Monday, August 29, 2011


I'm a little late.
Josh is 15 months and still hasn't gotten his 12-month vaccinations.  So Wednesday we'll go and get them.
Honestly, I forgot.  I've thought about it off and on, but just hadn't called and made an appointment.  But then August is immunization awareness month, and I talked to my sister, who has a 19-month-old son. They live on an army base, and baby Nate missed his 18-month shots.  Even though he's only a few weeks late, he can't even attend Sunday school at the base church.  He can't go to base day care or the child care center at the gym.  Basically, my sister said, baby Nate isn't allowed anywhere on base around other children because he's a few weeks late on his vaccinations.  They don't care if you have a religious exemption, that's fine, don't vaccinate your kids, the military says--but they can't be around the rest of our kids.

So I called and made an appointment.

I've steered away from talking about vaccinations because it seems everyone is talking about vaccinations, some rationally, some not-so-rationally.  And I didn't want to get into the controversy. But honestly, what's another person talking about shots? And after thinking about it, I don't feel there is a controversy.  Vaccinations have been repeatedly proven safe, serious childhood illness has become rare since the advent of immunizations, and there are serious flaws in the arguments against immunizations. 

So the next few weeks, I'm going to talk about it. Wade through the science and hopefully explain it in easy-to-understand, yet accurate, terms.  Discuss the arguments against vaccination and why they don't hold up.  Look at actual scientific studies and discuss what makes them solid and reliable. 

And in case you're wondering, yes, I will talk about the very real side effects that vaccinations can come with.  I am pro-vaccination; I also had a seizure after my own twelve month shots and a serious reaction to the chicken pox vaccine at age 16.  But frankly, I would rather deal with my child having a febrile seizure than the side effects of measles, mumps, and rubella.
And you should, too.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Too many children, not enough car

There was a discussion on one of the forums that I frequent about what to do when you have more children than room in the car.  I blanched reading some of the responses, which included (a) double buckling or (b) sitting a child or adult on the floor in between the front seats.
And this was considered good advice.

It is not good advice.
It is very, very, very bad advice, and will get you traffic tickets and fined at best, and at worst, will kill someone in your family.

Here is why:
People in car accidents get hurt when their bodies strike something else, such as the dashboard, steering wheel, seat in front of them, door, or another person.  Double buckling puts two children far too close together and constrains them.  Their bodies are trying to occupy the same space.  In a crash, those children are going to go into each other at a high rate of speed, most likely hitting their heads together.  This can and does cause serious injury, including brain damage and death.  This was tested in crash tests, and the two child size dummies buckled together in a relatively low speed impact struck each other hard enough to cause severe injuries. 

 A child should never be buckled onto an adult's lap as well, because the child could be crushed by the magnified force of the adult in an accident.  I'm not kidding--at a mere 30 mph, the force of a 150-lb adult in a crash is over one ton.  You may be thinking that there is nothing for your child to be crushed into, especially if you are sitting in a row seat in a minivan or in the back seat of a car.  Crash tests, however, have proven that the massive force of an adult or older child pushing the small child on the lap into the seat belt is enough to cause death.  To put it otherwise, the force alone of the adult pushing the smaller child against the seatbelt is enough to crush that child's internal organs and cause death.

The same reasoning goes for why unrestrained passengers should never be allowed to ride in a car, whether it is in a seat or on the floor.  The magnified force and the speed at which that person will travel in an accident is great.  A child sitting on the floor up front between the seats risks flying into the dashboard, out of the car through the winshield, or into the side doors in something like a minivan.   Some of the likely injuries?  Brain injuries, broken ribs, punctured lungs, spinal cord injuries, lacerated internal organs.  And those are just the likely injuries.  A unrestrained passenger is also likely to fly into someone else in an accident, particularly a restrained passenger, causing them injuries as well.

So what do you do?  Preferably, you take two vehicles or upgrade to a vehicle large enough to accomodate all the children.  I understand those larger vehicles are more expensive, but I am pretty blunt, and if you can't afford a larger car to ensure your children's safety, you need to stop having children.  If worse comes to worse and you find yourself in a situation where y0u must travel and don't have enough room in the back, the largest child should be placed up front and the seat moved back as far as possible.  If you can turn off the front passenger airbags, do so.  In no case should a child in a safety seat ever be placed in a front seat. 

For more information, check out these sites:

Safety research
Car seat safety

Monday, August 1, 2011

A rant

So we've been trying--unsuccesfully--to have another baby.
Today I discovered that maybe it's fortunate that we've been unsuccesful, because the local hospital I had planned to give birth at is, as of November 1st, no longer delivering babies.  They are trying to arrange for their one OB doctor, my doctor, to practice at another hospital.  I suspect it will be the large hospital 40 minutes away, where I have had horrible experiences in the past and absolutely refuse to give birth.
Except I refuse to give birth at any of the other 3 hospitals in the area; one because it isn't a good hospital, one because they won't do a C-section just because I've had one previously and have no medical need, plus it is a 50 minute drive, and the hospital where I had Josh, because, again, it is just too far away.

I know it's silly to be upset about this, but I had really looked forward to having our future children at the local hospital, where our families would have easy access and I wouldn't be driving an hour for OB appointments.   I hated being so far away from home when I had Josh, not only because it made it harder for our families, but an hour long drive home after giving birth with an upset newborn in the back is hell on earth.

This upsets me to the point where we are not going to continue trying to conceive.  I honestly would rather not have any more children than be left with these minimal, and to me unacceptable, birthing choices.

Once again, I really wish we could just move closer to decent medical care.