Reality TV star and pediatrician Jennifer Arnold of The Little Couple has recently put in her two cents concerning a very controversial topic among many parents. In a recent interview, Dr. Arnold said that she considers vaccinations a "milestone" for children.
Arnold and her husband, Bill Klein, have two adopted children together, Zoey and Will. When the couple brought their children home, the first thing they did was see a pediatrician and get them caught up on their vaccinations. Arnold has said that although vaccinations might not be as memorable as something like walking or crawling, she still considers them milestones, because they play an important role in giving their children the best, healthiest lives possible.
Though Arnold is the most recent celebrity to speak out about vaccinations, she's far from the first. There are celebs on both sides of the debate who have used their platforms to bring awareness to the often controversial topic. Jenny McCarthy is avidly against vaccinations, stating that she believes her son's autism is a direct result of his vaccinations, and Amanda Peet, who is in full support of vaccines, called parents who opt out of vaccinating their children "parasites," though she later apologized.
With so much conflicting information flying around, it can be difficult for parents to properly educate themselves on vaccinations. Who are we supposed to listen to? A celebrity with a lot of Twitter followers, or a physician with, you know, a medical degree? How about we meet in the middle and consider the opinion of someone who happens to be both?
Dr. Arnold's reason to have her children vaccinated as soon as they were in her custody is a serious one (no matter which side of the debate you've chosen). She prioritized vaccinating her children because their birth countries didn't offer some of the vaccinations the U.S. does. "You realize how precious those things are when they're not always available to you," she said in her interview. Since vaccinations were the first thing she did when her kids entered the country, there must have been a valid reason for it, right?
Vaccinations are capable of protecting our children from some of the world's most feared diseases. Diseases like whooping cough and measles could be deadly to small children (remember the measles outbreak that started at Disneyland?) but are preventable by vaccines, and polio could cause paralysis or even death, but since a polio vaccine has come to life, there hasn't been a single case of polio reported in the United States.
Of course, we could sit here and argue all day, pointing to science that contradicts both sides thanks to the mighty power of the internet. This is a debate that unfortunately might never end, but today, as Dr. Arnold has offered up her support for vaccinations, she has given us all something to think about.
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