When I was a child in the 30’s and 40’s there weren’t so many vaccines available to prevent diseases. I remember most of the disease names and have had several of them as well. There was polio, scarlet fever, mumps, measles, German measles, chicken pox and whopping cough. Oh yes, staying in a dark room when measles attacked was to save my eyes. A cool bath in baking soda water was to help the awful itches of chicken pox. I remember a sign being posted on our front door when the mumps struck my brother. Most of our neighbors had those same signs.
When we were sick we were quarantined or isolated at home. That was to prevent the spread of our disease but others got them anyway. It was common.
One of my most awful memories was when my elementary school class went to a hospital to visit friends in the iron lung. Scary, to say the least! There was a boy in my 3rd or 4th grade who wore a leg brace and a back brace after having polio. We could feel his back brace when certain games were played at recess. His name was Daniel Brown. WOW! Where did that come from? Polio was a major fear.
Many of my generation still have their chicken pox scars. That was an embarrassing and ugly condition to get through. One of my husband’s nieces was mentally disabled because her mother had measles during her pregnancy.
I do remember having my skin scratched on my outside upper leg for a smallpox vaccination. Sometimes for others, it was on the upper arm. Surely you have seen those scars. Then there was something called the Schick test when the inside of my arm was scratched to see if I was susceptible to diphtheria. My mother had a severe bout of it in 1916 when she was age 2. The photo below is showing the sun healing her ravaged little body. It was called, "the strangling angel of children."
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My six children were vaccinated for everything with what was available for them in the 50’s and 60’s. I remember vaccines then were for smallpox, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. They still got chicken pox and measles but thank goodness no polio! That was the most feared disease of all to me. They got mumps too but had mild cases. The doctor’s nurse would fill in a medical record with information of who was given what and what for. I was always glad to have my children vaccinated. Their vaccination records were kept in their home file folders along with their birth certificates, baptism records, and other individual achievement and award items.
I have no idea if my grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren have been receiving their vaccinations but I feel I did the right thing for my own.