Sid Gets The Flu Shot

When my daughter reached a certain level in gymnastics we decided to homeschool her. It made sense. The gym was an hour from our home and practice was 4 hours a day. And many of her gym friends were homeschooled for the very same reasons.

My boys were toddlers at the time and they would watch Sesame Street. I was suddenly very aware how many “skits” were centered around organized school and how the school classroom was the best place to learn. It was a little too preachy for my tastes. And certainly, a little too preachy for a children’s television program.

Now granted, Sesame Street receives finding from the U.S. Department of Education. Homeschooling is certainly not mainstream but it sure would be nice if when they’re showing all the different ways to go to school (walk, ride bus, ride bikes, etc.) that they would acknowledge different ways to be schooled.

My daughter laughed at the skit about how to get to school because they showed how you had to get up early, remember all your things to bring, pack your lunch, pack your backpack, etc. She said, “With homeschool I just have to roll out of bed and walk a few steps to the dining room table! I can even stay in my pj’s!”

Now, I wrote about our decision to vaccinate for H1N1. It was a decision I agonized over. We don’t typically do the regular flu vaccine and we feel we have very good reasons for opting out. From what my husband (practices Traditional Chinese Medicine)  knows of a healthy immune system and the need adapt, fight and strengthen we don’t feel it’s best to immunize our otherwise healthy children for the flu. That doesn’t mean we feel everyone should feel as we do or that everyone should not be vaccinated.

But I very strongly feel that my children should not be preached to by puppets on a public television show about this controversial topic.

So, when I received a link to this little tidbit from a friend I was appalled.

But take a gander and let me know what you think.

21 Comments

Filed under Be-Causes, Soapbox

21 responses to “Sid Gets The Flu Shot

  1. angelcel

    Crumbs, that video makes *me* think I should be getting the jab. No I don’t think this should be on a public television show but modern life seems to be filled with this ‘bandwagon/lemming’ mentality. Unfortunately children’s lives are filled with situations like this – teachers, TV and advertising have an enormous influence on young minds. As parents we have to spend time explaining the other point of view. That’s if we even know what the other point of view is.

  2. Steven Harris

    I am getting my jab tomorrow but, if anything, this clip makes me want to rebel and not have it. Except I am on the ‘at risk’ list and would be playing russian roulette with my own health. I shall have to find some other protests against such preachy programmes instead 😀

  3. Joe

    That was rather disturbing. It’s one thing for kids to be exposed to as many cereal and toy commercials as they are, and then beg their parents for these things, but can you imagine if your young child came to you pleading for the flu shot? All I could picture was a room full of adults, creating this song and dance and trying to find the best way to convince little kids that they need to get the flu shot, even though it will only “hurt a little bit, but will help a whole lot.”

  4. I object to anyone telling me what to think or do. I’m cranky that way.

  5. I don’t think I’m ready to jump on the commenters bandwagon any more than I’m willing to jump on Sesame Street’s. I agree they should have been more balanced and not made it look like everybody needs to get the shot, but I think this kind of skit can be helpful when, in fact, balancing that hurt/help ratio for your kids. Vaccines are controversial — more controversial than I think most of them should be, but I respect the right of people to decide for themselves (I wish more of them would use solid, science-based information rather than testimonials from Jenny McCarthy, but that’s another matter). If anything, the skit should have made it clear that it’s your parents who decide if you get the shot. And with the homeschooling thing, I think it’s reasonable to expect that most school skits would take place in a classroom, but I agree it should be acknowledged at least a few times that people are schooled differently (they have that great song and video collage about different people around the world taking different kinds of baths, after all).

    Crap, I should have written my own post before spewing this here. I might be all out of words for the day now.

  6. You know, my son loves Sid – but they have been replaying the JAB episode almost every other day it seems. It doesn’t help when parents are trying to make this major decision to have kids dancing around singing “It’s gonna hurt a little bit, but it’ll help a whole lot”. Jeez – see I have it memorized! We would vaccinate our son but he can’t have the shot due to his egg allergy. Tough world this one we’ve made!

  7. Kristin

    It would have been nice if it mentioned having your parents decide if you need one; however I can see value in this video if it eases the anxiety of kids who do get vaccinated (i.e. mine). Personally I think it’s pretty harmless- I’d be mighty surpised if any kid actually Asked for a Shot after watching it!

  8. It may be–okay, it is–over the top, but it does reassure children that shots hurt, there’s sometimes a important reason for having them. Frankly, I would not want to be there giving a classroom of kids any kind of vaccine. Yikes!

    Like Kristin, I can’t imagine kids asking for a shot, but I’d bet there are parents out there who don’t even know anything about H1N1. Maybe it’s meant to educate them as to what it IS so that when they make a decision, it’ll at least be an informed one.

  9. submom

    I didn’t realize how controversial vaccines are until I read this article in Wired:

    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/10/ff_waronscience/ (You may deem it one-sided. I am not a good judge on this subject since vaccines haven’t affected me personally, and I am grateful for that…)

    With that being said, we have our kids vaccinated for everything every year. We get flu shots every year too. If you make a decision because you have done your research, then I feel we need to respect that. However, I am sorry, but I am being honest here: I would prefer not to have my kids in the same school with your kids if they have not been vaccinated against say the major diseases. (I am not talking about Flu or H1N1). But if you are against this simply because you automatically deem anything the government is pushing for as suspicious and propaganda, then you are still a sheep. Just a sheep on the other side of the fence. So now, how many people have I offended with this response? 😉

  10. I guess I am naive to think that people will not try to go straight to the source (kids) and push agendas with catchy songs and imagery. I do not intend to weigh in on the vaccination debate for it is far too thorny for this time of the morning, but I do think that these important sociocultural questions should be brought up with parents, not with our impressionable youth. It is up to us to ask these hard questions and mull over the possibilities. It is our job (I’ve always thought) to make the tough calls. It doesn’t help things when our cartoon/character counterparts are weighing in.

  11. I find the song creepy. I personally don’t think such a topic should be on a kids’ show, especially if said topic is taking a particular stance. Children are so open to suggestion, and that’s what makes that song so wrong.
    -Jen

  12. I’m kind of torn on the song. On one hand, it’s frightening to watch propoganda aimed at children. But on the other hand, it was nice that they admitted it would hurt, trying to reassure the millions of children who hate those things. I think it would have been better if it focused on calming children’s fear of the shots, rather than how it’s good for the community.

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