While waiting to pull out of a parking lot this morning, I witnessed the car just in front of me cause an accident. That sound was AWFUL! Smoke coming out of the hood of the car was AWFUL! Noticing one car was full of children was AWFUL! Seeing the face of the man who caused the accident was AWFUL---he seemed like a nice man who just didn't see the other car coming. It appeared to be an AWFUL mistake. I stayed on the scene to give my account to the police. And that was AWFUL, too. I didn't like placing blame on an apparently concerned man. The whole thing was AWFUL. I was even a little shaken by the ordeal and was grateful I lived nearby. I didn't have that far to get home.
It's been years since I've witnessed an accident happen---and I can count on one hand the numbers of times I have in my entire life. But does that mean there aren't many car accidents? I see thousands of cars safely driving all the time. Shouldn't that mean I can rest assured that accidents aren't a real danger? Every adult I know drives and they're just fine---mostly. So out of curiosity I did a little Google search and found the following statistics about 2009 traffic accidents in the United States:
*More than 5.5 million car accidents
*Nearly 31,000 accidents were fatal
*More than 2 million people were injured
*61% of accidents involved only one vehicle
*An average of four children (age 14 & under) were killed in car accidents EVERY DAY
*Nearly 500 children (age 14 & under) were injured in car accidents EVERY DAY
This information did NOT help calm my shaken nerves at all. I don't know about you, but I think 5.5 million is a LOT! But I had many errands to run today, and I had to drive to get those done. But you can sure bet the accident made some changes to my behavior. I looked twice and sometimes three times before I pulled out or changed langes. I was more careful about the speed limit. I was more observant about the drivers around me. I walked to some of the places that were just up the street.
I have had the comparison to vaccinations in my head all afternoon. Vaccinations produce negative reactions every day. Children sometimes die from vaccinations and many children are injured. I wish I could give you statistics, but honestly there are no reliable sources of those numbers. I won't quote people who have a vested interest in swaying the numbers one way or the other----and those are the only people really publishing numbers. But I can reliably report this: I have witnessed negative vaccination reactions. The mother driving a carload of children today had the exact same look on her face that other mothers have had when they report the injury to their child.
Just because we don't personally witness car accidents, doesn't mean they aren't happening---they ARE. Just because we don't personally witness vaccine injuries doesn't mean they aren't happening---they ARE. Even vaccine manufacturers admit this and the U.S. Federal Government has set up a fund for vaccine injuries---they happen. I know car accidents happen because of the report of people who witness them and report them. I know vaccine injuries happen from the same source. I will never forget a mother from Texas who contacted me and told me about her perfectly well, normal-developing, happy baby boy who began screaming nonstop and lost all of his mobility and language skills before the sun set on the day of his vaccinations. She literally watched her son unravel before her eyes. And she is not alone. I personally know mothers from all across the U.S. who have very similar reports. And I refuse to call them liars, uninformed, or hyper-emotional. They saw what they saw. I saw a car crash and the policeman had no reason to doubt my report. I have no reason to doubt the report of mothers who just want their child to be well again.
Parents are not necessarily looking for someone to blame for their child's injury. They want to warn other parents of a potential hazard. Today I saw people rush out of nearby shops to help the accident victims and to direct traffic away from the wreckage. While people were still at risk, helping them get to safety was the ONLY concern. No one was condemning the driver who caused the collision, that will be sorted out later by the proper parties. So will the vaccine scenario. But in the meantime, you can merge into safer lanes and slow down in order to avoid becoming part of that misfortune.
I am not completely anti-vaccine, just like I am not completely anti-driving. But just as I took some extra precautions when driving, I think there are common sense extra precautions for vaccines. I do NOT recommend vaccinating children and I do NOT recommend abstaining from vaccinating your children. I can point out information, and parents make decisions. I am not trying to sway that decision one way or the other. But please, before you vaccinate your child, inform yourself with some variety in your sources. In other words, please look twice and perhaps three times before you think about pulling into traffic. It is my opinion that you need to form your own opinion---your pediatrician's opinion is only one opinion. You wouldn't let someone in the back seat tell you it is safe to pull out, you would check yourself. You may decide after checking traffic conditions, that it is safest to take another route---and this can apply to vaccinations also. Another route may be your best bet.
If you are reading this blog, then you have the Internet and you can do your own research. You spent a considerable amount of time and effort learning to drive a car---spend a few hours reading and researching vaccinations. There are some children who should not be vaccinated. There are some children whose vaccinations should be limited and should be spaced out. Just like pulling your car into traffic, there is NO RUSH. Please do not be pressured into vaccinating.
I am not trying to villify your pediatrician or nurse or healthcare practitioner for vaccinating your child. Just like today's accident happened at the hands of a well-meaning person who just honestly didn't see the oncoming car because his view was partially obstructed----well-meaning medical professionals may not have the entire perspective in their sight. They may be doing their best to safely navigate the situation, but may nonetheless cause an accident.
I know children who are living with the results of a vaccine injury and seeing this is AWFUL. Just like my experience this morning, I will stay on the scene. I will do my best to help those involved in an AWFUL situation.