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unvaccinated reception children and being pregnant

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by rsb2, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. rsb2

    rsb2 New commenter

    I have been asked to teach reception aged children once a week, i normally teach secondary. I am worried about unvaccinated pupils as it would put my unborn child at risk. My school has no data on who has and hasn't had it. I would prefer not to teach them (even though they are lovely) as i will worry so much. What should i do?
  2. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Are you supply?

    If it's worrying you this much, probably best to talk to the agency and explain why you'd rather be in another school.

    If you're part of an all-through MAT, talk to HR.
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  3. rsb2

    rsb2 New commenter

    i am full time in my school. They have been supportive but if i refuse to teach them it may cause issues
  4. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    How do you know they are unvaccinated?
    jlishman2158 and nomad like this.
  5. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Occasional commenter

    Ask your GP's advice. It isn't a big issue as far as I can see - pregnant staff work with kids all the time.
    phlogiston and jlishman2158 like this.
  6. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    Do your school know about your pregnancy and if so, have you had a risk assessment?
    I think this is good advice. Talk to your GP.
    jlishman2158 and agathamorse like this.
  7. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    Ask the school to do a risk assessment for you to cover all aspects of your pregnancy.
    e.g. Moving around the building in crowded corridors, lifting and shifting, and of course working with un vaccinated children. Your union should be able to give advice on what areas need to be covered in this risk assessment. The key point is that it is the schools responsibility, legal and I believe moral, to provide a safe working environment for you and your unborn child.
    Marisha, FollyFairy, bonxie and 4 others like this.
  8. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    [Sigh]. :rolleyes:

    The foetus is protected from pathogens, even though its own immune system has not yet matured. This is because the mother's human IgG antibodies (Immunoglobulin G) can cross the placental barrier.

    So, if the mother is immunised against the normal infections such as measles, mumps, chicken pox, etc., then the foetus is protected too. After the child's birth, the mother's IgA and IgM antibodies (Immunoglobulins A and M) are secreted in colostrum and subsequently in breast milk.

    The child's antibody count derived from the mother then slowly declines and so the child eventually needs their own immunisation.

    Provided the OP is properly immunised, there is no threat to the unborn foetus from the mother's contact with children, immunised or not, in a normal classroom situation.

    In very rare instances the mother may not have established a protective antibody response to vaccination, but refusing to teach Reception children will not help with that.

    Is the OP going to demand that all the other customers in Tesco, Sainsbury or Asda are immunised too?
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
    576, Kartoshka, Laphroig and 12 others like this.
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Why do you think unvaccinated children more of a risk to you than those who have been vaccinated?
    Reception is full of germs.
    There should be a risk assessment for your pregnancy. If you have evidence that you are at risk in reception, then you need to bring it up and review the RA.

    I'm more concerned that a secondary teacher is teaching in reception once a week.
  10. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    I’m not sure I understand the concern specifically about reception. I’m in primary and the next door classroom to me had 4 pukers yesterday. Happens everywhere!
  11. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    I am guessing that the OP is a first time Mum and quite naturally is feeling very protective of their unborn child, so her initial response to any perceived danger is quite natural, if a little overprotective. @nomads explanation about immune systems is excellent advice, there is no need to criticize the mum to be if she is over reacting a little it is quite natural. I am sure that all that is needed is some re assurance and explanation.
    P.S while i am sure that @nomad knows his stuff, the OP should still check this info with a medical professional, visit to GP.
    Marisha, Laphroig, sabrinakat and 5 others like this.
  12. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Spot on!
    Curae likes this.
  13. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Plus aren't secondary kids maybe likely to be unvaccinated? And have younger siblings? And staff/anyone sharing your bus/coffee shop etc?

    But surely, with your older children (if you have any), you are constantly at toddler groups when you aren't working, soft play etc with kids, so how is it different to work with them? I would say talk to a mw, as I'm not qualified medically to give advice, so maybe there is a difference, I don't know, but they always say ask if you're pregnant and unsure.
  14. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    Still @nomad's advice is pretty impressive.
    starlightexpress and nomad like this.
  15. krakowiak6

    krakowiak6 Occasional commenter

    What's reception? I didn't think children went to school till 5.And what do you teach reception children? Or do you play games all day.
  16. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

  17. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Have you been vaccinated?
  18. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    My only issue when pregnant was that I hadn't had chicken pox (and had no immunity). You could ask the GP to run those blood checks just in case....
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    While it is understandable as a first time parent you can get a bit over excited, you do need to think rationally.

    Unless you live in the classroom 24/7 you will be mixing with people who either are not vaccinated or more likely, not up to date with their vaccinations. (Shopping malls, airports - anywhere!)

    If anything for you at a school, the staffroom is where you are most at risk.

    A risk that would be astonishingly tiny.
    agathamorse likes this.
  20. averagedan

    averagedan Occasional commenter

    See your GP as none of us are qualified doctors.

    As far as I'm aware, provided you're vaccinated, the risks are minimal as the infectious agent should be cleared by your bloodstream. There are instances where the mother's immune response is weak and the foetus can get chickenpox, etc. These events are extremely rare as far as I know and we vaccinate against the most likely culprits such as rubella.

    The real danger from unvaccinated children comes a few months (sooner if you don't breastfeed) after the baby is born and it's protective maternal antibodies are to all intents and purposes gone. At this point you will probably be on maternity leave so the risk from your workplace is effectively eliminated.

    In short - if you're vaccinated the risk is probably no different to teaching any other class.
    Kartoshka and agathamorse like this.

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