November 20, 2007

Anyone Over 30 Should Be Dead

Last Saturday night, my husband and I went out with some friend who had just purchased a new car. I commented that it seemed rather spacious as the 4 of enjoyed moving through the city in our own transportation escaping our usual mass transit experience. Franny remarked back, that when they have both the car seats installed and her mother-in-law in the back seat, it is really pretty cramped.

We all laughed as we recalled our childhood car experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that any child under 40 pounds ride in a car seat. They also suggest using a booster seat for any child under 4′ 9″ of height. I am only 5′ 2″, so presumably I would have been strapped into my booster well into my teen age years. This probably would have set me up for some very cruel remarks from my friends. Plus how would my mother have car pooled all of us around? Come to think of it, my grandmother was only 4′ 8 ” tall, should we have strapped her into a booster seat at 99 years of age?

As we slowly moved through traffic along 9th Avenue we started recounting our childhood memories about safety. None of us had worn a helmet bike riding or skate boarding. I have a very clear memory of the first time my training wheels were removed and I went zooming around our circle on my own two wheels. That is, until I panicked and forgot how to stop and went crashing into my lawn to cushion my fall. We were also belly sleepers back then and were not introduced to the world of hand sanitizers.

This of course led into the subject of vaccinations. When my friends and I were born in the early 70’s, we were subjected to only a small handful of required vaccinations. Now children are subject to 37-50 vaccination shots during their early formative years. Currently, in a Washington DC school district, parents are being jailed or fined $50 a day for not giving their children the chicken pox and hepatitis B vaccination. I personally am a little wary of the increased amount of vaccinations that are now required for children. I am also aware of the argument of “vaccinating your child will help protect the health of others.” But when a vaccine for chicken pox is required to enter school, I think we have gone too far! Yes, the chicken pox are uncomfortable and itchy, but do we really need to require people to put more chemicals and medications into the bodies of babes! When does a parent get the choice of “informed consent”? At this time, the only ways to be exempt from vaccinations is to have a note from your doctor stating that the vaccination will give an allergic reaction to the child, or claim religious or philosophical reasons. I truly feel for the parents that are put in the situation of choosing between their child’s education and their personal beliefs and values.

As our society continues to venture forward and set guidelines for how we can make our lives happier, healthier and safer, it has become abundantly clear to me…ANY OVER 30 SHOULD BE DEAD!



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