Vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB) is a disease in newborns that can cause bleeding in the brain, lungs or intestines which can lead to neurological disability or death. The good news is it is 100% preventable thanks to one, simple shot! The bad news is the anti-vaccine promoters will try to convince you it will cause your child harm. Between the years of 2007-2012 in Tennessee there was no reported cases of VKDB in more than 450,000 births. Then the anti-vacciners got involved and now children in Tennessee are having brain haemorrhage and are at risk for future neurological problems. Without the vitamin K shot incidence of early VKDB is about 1.7% while incidence of late VKDB is about 7%. With it, the incidence is 0%. It’s actually kind of ironic that the very thing anti-vacciners got upset about with vaccines (autism or neurological disorders) is the very thing that this shot can help prevent. I thought I would outline some of their arguments against getting this proven safe vitamin K shot and show you why they are full of crap.
- Vitamin K shots has been linked to leukemia. While there was research that originally stated that there may be a link between the two variables, recent more robust research has shown that this link was wrong and that the initial research was unreliable.
“The Vitamin K Ad Hoc Task Force of the American Academy of Pediatrics reviewed the reports of Golding et al and other information regarding the US experience and concluded that there was no association between the intramuscular administration of vitamin K and childhood leukemia or other cancers.”
- Vitamin K shots contain a synthetic vitamin called phytonadione and synthetic vitamins are dangerous to your health. (http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/skip-that-newborn-vitamin-k-shot/ ) Wow, ok lets compare the structure of vitamin K1 (natural vitamin K) and the structure of phytonadione. Notice something? Yea that’s right, they are exactly the same compound! So that’s a big fat lie. If phytonadione is dangerous to your health then so is vitamin K1 so quick stop eating kale!!! In fact, phytonadione is one of the synonyms for vitamin K…
- Intramuscular injections subject your baby to unnecessary pain and suffering which can cause psycho-emotional trauma. We all got the shot when we were growing up and turned out fine. I don’t even remember getting the shot. As for psycho-emotional trauma, if every baby grew up to be traumatized because of a needle then what kind of damage do you think the process of birth would cause? All those bright lights, screaming, blood and crying? If we were all so fragile then the human population would be in tatters. While there are oral vitamin K doses available, they are not as effective because they rely on adherence to a medication schedule.
- Eating lots of vitamin K rich foods when you are pregnant will pass this vitamin K onto your baby. While it is true that vitamins can cross the placenta, there is no data that shows that a diet high in vitamin K rich foods will necessarily prevent VKDB in your child. If there was, then the shot would not be needed. Also, unfortunately breast feeding babies does not give enough vitamin K to the babies because breast milk is naturally low in vitamin K.
- Preservatives in the shot will cause my baby damage. As with vaccines, there is no evidence that the preservatives in a vitamin K shot will cause your child any damage. But what are these preservatives or ingredients they are worried about? Castor oil – There are numerous ‘naturopathic’ websites claiming the health benefits of a spoonful of castor oil, so this can’t be the ingredient they are worried about. Dextrose Monohydrate? Well that’s just a sugar that is used in baked goods. So it can’t be that either. Benzyl alcohol, commonly found in fruits and teas and can be dangerous in high concentrations. The concentrations in the shot are less than that in some teas or chewing gums. What about water, yep that must be what it is, dangerous water. For those of you who are still worried, there is a preservative free shot you can ask for.
There is no reasonable excuse for not getting the vitamin K shot to prevent VKDB, 100%. This is a disease that no child should have to go through since we know how to stop it. Talk about pain and suffering from a small needle? What about the trauma from a massive brain bleed and subsequent neurological impairment? Like with every treatment there are side effects, these are minor in comparison to the potential death or impairment brought on by the disease and can include bruising and tenderness at the site of injection. The side effects of not getting the shot? Death or impairment, which unfortunately are not treatable. If you don’t (for whatever reason) want to get the shot for your baby, at the very least get the oral treatment and make sure you stay vigilant in your dosing regime.
The unfortunate thing about these pseudo-scientific sites is that they make all these health claims with either no evidence to back it up (ex. Synthetic vitamins should be avoided as they can cause imbalances in the body and have unintended consequences . What consequences? What imbalances? Where are your sources? ) or they reference old literature. The anti-vaccine movement is becoming cult like with their conspiracy theories. Soon we will learn that JFK was shot with a vaccine laced bullet and that Elvis was alive until he got stuck by a needle laced with synthetic vitamin K. Honestly people, ask questions about what you read. Find credible sources. And above all else, if you have questions about the safety of something, don’t turn to pseudoscience. Just because it has “truth” in the URL doesn’t make it truth. Unfortunately, those are the places where the most lies are seen.
For some good information on this topic see these websites.