As parents, we have the right to make informed choices about our children’s health and well being. There is ongoing debate among parents whether it’s best to vaccinate our children, or best not to.
Tara Hill, a mother of seven from Ottawa, Canada had her first three children vaccinated (although they were not up to date) and then opted to not have her last four vaccinated.
“We stopped because we were scared and didn’t know who to trust,” Tara says. “Was the medical community just paid off puppets of a Big Pharma-Government-Media conspiracy? Were these vaccines even necessary in this day and age? Were we unwittingly doing greater harm than help to our beloved children? So much smoke must mean a fire so we defaulted to the ‘do nothing and hope nothing bad happens’ position.”
Then her world changed when all seven of her children came down with Whooping Cough. She began doing more research on communicable diseases, how they spread and their incubation periods. She learned how fortunate they were they hadn’t contracted measles the year before when some in their close-knit community had come down with it. She guesses they had missed contracting it by 4 days.
When her children came down with whooping cough, she realized how easily her family could have spread it to others during those early days when they were uncertain what they had. The whooping cough starts out like a cold and gradually turns worse leaving the patient gasping for air during coughing fits which can last up to 10 weeks. An average of 2 out of 100 children with whooping cough (also known as pertussis) end up dying according to the CDC.
You can listen to an audio clip of what her children sounded like with whooping cough here.
She wrote in her blog, “I am not looking forward to any gloating or shame as this ‘defection’ from the antivaxx camp goes public, but, this isn’t a popularity contest. Right now my family is living the consequences of misinformation and fear. I understand that families in our community may be mad at us for putting their kids at risk. I want them to know that we tried our best to protect our kids when we were afraid of vaccination and we are doing our best now, for everyone’s sake, by getting them up to date. We can’t take it back … but we can learn from this and help others the same way we have been helped.”
She is now working with her family physician to get her children caught up on their vaccines, as well as taking a pro-vaccination stance, educating families on the realities of choosing to and choosing not to vaccinate.