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Swimming pool risks for unvaccinated children

(15 Posts)
arabella2 Thu 15-May-03 12:11:06

My ds is not as yet vaccinated. We would like to take him swimming but are a little worried about the possibilities of him contracting polio - this is live in the poo of vaccinated small babies for quite a while after the vaccination. Does anyone know anything about the risks of this happening?

edgarcat Thu 15-May-03 12:11:47

Message withdrawn

WideWebWitch Thu 15-May-03 12:15:31

It's only about 12 hours IIRC and I seem to remember they really warn you to steer clear of your child's poo and wee after the vaccination for this reason so you probably wouldn't take them swimming. Even if you and baby were to meet the wee of a just-vaccinated baby in the pool then surely it would be so dilute that the risk would be tiny? I'd think any risk to you is extremely low.

SoupDragon Thu 15-May-03 12:16:39

Does the chlorine in the pool not kill the Polio off?

Jimjams Thu 15-May-03 12:18:55

Extremely small. In the UKthere were 13 cases of vaccine induced paralytic polio between 1985 and 1991 (British Med J 1992; 205: 79-81). Not sure whether that means the person geting the vaccine got the polio or whether it was passed on iyswim. I guess if it means the person with the vaccine got the polio then the risk of passing it on would be even lower. The risk is much higher for immunocompromised people. In Germany most of the cases of vacicne induce polio have been to the recipients of the vaccine - with the risk estimated at one per 200,000 cases (Lancet 1984). SO I would assume that the risk to a non-recipient would be even lower.

The site is good for all sorts of vaccine info. it also includes manufacturers info sheets so that may give you some idea.

My ds2- now 16 months is unvaccinated and I do take him swimming.

chiggles Thu 15-May-03 13:41:12

I was told by a mid-wife that you don't need to wait til they had injections before you take babies swimming cause they are naturally ammuned (think that's spelt wrong)from Mum.

alibubbles Thu 15-May-03 14:35:54

This is from The NHS direct website:-

Frequently asked questions about polio vaccine

Are polio boosters necessary for parents of babies being immunised with oral polio vaccine?

If parents have completed their full course of polio vaccine, they do not need a booster just because their baby is being vaccinated. However, an unimmunised person is at risk of infection from the vaccine virus from a recently-immunised baby for up to six weeks. This is because the live vaccine virus is excreted in the baby's poo and so it is important to wash your hands thoroughly after changing a baby's nappy.

What are the differences between the oral and injected polio vaccines?

The oral vaccine is a live virus whereas the injected vaccine contains inactivated virus. The protection offered by them is very similar but herd immunity may be better with the oral vaccine. There is a small risk of developing paralytic polio from the oral vaccine.

How soon after their polio vaccine can I take my baby swimming?

You can take your baby swimming at any time, both before and after they have their polio vaccine. There is no risk of children catching, or passing on, polio in swimming pools.

milch Thu 15-May-03 14:54:41

what is 'herd immunity'?


alibubbles Thu 15-May-03 16:45:25

NHS direct again, there is a funny little video clip illustating it as well
What is herd immunity?

If enough people in a community are immunised against certain diseases, then it is more difficult for that disease to get passed between those who aren't immunised.

Herd immunity does not apply to all diseases because they are not all passed on from person to person. For example, tetanus can only be caught from spores in the ground.

Herd immunity can also be affected by:

* environmental factors
* strength of people's individual immune systems
* how infectious the disease is.

Environmental factors

People living in crowded conditions, such as inner cities, are more at risk of catching some diseases than people living in the country because of close contact with other people.

There are also seasonal increases in diseases such as meningitis and flu during the winter months.

Strength of a person's immune system

People whose immune systems are not working well, either because they have a disease or because of treatment for it, may not be able to have the immunisations. They are therefore at greater risk of catching the diseases for which we immunise.

How infectious the disease is

As an example, measles is highly infectious. If everyone stopped being immunised against it, then everyone would catch it. We know that we need at least 90% of children to be immune to stop the disease being spread.

If 95% of children are protected by MMR, then we can eliminate not just measles, but mumps and rubella as well. In Finland, this has already been achieved.

Jimjams Thu 15-May-03 17:14:35

well call me a cynic but not sure I believe the Finnish stats!

Isn't this also the country that didn't have a single case of autism in so many million children?

Alright that's me done......

willow2 Thu 15-May-03 23:02:40

I interviewed a really lovely teenage girl who had caught polio from changing her niece's nappy. She sued the health authority - and won - as the doctor hadn't mentioned the risk to the child's parents at the time of vaccination.

pupuce Fri 16-May-03 07:51:59

My HV made the point when asked the same Q from a 2 months old's mum:
WHY do you want to take a 2 months old to the swimming pool??? Do you feel he will benefit in anyway from going there at such a young age?

I leave you with the Q, I did think it was an interesting Q

SoupDragon Fri 16-May-03 07:55:23

Well Pupuce, my 2 certainly enjoyed it.

Jimjams Fri 16-May-03 08:54:55

Ds1 did as well (lovely warm hydrotherapy pool) He went swimming from 10 weeks- was a real water baby- loved it.

And anyway HV misses the point that my unvaccinated 16 month old ds2 might enjoy it.

Wills Fri 16-May-03 09:55:13

They do 9 months in water - why would they not be happy?

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