By Emma Jackson

Vaccinating your children has been a hot topic in the public eye as of recently. More specifically, whether or not vaccinations cause autism in children. More and more parents have been choosing to refrain from vaccinating their children out of fear of causing that child to develop autism. However, the lack of evidence connecting the two is concerning. It’s hard to understand why anyone would choose to refrain from giving their child potentially life-saving medicine. Is autism the worst thing your child could have? Is autism worse than life-threatening diseases, such as measles? I’ve pulled information from three reputable sources that explain that vaccines do not cause autism.

A large reason that many believe that vaccines cause autism is the correlation in time between a child receiving their vaccinations, and when they begin to exhibit symptoms of autism. But it is important to remember, correlation doesn’t equal causation. Children receive vaccinations at specific times in their early childhood. It just so happens that autism is often diagnosed in early childhood as well. To an ill-informed person, that could be pretty credulous information. There is no scientific evidence to back this, however. I can see where some would believe otherwise. Autistic children can exhibit symptoms from birth as they don’t develop as typically as they should. And around 1 to 2 years of age they begin to regress. This is all after the child receives the necessary vaccinations. I think that is why people think there is a correlation between the two.

A more obvious issue with not vaccinating a child is that the child will be exposed to other health concerns and preventable diseases, as well as exposing other children to those diseases. Deadly diseases, such as measles, diphtheria, and mumps, are now starting to make a comeback ever since people have been choosing not to vaccinate their kids. That’s just plain scary!

Finally, let’s talk about an ingredient in vaccines that many believe could be the cause of autism in some children, thimerosal. Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative added to vaccines. Many people were worried about the mercury in thimerosal so before testing was even performed, thimerosal was removed or at least drastically reduced as an ingredient. This was done to reduce mercury exposure in children. However, when thimerosal was finally tested, research showed that it does not cause autism.

Whatever your stance is on the topic, I ask again, is autism really the worst thing a child can have? Is it worse than that child dying from a preventable disease? No. It is not. The research is there. Vaccines do not cause autism.

References:
autismcenter.org
www.cdc.gov
www.autismspeaks.org

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