More on Hepatitis B...
How do we protect our family (we have 4 other children) and others from getting Hep B? Before we got Sarah we went to the Dr. and had our blood drawn. We checked to make sure everyone in the family was immune to Hep B. It turned out that Philip and Thomas were not immune; even thou the shot records from Thailand said they had been vaccinated. In fact we had to redo all of Philip and Thomas' vaccinations (not all at once but one at a time). The vaccination for Hep B is actually a series of 3 shots taken over a course of about 9 months. We are all immune to Hep B, but we will have this checked about every 5 years just to be safe. I feel perfectly safe in wiping Sarah’s bloody noses and scraped knees. I would use rubber gloves if I had an open wound on my hand. We do not share a tooth brush with Sarah, and she also has her own finger nail clippers. When she is older she will need to handle her menstrual blood carefully, and have her own raiser if she wants to shave her legs. I also clean the bathroom sink with bleach just to make it safe for everyone who uses it.
Most people have the Hep B vaccination, but not all people. If you have a child with this disease, you are not required to tell people. In fact most people suggest you don't tell people because a child can not protect themselves from the possible prejudice of others. We live in Germany, and mostly people from the USA and other countries read my blog. Only a few locals read my blog. For this reason I feel comfortable writing about Sarah. I have told the teachers at Sarah’s kindergarten. They need to know how to handle things correctly if she has for example a nose bleed. It is a very good kindergarten. The staff has been very well trained. I do not tell the other parents. If one of the kids does get exposed to Sarah’s blood, the staff has an obligation to inform the parents. If that child isn't already vaccinated for Hep B (the kindergarten has everyone’s vaccination records as a normal part of the kindergarten registration) then the child needs to go get a vaccination with in 48 hours. If they get vaccinated they will most likely not get Hep B. I also tell Sarah’s dentist, and her Dr. Most people do not need to know. They do not run any risk of exposer to her blood.
When we were in Oregon, Sarah got a small bloody nose at a pizza restaurant. It was only a few drops of blood all on a paper of napkin. I put the bloody napkin on the table. Then I thought, no I should not have done that. I told the manager to spray the table with bleach just in case (Hep B virus can live for 7 days on a surface). He thanked me, and after we left He took the table out of the room and washed it down with bleach. He was not worried. He had the vaccination (most people do). It was just being careful. That is what we do...we are careful. It is not hard to handle this!