Lead paint, riding in the back of pick up trucks, peanut butter, no bicycle helmets, sitting in the front seat or unrestrained in the back, limited vaccinations, chicken pox parties, the list goes on and on…. I don’t know how any of us, born in the 80′s or before survived to see adulthood.
I don’t consider myself someone who gets all freaked out about the “dangers” and “Risks” of every little thing. However, becoming a parent definitely makes you look at things differently and do a little risk assessment.
Vaccinations are a “hot button” issue right now. Which to get, when to get them. I’m all for the major vaccines. But it’s these new ones that I’m against. I will not, under any circumstances be getting the Chicken Pox vaccination for Avery. CHICKEN POX?! Really? When I was a kid, when someone in your class got the pox their mom would go down the phone chain calling all the other moms and we’d all get together and have a Pox Party. So we’d all get the chicken pox, and not have to worry about it later. I don’t know many people who never had chicken pox. I also don’t know ANY kids who ever died from having it. I’m also anti-flu vaccine. There are a few reasons, but the big one is that I have never known anyone who actually had the flue (I know many who say “Oh I have the flu” but NONE who have gotten a positive blood test for Influenza.) There are plenty of other things that cause you to puke, cough, sneeze, ache, have a fever, etc. The only people I know who have had “the flu” during flu season are the people who have gotten the vaccine.
One of the other big debates now is Rear Facing Vs. Front Facing car seats. The research shows that Rear Facing til age two (or longer if possible) Is the best/safest way to go. I’ve seen the videos on YouTube and read the studies and I am all for Rear facing as long as possible. There are people who think it’s stupid though. “My kid doesn’t fit that way!” “They will get car sick facing the back, they need to be able to look out the window” And my favorite is when I hear “We were front facing as kids and we survived” My next question to those people is “Were you in many car accidents?” Their answer is always “no, none” *eye roll* Well then OF COURSE you survived. It had nothing to do with your car seat, and everything to do with the good fortune of never being involved in a major accident.
We’re in the process of home renovations. Normally I don’t think twice about the materials that we choose. The questions I used to ask were “Is it pretty?” and “Can we afford it?” Now I ask “Will it gas off?” “What type of chemicals go into it?” “Is it safe to use in the nursery and areas the baby will be for long periods?” “Is it pretty?” and “Can we afford it?” People have said to me “Oh jeeze we used to use lead paint ans asbestos, and we turned out fine!” Here’s the thing….we no longer use lead paint and asbestos because we see that it is extremely harmful. Sure, vinyl and PVC seemed safe to use a couple years ago, but now we’re seeing that it’s not all that great and can do damage. ( There is a reason that brand new vinyl shower curtain smells so toxic when you take it out of the package. IT IS!) There ARE other options out there that are non toxic, or less toxic, so why not use them?
The same goes for our cleaning products and person care products. I’ve never considered myself to be really “Green” but just like the home improvement stuff, why not use something that is known to be 100% natural and safe?
I’m sure there will be many more risk assessments in the near future. But for now I’ll leave it at that. I’m not paranoid, but I don’t take potential dangers lightly. I don’t plan on keeping Avery in a padded room, but I will do my best to keep her safe inside and outside out home. She’ll ride bikes, and climb trees, break bones and get splinters, she’ll probably eat a bug or two, but she won’t get left alone in a car while I just “run in” for something at the store on a 90* day, she wont be allowed to wander around the neighborhood after dark (like we used to do) She’ll wear a helmet when she rides her bike and she’ll always wear her seat belt.
We were probably lucky to survive childhood alive and unscathed. I prefer not to rely on luck with my baby.