and pain killers. The profit motive is complete bunk. They make more off of just about any other drug than off of the flu vaccine.

    @Dani: Really? You are a total idiot. The efficacy rates are determined by double blinded and randomized trials. That means a 50% efficacy boils down like this: The control group, the ones not given the vaccine were 50% more likely to get the flu than the ones given the vaccine. It doesn’t mean what you stated at all. You apparently have no clue what a double blinded randomized trial is or how efficacy rates for vaccines are calculated. The studies are published and peer reviewed. The CDC isn’t pulling numbers out of thin air. I call BS on your claim of being a microbiologist as you apparently don’t even understand how clinical trials are conducted. Just wow! You are obviously full of crap.

  43. Sean August 30, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    I read a study once that said children raised on farms get sick less than non-farm kids. I can’t remember the entire context of it (asthma, inflammation or some such thing), but it certainly puts questions to the Purell all the time crowd.

  44. Julie Cooper August 30, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    My oldest son spent his first 7 years of life living in a mud hut in Ethiopia. He’s been in the United States for 5 years and has been sick EXACTLY ONCE. I can’t even count the number of times my U.S. born children have been sick. There’s something to be said for being exposed to germs. Embrace the germs? (Maybe so!)

  45. dani August 30, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

    @Mark, I am a microbiologist, clinical not research, and NOT a virologist. I know a little about virology but do not keep up with research techniques. You are right my knowledge of the convuluted methods and research numbers is poor. Thank you for correcting me. However the info about the strain being off for the last three years is correct. I never said the studies weren’t published or peer reviewed as I know that they are, and I never said that they were pulling numbers out of thin air. Just that they were reporting that the vaccine was 50% effective, and not that it didn’t target the correct strain of virus. I just have a hard time with the speed with which they have to come out with that particular vaccine, and that they do not have time to study any kind of side effects. And by your own admission they have to guess as to which strain might be “the one” this year. I just don’t like it. Again I apologize for my lack of knowledge in statistical analysis, but 50% is still 50% and I like my chances

  46. Warren August 30, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    Anyone that will blindly accept numbers from a government oraganization, to be gospel, should really take a deep breath and rethink life. Do not try to tell me that there is no way they could fudge the numbers, or skew the data in their favour.

    I do not care if it is double, triple or exponentially blind/random/top secret/ kill you if you knew tests and samplings. Again you are only taking their word for it.

    Oh, I am sorry the United States gov’t has never, and will never lie to it’s citizens. What was I thinking.

    Doesn’t matter who or what one is, when presenting data they do it in the most favourable way, for their purpose.

  47. linvo August 30, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    We have a big bottle of hand sanitiser in our office kitchen right next to the sink that also has a liquid soap dispenser. That I don’t get.

    But we do use hand sanitiser when we go to festivals or camping when washing hands after going to the toilet is difficult or impossible. I also use it if I go to the office with a bad cold. I use it after every sneeze and blowing my nose, even if only to show my colleagues that I really didn’t just come in to infect them all. Fortunately I very rarely get colds.

    Other than in those situations, I don’t really do ‘anti-bacterial’ stuff. Normal soap and water for us.

    However… my daughter regularly tells me horror stories about the state of the toilets in her public school. And I have noticed myself that there is often no soap present and very rarely paper towels, so no one washes their hands there. That does make me shudder.

  48. Warren August 30, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    Your personal attack on Dani is totally uncalled for, and ignorant. An apology is called for.
    Mark it is people like you, that resort to attacking the person, and not the issue, that have people like me doubting your data, and position.
    You want to put your faith in documents, statistics and gov’t fed information when it comes to your health, by all means do so.
    When it comes to my family there is really only three opinions that matter, mine, my wife’s and our doctor’s.

    I do not care how much statistical data you can show. Society is vaccinating, and medically weakening itself into a very vulnerable state.
    People have and are becoming dependant on antibiodics, vaccines and other medications for far too many things, that our bodies should be handling on their own. The more we use, the more we need.

    We are now in an era, where people demand to be protected against the flu. To back up Dani, the expectation is so great that these vaccines are mass produced in short time frames. Hell, if you invented a new lipstick, you couldn’t get approval as fast as these vaccines are approved. At least with the lipstick there would be no guess work. Unlike which the selection of strain to protect against. All the math aside, they are still giving a best guess. And they have been wrong far too many times for comfort.

    I am not advocating against the flu shot or chicken pox vaccine, these are personal choices. I do stand firm that no school, agency, gov’t or whatever should have the right to make them mandatory. And their are some places that have. My daughter’s school tried and failed, repeatedly. Unfortunately some places have succeeded, and that is wrong on so many levels.

  49. Brian August 30, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

    Mark–thanks for saying what I was thinking. 50% effective is not hard to understand, pretty obvious really. To fail to understand the meaning is akin to concluding when the Weatherman says there is a 50% chance of rain that it means nothing since it is always true that it will rain or it wont.

    Warren–your comment re lipstick approval is completely wrong. There is extensive testing the speed is actually a miracle of modern medicine. Although, I don’t totally disagree regarding your skepticism of the medical/government recommendations.

    However, I strongly disagree with your comment “All the math aside, they are still giving a best guess.” That is also true of gravity and every airplane that flies. We use math which gives us statistics and odds which make sense of the world. We then apply those findings. We can’t see gravity but we sure can predict how it will impact a plane. To put aside the math renders this a useless conversation.

  50. Andy August 30, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    My sons went to sports camps and then school started. Guess where they got louses from: the school!

  51. Suze August 30, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    @Warren…. I heard you mention Ontario in another post. Are you in Ontario, Canada or Ontario, California? If its Ontario, Canada I can tell you that hand sanitizer is banned in schools from what I know. My son hasn’t been in public school for several years now (he’s 22 and graduated from university last year) If they needed to “sanitize” their hands, they had to go to restroom and wash them. I think the reasoning for this was because hand sanitizers contained alcohol and they didn’t want all our little snowflakes having anything with alcohol in it.

    They might drink it or get high off of it 😛

  52. Warren August 30, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    Ontario, Canada
    Yes, they are banned in alot of schools, but it was explained to me, to prevent break ins to steel the alcohol laden product. Might just be they didnt want to spend the money on buying them. lol.

    @ Brian
    You are comparing using math to calculate the thrust needed to make an airliner take off, to using math to predict what specific strain of the flu is going to outbreak. Physics to biology….apples to oranges.

    Your comparison of mathematics is immaterial. The world of physics deals with many factors that are constants, such as gravity. There is nothing constant about a virus. It is a living organism. Trying to predict where, when it will move, would be like me trying to predict what colour socks you will pick in the morning.

    You can preach all the stats you want.

    Want to know what kind of thinking stats creates.
    I took a new Chev pickup to get insurance, and was told that GMC would be cheaper. Because the stats showed GMC to be safer. # of accidents, injuries and such. Other than paint options, and trim pieces they are identical in every way. Made one after the other on the same line. But math says one is safer than the other.
    So do not preach math to me, because anyone can manipulate data to reflect what they need.

  53. Brian August 30, 2012 at 11:39 pm #

    It would be very easy to predict my sock color. Black on weekdays, none on weekends.

    There are many events in biology that exist with exactly the same mathematical consistency as physics. The reproduction of cells for instance. Further, if you use larger sample basis many numbers in biology become incredibly consistent and predictable.

    My point is not that math cannot be manipulated or misunderstood. However, science and math represent a truth behind the numbers. In the case of the car perhaps there is a different market which buys the 2 cars or it is a small sample size which distorts the accident numbers. That does not make the insurance carrier right to use that number HOWEVER that also does not make it untrue that a certain type of car has more accidents.

  54. Warren August 31, 2012 at 12:26 am #

    So by using a larger sample basis, science and math comes up with prediction. And based on that larger sample basis, that preciction is supposed to be good for me.

    I am a middle age, white, healthy, fit male, that works in the automotive repair sector, with at least 70% of my work taking place outdoors. I am about as low risk as it gets, for catching the flu. The problem with your math and statistics is that whether it is based on 10 people or 2 million, it is basically an average.

    So going back to your numbers, when they get lucky enough to pick the correct strain, the vaccine is 50-70% effective. If they dont get it right it is 48% effective. I have heard better predictions from weather forcasts. You also have to like the 50-70% effective rate.

    In the my field of work, there is most definitely not a 20% margin for error. Yet people want to inject a virus into their body, with a 20% margin for error.

    Just for the record, I am a licensed tire technician. If I put a set of duals on a semi with a 50-70% effective rate, people die.

    Okay for the sake of argument you are right, the numbers don’t lie. They just plain suck. This kind of effectiveness and accuracy is not acceptable in my world. And it shouldn’t be for anyone.

    As for the big business end of it. There are huge profits made every year because of the flu. Not just on the vaccine, but every over the counter medication there is, is made by the same companies as the vaccine. HMMMMMM, low quality vaccine=more over the counter remedy sales. Just thinking out loud.

  55. Debra August 31, 2012 at 12:49 am #

    Before we married my husband got the flu shot twice. Both years he caught the flu and was miserably sick for days. After that he never got the shot and has never had the flu since. I have never had the shot and neither have our kids and we’ve never had the flu, to my knowledge. If we did it was mild enough not to stick out in my memory, LOL. My husband is not the only case I’ve heard like this. Eating healthy, plenty of fresh air, sunshine, and exercise seems to be better preventative medicine than shooting ourselves with artificial chemicals and preservatives, at least for our family.

  56. Warren August 31, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    I have no problem with the flu shot, or chicken pox vaccine, for those who want it. It is your body do as you wish.

    I have a problem with people, schools and agencies that try to mandate them. I also have a problem with those that constantly try to convince me that I should get the shots.

    I don’t need em, neither does my wife or kids.

  57. Laura August 31, 2012 at 1:45 am #

    Hand sanitizer is on the school supply list every year. This bugs the heck out of me – there are SINKS in EVERY classroom. There are bathrooms in the HALLWAY. I don’t know if it’s because they’re tryng to save precious learning time, or maybe they’re just too chicken to provide consequences to the kids who dillydally while washing their hands, or what…

  58. Warren August 31, 2012 at 1:57 am #

    What it all boils down to is people today are scared of everything. And the corporate machine loves it, by playing into those fears.

    They make fortunes selling products to sanitize, sterilize and provide barriers and on and on and on.

    The masses fall for this, and soon one or two parents start demanding it in the schools, and here we are.

    They want them in the schools, fine. Just do not reprimand my child for not using them, she hates the sensation.

    Reprimand her for not using it, and the fight is on, and they will lose.

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  60. hineata August 31, 2012 at 2:15 am #

    One of my kids is about to begin taking hand sanitiser to school with her, as a preventative – these things have their place, for a very small number of people. The other two won’t be, though, as they have perfectly normal immune systems. That said, they all three love using the stuff at the hospital whenever we’re there, as they love the smell. Am probably raising alcoholics, LOL.

    @Sean, I wonder if one reason farm kids might have fewer illnesses than urban kids is that they are routinely exposed to fewer people? The ‘fresh air’ factor probably plays a role as well, but surely the fewer people around you, the less chance of illness spreading? Not a medical type at all, BTW, so might be nonsense….

  61. hineata August 31, 2012 at 2:23 am #

    @Warren – you were mentioning flu shots and chicken pox vaccines. Out of interest, are other vaccinations mandated in Canada? Like the MMR, or the BCG (TB) or tetanus? We have no mandatory vaccinations here, and appear to be getting a resurgence of some of the nastier stuff, like whooping cough.

    Would be interested to hear if any Western country has mandatory vaccinations, and if so what the results have been.

  62. Ms. Herbert August 31, 2012 at 4:27 am #

    I love getting hand sanititizer in the school supply packets. It is great for getting dry erase off the desks. (I let kids write on their desks for some activities) We use soap and water for hands unless we are really pushed for time.. I don’t like using sanitizer on their hands before they eat because it rubs off on food like hotdogs, hamburgs and pizza.

  63. DForest August 31, 2012 at 6:15 am #

    RE: the clorox wipes thing, not only do they not want students bringing it in themselves, teachers are not allowed to use them in the presence of students. Even after school. They are supposed to be hidden away until the sensitive little darlings are safely out of touching/tasting/smelling range of that harsh & toxic cleaning product.

  64. carolynrose4 August 31, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    Thank you for mentioning the fact that clorox wipes are toxic. Many people are not aware of how their home came be causing their family to become sick. Many products that are in the market have an alarming amount of toxic products in them which is one of the reasons why this country has the largest number of chronic diseases. I happen to suffer from one of them, Multiple Sclerosis.

  65. JaneW August 31, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Everyone who is attacking Mark: Cut it out. Thousands of people every year die from the flu. (Way WAY more than the number of children who die from stranger violence!) Vaccinating children (the main spreaders) is the only possible way to reduce the annual epidemics.

    We need vaccines, people. The data isn’t coming from “the government,” it’s coming from the CDC, the medical authorities of multiple other countries, many universities, private research hospitals, and from manufacturers. Should you believe everything the government says? No. But would you really rather reject EVERYthing the government says in favor believing the tinfoil hat brigade?

    Want to know what a world without vaccines is really like? Ask your elders. Ask the new immigrants from the third world. Go ahead, find out for yourselves. I’m not afraid of the truth.

  66. Liesbeth August 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    I lived in Indonesia for a year. A woman I met there bathed in Detol once a week. She got scabies as a result! Since then I never used any sanitiser!

  67. Sean August 31, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    @hineata: I had similar thoughts. This is one of the problems with epidimeological studies, numbers which don’t prove causation. That said, google farm children and you can see there is some science to support what our bodies do in response to our environments.

  68. Sharon Davids August 31, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

    My daughters fifth grade classroom does not have a sink. Yes, they are in portables. I agree they should wash their hands around lunchtime but I think without a classroom sink hand sanitzers won’t hurt. Some kids will pretend to take it anyhow. The safety patrols don’t want to tell on each because they might lose privileges.

  69. Warren August 31, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    Sorry, no the only one I do and will ask is my trusted family doctor. I have never said to do away with vaccines. What I have stuck by is that they should not be mandated, and they are a personal choice.

    Should I vaccinate my kids, because you want me to? Hell no.

    Really ask my elders, you do not want me to go there. I belong to the Algonquin First Nations. Our elders never had the deseases and outbreaks until the europeans came here and settled. And my elders back then never needed vaccines to lead a healthy life.

    No offense to the immigrants from the third world. But not my concern. My concern is my family and what is best for them. And injecting a virus into their healthy bodies is not what is best for them. I will take my doctor’s advice over anyone’s or any agency

    So Jane you are obviously for mandatory vaccinations, even against someone’s will? You start allowing the gov’t to mandate medical treatments and it is a slippery slope. Be careful what you wish for, because to quote a stat…9 times out of 10 it comes back to bite you in the ass.

    Consider this Jane, if we continue with the practise of letting drugs fight off all illness, and never rely on our own immune system anymore, what do you think the long term evolutionary result will be for the human race? Remembering that evolutionary change is need based for the most part. We lost most of our body hair, once we started wearing “clothes” and living sheltered from the elements, cave and huts and such. So we did not need our body hair, and evolutionary changes in species represented that.

    Wonder what will happen to future generations where their immune system isn’t needed?

  70. pentamom August 31, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

    Warren, I think you missed Jane’s point about immigrants form the third world. She didn’t mean that they need the vaccines here and now in any special way, but that they have lived through watching children actually die for lack of the vaccines — in this generation.,It’s not that they have a unique experience — it’s that their experience shows what happens when vaccines are not available, therefore giving us an idea of what happens when they’re rejected.

    And yes, it may be someone else’s fault that your elders acquired diseases (although there’s a fair bit of evidence that it went both ways) but that does not change the reality that, here and now, we have those diseases present in the population.

    Do what you believe is right for your family — you are entitled to that. You are not entitled to your own facts about how vaccines are produced and tested and how population immunity works.

  71. Debra August 31, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

    JaneW, the statistics from flu deaths each year are very misleading. Did you know any case of pneumonia or other respiratory distress type death is categorized as a “flu” death even if that person never had the flu? My grandfather fell a few years ago and ended up in the hospital. While there he contracted pneumonia and ended up dying. He never had the flu, yet I know for a fact his death was added to the deaths by influenza that year because his cause of death was pneumonia. Think of the thousands of elderly deaths from pneumonia and such that are classified as influenza deaths when they never had it. (My husband had two grandparents die from pneumonia with no influenza, as well. It’s actually quite common in the elderly.) Sure the vaccine industry wants you to think there are that many deaths, but the reality is there just isn’t. I wish they actually would do an analysis of ACTUAL influenza deaths confirmed by tests that that is indeed what they had. But I would think that would make the vaccine sales go way down when people were given the truth.

  72. Warren August 31, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    For one, you are not entitled to tell me what I am entitled to or not. Get that straight.

    I did not miss the point on immigrants from third world. And do not try to skew the stats on that. You cannot say it is solely because of lack of vaccines. The living conditions, lack of clean drinking water, pour nutrition, and so on contribute more to the mortality rates over there, than lack of vaccines. All of these factors are not in my control, and thus not my concern. I know heartless, and cold. So be it.

    And I never quoted them as facts, just that in my opinion, these vaccines are fast tracked. In my doctor’s opinion they are fast tracked.

    As for population immunity goes, we will immunize, and drug ourselves into a weakened state. Again my opinion, but one shared by many in the medical field. We may not see it in our lifetime. Nature has away of keeping things in order, and balance. So do not be surprised if one day, a small, normally harmless virus turns out to be the one that does us in. Why because our bodies can’t fight for itself, without artificial help.
    Again, not given as facts just opinions. Opinions shared by other’s.

    And yes I will do what I believe is right for my family. I have never said I was against other’s getting vaccines, just that I was against mandated vaccines. And there are places trying to do it, from states, to schools, to employers.

    As for Jane’s comments about kids, they are not the Typhoid Marys you make them out to be. I am more leary of adults and their hygiene, because kids get harped on all the time, about it. Adults are the ones you should be watching.

  73. Momof2 September 1, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    @Warren I agree with the original point of this post, that hand sanitizer is not necessary in most situations. And I agree that you have the right to not vaccinate your kids. But you do NOT have the right to not vaccinate and then send your kids to school with MY kids, exposing them to those diseases. I’m not sure if you heard, but things like the measles have made a comeback because of the misinformation out there regarding vaccines that is scaring well-intentioned parents. Yes, my kids have been vaccinated, but have you thought about children out there that cannot get vaccines for medical reasons going to school with all these kids choosing not to be vaccinated? An epidemic is imminent with all of this happening.

  74. JaneW September 1, 2012 at 12:23 am #

    @Warren: Yes, of course vaccines should be mandated rather than a matter of choice. Having working breaks on your car is the law, because it’s a matter of public rather than personal safety, and getting vaccines is no different.

    You see, with stuff like measles and whooping cough, the people at greatest risk are the babies too young to be vaccinated, and people with chronic health problems who can’t be vaccinated. Also, no vaccine is 100% effective: With measles, about 1% of otherwise perfectly healthy people just don’t develop immunity no matter how many times they get it.

    But if everyone who can get the vaccine does, then the folks who can’t get it are still protected, as are the people in whom it doesn’t “take.”

    Most of the supposed “risks” of vaccines were invented by scam artists like Andrew Wakefield, who falsified his data after he was paid over $1 million by a consortium of lawyers who wanted to sue vaccine makers–whether they’d done anything wrong or not.

    And, unlike our obsession with hygiene, getting vaccines does not weaken the immune system. Instead, they actually strengthen the immune system, causing it to develop many useful new antibodies.

    Still, believe whatever you want to believe. I’m going to get my flu shot now.

  75. Debra September 1, 2012 at 12:34 am #

    Momof2, if your kids are vaccinated, then why are you worried about Warren sending his kids to school with your kids. Unless, of course you know deep down that vaccines are not as effective as we are led to believe. Otherwise the majority of cases of these diseases occurring would be in unvaccinated children. In reality the opposite is true. The VAST MAJORITY of these diseases occur in children who are FULLY vaccinated. Here’s an article with statistics and research to back this up:

    I’m not saying there is never a time or place for vaccines. It’s an individual choice parents should make based on their circumstances and their children and weighing the risks and benefits. But we shouldn’t mindlessly accept that everyone should be vaccinated for everything and if you aren’t you should live like a hermit to protect all the vaccinated kids from vaccines that don’t work. As for the kids who can’t be vaccinated I’d say the majority of the time it’s because their immune systems aren’t working correctly – allergies or history of reactions – which means they should be far more likely to be spreading diseases to your vaccinated kids than healthy unvaccinated kids. Yet I doubt you would take such a harsh stand with them.

  76. Debra September 1, 2012 at 12:47 am #

    JaneW, there has been a new study come out in the last year – I don’t have time to find it now, but I will try later – that actually showed that unvaccinated kids had BETTER immune systems than vaccinated kids. They had only a very small fraction of the incidences of asthma, dermatitis, allergies, ear infections, hyperactivity, and other chronic problems than in vaccinated kids. I believe the results were something like if you have a vaccinated kid they have 500% more chance of having these issues than an unvaccinated kid.
    it is hypothesized the problem is the vaccines are not the actual disease. So the immune system does not fight it in a typical way, and therefore does not develop as strong as it should. (There are studies of this too, but I don’t have time to look them up right now either.) :) Anyways, all I say is don’t judge too harshly either way and do research on a multitude of sources before coming to your own conclusion for your OWN family and give everyone else the same courtesy and respect. :)

  77. Debra September 1, 2012 at 12:50 am #

    I just reread what I wrote and realized I said something that could be misunderstood. I realize they do use the “actual” disease in vaccines, but they are often dead and loaded with preservatives and other material that is just gross and so it is different than actually contracting the disease. :)

  78. Warren September 1, 2012 at 1:06 am #

    If your kids a vaccinated, with these wonderful vaccines, why are you worried about my kids. Just saying.

    Secondly, I am not against all vaccines for my kids, just the ones not recomended by our doctor. Chicken pox and flu are the only two to date.
    At no time will I allow paranoid parents, schools, agencies, or gov’ts dictate the medical treatments for my kids. That is for me, my wife and our doctor.

    And yes I do have the right to not vaccinate my children, on the advice of our doctor, and send them to any damn school I want. Maybe you should think about finding a doctor that isnt afraid of going against the norm. In his own admission, he and his wife, a surgeon, only get the flu shot because it is mandatory for all health care workers, because they are in contact with immune weakened patients.

    And I am sorry that I do not have that sense of morality that you do. That would convince me to give my children uneeded medical treatments, for the sake of other children.

    Well now on to JaneW. When you become our family doctor, then you can recomend all the things you want. Until then you are just going to have to run scared from my kids and the awful viruses they are spreading.

    You will never convince me, my doctor, and a helluva alot of other people that mandatory vaccinations are the way to go. It is a guaranteed right, in Canada, and most countries, that one can refuse medical treatment, at any time. This includes vaccinations.

    As for brakes, tires and wheels, my profession. A 50 to 70% effectiveness rating, is not acceptable. So why do you consider that rate acceptable for something you are having injected into your body?

    You cannot mandate the flu shot, or chicken pox vaccine. Why, because it is against or basic human rights. “my body, by choice”.

    So if by chance what are you going to do, with those who don’t get the shots, if they were to be mandated? Quarantine us, arrest us, incarcerate us? Good luck!!!!!

    Then the question becomes, where do we stop? Vaccines, shock therapy, sterilization, just how much authority do you want the gov’t to have over your body? Once you start, the door is open, and look out!!

  79. Shawn Siegel September 1, 2012 at 1:14 am #

    The National Institute of Health published a study – linked below – addressing the fact that adjuvants – used in vaccines to trigger an increased immune response – literally trigger autoimmune disorders. They even named them – the “adjuvant diseases”. Adjuvants are also sometimes used by researchers to trigger autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis in lab animals.

    By the current CDC schedule, kids are injected with 115 different disease antigens and almost 30 adjuvants by the age of two. Meanwhile there is an epidemic of autoimmune disorders in juveniles: asthma; severe food allergies; diabetes; rheumatoid arthritis. Once aware of this – and this is only the tip of the vaccine iceberg – any parent should have grave doubts about continuing vaccinations, certainly without serious research.

    The germs took the summer off – is an hilarious comment. Really, you’d need gallons of Purell to make a dent in the literal trillions of bacteria that surround us in life. It must also be applied to the face, to which the child will undoubtedly put his hands; the desks and chairs and all other objects the child will touch in school; the shoulders, backs and books of all the child’s friends; the door handles and radio knobs of the car that carries the child to school, and so on. By the time any meaningful anti-bacterial effect will be realized, the child will be in anaphylactic shock from the absorption of all the Purell.

  80. Sam September 1, 2012 at 1:14 am #

    Here’s a good article that mentions several studies that prove vaccines actually end up suppressing the immune system:

    Not judging anyone for vaccinating or not vaccinating. Just presenting some facts for all to consider as you make your own choices.

  81. Warren September 1, 2012 at 1:22 am #

    they may be in shock, but will have absorbed enough alcohol that they won’t care.LOL

  82. Warren September 1, 2012 at 1:48 am #

    Working brakes on a vehicle is not the same as vaccinations, not by a long shot.
    There are alot of things that we all should do to protect the greater good. But mandating medical treatments is not one of them.

    We should not drink and drive. But the only way to eliminate that for certain is to ban all alcoholic beverages……oh wait they tried that once and it didnt work.

    And for the record, vaccinated kids can still spread the virus, as easily as non vaccinated. You can be a carrier, without being ill yourself. The vaccine does not stop you from spreading the virus, it just sometimes helps you from becoming infected.

  83. Sky September 1, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    My daughter has eczema on her hands, so Purell is a kind of torture for her. I have had to send in notes to teachers saying–do not force my child to use Purell. If you MUST de germ her at regular intervals, send her to the bathroom to wash her hands. Purell has become standard. We were required to supply a large bottle at the start of the year in K. Along with 24 glue sticks and 8 boxes of pencils. Not sure what thst’s all about…

  84. JaneW September 1, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    “Not judging anyone for vaccinating or not vaccinating. Just presenting some facts for all to consider as you make your own choices.”

    The fact that you can even say that means that the anti-vaxers won. I blame the media. For years, they claimed to show both sides, by putting the tinfoil hat crowd and the “natural-health” scammers on an equal footing with actual doctors have created real doubt in the public mind about which is the right thing to do.

    @ Warren: “And for the record, vaccinated kids can still spread the virus, as easily as non vaccinated. You can be a carrier, without being ill yourself”

    Actually, you usually don’t become a carrier in the medical sense, but a virus can still hang out on your body for a while even if you’re immune. Let’s say I have a newborn at home, and an older child at school. Let’s say my older child is fully vaccinated. Let’s say someone else’s unvaccinated child comes in to school infected with something nasty, and my child carries it home on skin, clothing, etc. My newborn is now exposed. This scenario isn’t all that farfetched; it happened to a classmate’s little brother, although luckily the kid wasn’t a newborn.

    Finally, think about this. We’ve already taken one vaccine off the schedule, as smallpox was wiped out. Polio has teetered on the brink of extinction for years. If we keep pushing the vaccines, and better address the medical needs of poor countries, maybe our grandchildren or great-grandchildren won’t need many of our current vaccines at all.

    (Yes, that is the utopia of a militant pro-vaccinationist. A world where vaccines worked so well, we don’t need them anymore.)

  85. Warren September 1, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    Or your kid comes into contact with a vaccinated child that is in the 52%, when they don’t get the strain right, or the 30-50% when they do get the strain right. These are the rates of ineffectiveness, doing the reverse math.

    As for me vaccinating my kids, so that you can feel better about you child’s chances of not getting sick…..well sucks to be you. Your kids are not my concern, nor are they my responsiblility.

    I wouldn’t count small pox out, or any other virus that humans will brag that they wiped out.

    Nature has a way of keeping the balance. And if you think that humans have the ability to defeat nature, to the point where there will be no virus’, not only are you arrogant, but you are extremely foolish.
    The human race is already defying nature to some extent, by extending our life spans well into the 80’s and beyond.
    In nature the young, strong and healthy survive, the old, ill and weak die or are killed off.

    Whether it be natural disaster, or virus, nature will fight back, and my money is on nature. She hasn’t lost yet.

    So if you win, and vaccinations become mandatory. How will you do this? If I refuse, what are the penalties for non compliance in your world? Am I going to be held down, and injected against my will? If you think for a minute, that I would allow that to happen, you are really out to lunch.

    Just for the record, our family doctor is no faith healing, holistic, natural health healer. He is a general practioner, emergency medicine cert., and his wife is a surgeon. And like I said, do what you want. I am taking their advice.

    And when you send your vaccine police to come get my family, just a warning, make sure their body armour is not expired. Kevlar does break down over time.

  86. C.J. September 1, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    Just some food for thought. There is a virus that can piggyback onto the chicken pox virus. It can cause a child to have a stroke up to a year after having the chicken pox. Unfourtunatly many doctors don’t realize this. Especially family doctors, because they are not pediatricians or specialists. Family doctors have to know a little bit of everything but it is impossible for them to know everything about everything. They now are able to test to see if this virus caused a pediatric stroke. Chicken pox is the leading cause of pediatric stroke’s in healthy children. The only reason I know this is because it happened to my Godson. He had a stroke at 9 yrs old caused from the chicken pox. Whenever anyone is debating the chicken pox vaccine I share his story. Having had a stroke myself (in my 30’s, not a pediatric stroke) I know firsthand how difficult it is to recover from one. I am not judging you or anyone else for choosing not to get a vaccination. Anyone who knows my Godson shares his story just so people can make more informed choices. If his mother would have known that chicken pox could cause a child to have a stroke she would have made sure he was vaccinated. Most people just figure it is a minor common childhood illness. Sometimes it isn’t.

  87. Sam September 1, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    C.J. The reason nobody knows this is because it is EXTREMELY rare. Before the chicken pox vaccine was used I found a statistic that said 22 children a year had these strokes. Those numbers are minuscule compared to the hundreds of thousands of kids who came down with chicken pox. Now ask how many kids a year are coming down with shingles as a result of the vaccine? Around 50,000. One in 1000 kids experience seizures, high fevers, and brain reactions. How many of these kids will be protected as adults if a chicken pox outbreak occurs? Virtually zero – unless they religiously receive boosters, which we know most adults do not. And chicken pox has far worse side effects for adults than in kids. My sister’s daughter got it because she was late getting her booster – only by a couple of months. Her siblings all had the booster in the past year so they didn’t get it. She was actually quite upset that they didn’t. She would rather them have the actual virus like her 4 year old and have lifelong immunity. As for my kids, we’ll hope they get it while they are young and get the lifelong immunity. If they don’t we’ll vaccinate them in their upper teens and stress to the the importance of boosters, especially to our daughters of child bearing ages.

  88. C.J. September 1, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    Sam, I don’t share his story to debate statistics. It is a risk people should know about before making their decision. I didn’t say everyone should run out and get the vaccine. It is a personal choice. Some people will be ok with the risk, some won’t. Everyone should know all the risks before making a decision. It is actally not as uncommon as people think according to the children’s hospital that treated him. Not all hospitals even know to test for this. He was only tested because the ER doctor in our city felt he needed to go to a hospital 2 hours away because our hospitals are not set up for that kind of illness or rehab for children. Yes, you can still get the chicken pox even with the vaccine, especially under the age of 6. It is usually a much more mild case with less chance of serious side effects if the person has been vaccinated. Chicken pox vaccine is a difficult choice for parents to make. There are risks with getting it and risks with not getting it. I just feel people should know all the risks. Then they can have their doctors research the facts properly (can’t always believe everything written on the internet) and then make their choice.

  89. Warren September 2, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    My daughter runs a higher risk of a serious lifelong crippling injury, everytime she sets foot on the baseball diamond. My other daughter runs a higher risk of a similiar fate everytime she goes rockclimbing.
    Does that mean I should stop them from enjoying their passions………..No.

    CJ, you are debating stats, because you talk about the chance of stroke. But in order to make a judgement on that, we have to way all the other potential side effects and dangers of a vaccine.

    Remember this is the chicken pox………..not ebola, or the plague. The chicken pox for a reasonably healthy child is nothing more than a week off school, itching like hell, and all the popsicles and ice cream they can eat. All the time building up a lifetime immunity and naturally stregthening their immune system in general.

    And for the record, I do not feel the need to run to a specialist to second guess my doctor. He is a very educated man. When the vaccine came out, and to this day he reads and studies everything out there on it. He is no backwoods doctor. I trust this guy with my life and those of my families. Being a father of two himself, whose kids school with mine, I know his values quite well.

    In his words, the day the vaccine is as good for the immune system, as actually getting the virus and beating it. Then maybe he will recomend it, depending on side effects.

    Inject yourself with all the vaccines in the world, I do not care. But untill my doctor and I feel differently, you can stick the chicken pox and flu shots, back in the box. We do not need them, nor do we want them.

    For all you people out there that think this makes us “Typhoid Marys”, sucks to be you. We do not have to inject virus’ into our bodies to make you feel better. Sucks to be you.

  90. Warren September 2, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    By the way, if you do not trust your family doctor to stay as current and educated as possible, and believe he/she is only surfing the net…….I suggest changing doctors.

    Mine by no means is a god, but he is the best I have ever come across.

  91. C.J. September 3, 2012 at 3:56 am #

    @Warren My children have a family doctor that keeps up on all the current studies and information. They have had the chicken pox vaccine. They were not given it when it first came out. They were given it after my doctor was satisfied with the research. I let them have the vaccine because that is what I felt was best for my children. There is no reason to be nasty. My point is not to tell others what they should do or believe. Franky, I don’t really care what other people do. Everyone does what they feel is best for their families. If you feel the chicken pox vaccine is bad for your children then don’t get it. People can have a difference of opinion. I”m not trying to convince you that I am right and you are wrong. That are very few absolute right or wrongs in life. Someone very close to our family had a stroke from the chicken pox, to us he is not just a statistic. To others he is just a statistic, I get that. I shared his story. Take what you want from it. I don’t get the flu vaccine but I would never think that someone else is wrong because they do. The world is a better place because people have different opinions and beliefs. Non of us is perfect or knows everything. The only reason I read blogs is because sometimes I can learn something from other peoples opinions and stories. I respect your opinion even if I disagree with it. You should try to do the same.

  92. Alex September 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    Personally, I’m a fan of hand sanitizer when used in moderation. I work at a primary school in China, with just cold water for washing hands, and no soap (unless you carry it yourself). The sinks are very inconvenient (on the first floor, when you may have class on the third floor). This means that students don’t wash their hands often, and even teachers have difficulty washing their hands with the frequency that they may wish. Hand sanitizer is wonderful for those times where you don’t have enough time to run down to the sink to wash your hands, but need to get them clean.

    It’s also wonderful for bus and train trips, where bathrooms are few and far between. Here, the faucets give you more contact with germs than they wash away! I always wash my hands, then add a little hand sanitizer to finish the job.

  93. Warren September 3, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    I have never said that anyone was wrong for getting vaccinated, nor did I ever say all vaccines are not for my family. On the other hand, I have stated the following….
    1. Vaccines should always be a personal choice.
    2. Vaccines should never be mandated by school, agency, employer or gov’t.
    3. For reasonably healthy people, the flu and chicken pox are relatively harmless virus’. Yes there is the outside chance of being “the one” to stroke or die. Better odds of winning the lottery or being struck by lightening.
    4. My opinion, that humans, in their desire to live forever, and never be ill, is going to drug, antibody and vaccinate our species into a state of weakness. This state of weakness could be the ultimate downfall to the species.
    5. Yes we drive cars, work computers and travel in space. Does not change the fact that we are still animals, we are still part of nature, part of the food chain (a whole different topic). We are already fighting the natural lifecyle, in which the young, strong and healthy survive, and the old, weak and ill die off or are killed off.
    6. Humans are overly arrogant if they believe that they can totally eliminate virus’, such as small pox. Nature is more powerful than that. Nature keeps a balance, and one of the ways nature trys to keep humans in balance is with virus’. In a head to head competition, my money is on nature winning.

    For the record, you implied that my doctor was only surfing the net, for his research. I will stack my doctor’s research, work ethics, and ethics in general, against yours or anyone’s anyday, anywhere or anytime.

    And again, some in hear have tried to play the guilt card. You should thing of our children as well. Again, your kids are yours. Not my job, or responsibility.

  94. C.J. September 4, 2012 at 1:13 am #

    @ I never said the chicken pox vaccine shouldn’t be a choice either. As for surfing the net, the rest of us do that, I’m sure doctors have better resources than we have access to. That’s why I said doctors should research it for us. My doctor happens to be satisfied with the research, that doesn’t mean every doctor will be. That doesn’t mean my doctor is right and yours is wrong or vice versa. Doctors, like all people, will have different opinions. That doesn’t mean we need to stack each other’s doctor’s research against each other. It is good for doctors to have different opinions, then they can learn from each other’s opinions. Some people do have doctor’s that don’t keep up on the current info, that doesn’t mean I think yours doesn’t because he doesn’t agree with mine. Some area’s of Ontario (I am from Ontario too) you don’t get to just go get a new doctor if you have a lazy one, there aren’t any available . So yes, some people will need to ask their doctors to research things if they don’t have a doctor that keeps up. Like every profession there will be good ones and bad ones.

  95. Warren September 5, 2012 at 4:03 am #

    No finding a new doctor isnt easy, but it is not impossible. Also these doctor’s work for you, demand excellance. Why does everyone forget that doctors, nurses, teachers, cops and so on, work for us?

  96. Amanda Matthews September 5, 2012 at 4:52 am #

    If hand washing before eating takes too long, that is a mistake on the schools part. They failed to factor in what I see as a necessary step. Saying “Hand washing takes too long, so we’re just not going to do it” is imo the same as saying “Chewing takes too long, so we’ll just feed the students nothing but baby food” or “Lunch time takes too long, so the students just won’t eat.” They need to rethink the curricula and allot time for necessary steps such as hand washing. And we’re talking about, say, kindergarteners, right? What does kindergarten teach if not things like washing your hands before you eat? The habits kids are taught now are going to be there throughout their lives…


    “Thousands of people every year die from the flu. (Way WAY more than the number of children who die from stranger violence!) Vaccinating children (the main spreaders) is the only possible way to reduce the annual epidemics.”

    You’re mixing up two separate things to try to make things more shocking. The majority of people dying “from the flu” are elderly people that end up having other complications due to getting the flu or a flu-like illness; but they aren’t mostly catching the flu from children, because most of them aren’t around children much. Vaccinating children will slightly decrease the spread of it to other children, but it won’t stop the deaths of the elderly.

  97. Warren September 5, 2012 at 6:14 am #

    @Mark and Brian,
    All your wonderful stats and keeping the numbers accurate, with the rates of 50 to 70% and the amazing 48%…..I am assuming that during these double blind, above reproach tests, there were those vaccinated, that still got the flu, that the vaccine either didn’t work for, or actually got the flu from the vaccine. Where are those numbers?

    I have yet to see a response to my question. If some of you got your way, and vaccines were made mandatory, how would you enforce it? Quarantie, detention, arrest, or forcibly shoving the needle in my arm?

  98. Warren September 5, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    @those for mandatory vaccinations.

    Just as I thought. Full of the high moral conviction, but absolutely no clue on how to force your beliefs on others. You have no idea how to make those who don’t want some vaccines take them against their will. You just want the gov’t to violate our rights on your behalf, that way you feel less guilty.

    There is a word for this, I am struggling to find it……………oh wait a minute, cowards. That’s the word.

  99. hineata September 6, 2012 at 5:45 am #

    @Warren..Actually, it wouldn’t be hard to keep both anti- and pro-vaccinators happy. (Personally I am pro-vaccination for the more serious stuff, measles/rubella, polio etc, not at all worried by chicken pox, but that’s just me). Ordinary public schools and other public institutions ask for vaccination certificates before allowing enrolment or employment. Those who don’t want to be vaccinated exercise their freedom of choice by either homeschooling or by setting up their own, gloriously vaccination-free schools. There should be sufficient numbers for them to be able to form these hassle-free. This should serve to keep everyone happy…..everyone taking responsibility for their own choices.

  100. Warren September 6, 2012 at 6:25 am #

    The only two to date that my family does not get are for chicken pox and the flu.
    As our family members are all normally healthy there is no need to vaccinate against something that will cause nothing more than a minor inconvenience. Some fever, itching, aches and pains, and in the case of the flu, some nasal congestion.

    And the school has tried to deny my daughter enrollment on the chicken pox one. They lost. Three years running, they lost. Amazing how a doctor’s professional plan of treatment for his patient outweighs an administrators opinion.

    Your kids stand a better chance of getting ecoli from McDonalds, than the flu from my kids. Who in 13 years have had it once. Once in 13 years, damn, damn, damn, why didn’t I shoot her up with the virus, that year.

  101. hineata September 6, 2012 at 7:38 am #

    Once in thirteen years? That is impressive! Actually only my husband (an asthmatic) and my immuno-stuffed daughter get the flu shot too, and that’s at the doc’s recommendation, so am with you on the flu shot too, could never see the point of it for most of us mere mortals.

    I personally would like to see vaccinations required for the more serious stuff, but short of my tongue-in-cheek idea above becoming a reality, I can’t see it happening, at least in Western countries. One of the few downfalls of democracy, really, is that sometimes things might be for the general good of the population, but because of ‘freedoms’ are unenforceable. Never mind, I still prefer living in a democracy, even a socialist-leaning one like ours.

    And am surprised to hear about E Coli in Maccas, don’t think that happens down here….

  102. Warren September 6, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    It is just all so two faced these days, and it is the drug companies doing it to us. They want healthy people to get vaccines for relatively harmless illness’, on the ever so slight chance that you will be the exception and die. Then they want you to buy their athritis drug, or whatever, with a list of side effects a mile long, including death.

    As I have always said, if I met the criteria, I would take the flu shot. If I was in contact with an elderly person all the time, if someone in my home had severe chronic respritory problems, then I would get it. Right now there is no reason for me to get it.

    Again I do not want anyone to mandate any medical treatment. It should be a common sense decision between one and one’s doctor. And we just have to hope that most people will see the benefits of some of the proven vaccines, and make the proper call for themselves, and their families.

    I still feel that those who believe we have eradictated small pox and other virus’, are living with a false sense of security. Mother Nature used things like small pox, as a way of keeping the human species in check and balance. Just as she uses lightening, to start forest fires, to keep a balance. The power of nature should never be dismissed. Nature has survived for millions of years, and should she decide we have had our turn long enough, there is not a damn thing we will be able to do about it.

    And small pox isnt gone. It is just in small tubes, viles, and vaults, on military bases around the world. And alot of them are not the bff’s we would like them to be.

  103. Scarlett Amezaga November 21, 2012 at 8:30 am #

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