Pox Parties

Just when I think I’ve heard everything when it comes to crazy parenting fads, one comes along and just knocks me right out of my socks.

Now I am no stranger to debating vaccines. But of all the vaccines I’ve debated the one that I’m always the least concerned with is Chicken Pox. Yes, I did give my children the vaccine for the simple fact that I had the chicken pox when I was in the third grade, and hated every minute of it. It itched, I was sick, I was miserable and I missed the last week of school. Everyone knows that the last week of school is the best, and I missed every single party and field day that happened that year. It sucked.

My sister had come down with the chicken pox and was heading back to school just as my older brother and I came down with it. Back then there was no vaccine, if the pox started going around your school you simply got it. The younger the better was the theory, though my brother was already in high school and I’d have to argue over which one of us was more miserable during that time.

At any rate it didn’t take much research and reassurance from my doctor when I had children of my own to decide where I stood on chicken pox vaccine. Skip out on one of the most miserable childhood ailments? Sign me up.

But I know a lot of parents who have chosen to take their chances and despite receiving other vaccines, have skipped out on the chicken pox vaccine. If their child get its, they get it, end of story. And I don’t blame them.

Now this brings me to the horrifying new trend  (that now with a little media spotlight will die out as quickly as it sparked), which is Facebook Pox Parties. Parents across the nation who have skipped getting their children the chicken pox vaccine have joined together via Facebook. In this Facebook group parents can coordinate with other parents who live nearby playdates with children who have the chicken pox. And even worse (and scarier) is that these parents are also sending out infected saliva, infected lollipops and clothing through the mail from children with chicken pox and giving them to their own unvaccinated children.

Huh?

Thankfully a federal prosecutor is spreading that the word sending pox-laced lollipops through the mail is actually frowned upon. “Sending a virus or disease through the U.S. mail (and private carriers) is illegal. It doesn’t matter if it crosses state lines,” said David Boling, public information officer for the Attorney in Nashville.

Of course it goes beyond simply being illegal. “Sending chicken pox-infected lollipops, swabs or vials of saliva to parents who want to infect their children and avoid vaccinations is not only illegal, it can be lethal,” said Dr. Tim Jones, Tennessee’s state epidemiologist.

I’m almost at a loss for words. Who trusts a stranger they met online who says they are sending tainted lollipops and saliva for their children to suck on? Who?

Hmmm, actually this all sounds very familiar. In fact yes, I’m quite sure I know parents who would do that. I’m pretty sure this was an episode of South Park… Yep, heres the video clip, of course be warned, it is South Park and therefore contains rude humor and inappropriate language.

Dear parents, if it happened in a South Park episode, chances are you shouldn’t use it as a parenting technique. I’m just saying…

Would you ever consider giving your kids the virus intentionally? Would you plan a get together with your friends’ kids?

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