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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.


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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12 Responses to “Pox Parties”

  1. Donna F.

    This trend for chicken pox parties is definitely not headed in a good direction. When I was a kid, my younger brother had chicken pox and I did not catch it…even though I hung around him so I would get out of going to school (not too smart). Anyway, when I was a freshman in college, someone on my floor in the dorm got it and it went around to everyone who did not have it before, including me. They say that when you are older, chicken pox affects you worse, but it was not too bad for me at age 18. But I would NEVER intentionally give chicken pox to any child!

  2. Cindi Hoppes

    My sons are older now, nd the chicken pox vaccine was new when they were quite young.
    I asked our family doctor about the vaccine and he suggested that they were still young
    enough to get chicken pox with no ill effects. My older son got them first and then our younger
    son got them from him…The doctor felt that the vaccine was too new and having chicken pox
    had some benefits…Cindi

  3. Sleepyheadedmom

    Some people boggle my mind. I really wonder how much thought these people give everything before they participate in a pox party. It doesn’t make any sense for a parent to intentionally make their child sick. Infected saliva?! That’s just disgusting. You never know what some people have and saliva is good for spreading disease. I mean can’t that spread things like herpes, mono, Menningitus, and who knows what else? Scary.

  4. Kerri M

    I understand the concept, in theory. I see how some people may think that they can control this process, pick a convenient date/time, prepare all the necessaries for treatment, etc. But, god forbid, your child has any complications during their illness. Then, guess whose fault it is?

    I would never, ever intentionally do anything to directly contribute to my child contracting any kind of illness. I'm just at a loss as to how any parent can condone this. If your child becomes ill, care for them until they recover. That is part of parenting. But I can't imagine handing my child a piece of candy and then sitting back and waiting for the pox to appear…

  5. Jennifer Surprenant

    I have mixed feeling about this. I see how parents would want their children to have the chicken pox earlier in life so thet they don't suffer from more severe syptoms if they get it later in life. But as a health care professional, I really think it is a bad idea. You never know what other "parties" my be happening in the mean time or what else may be spread. Personally, I never did this with my son. Luckily he did get the pox in his early years.

  6. Lantana H.

    This is outrageous! I cannot believe parents would do this. There is no telling what some stranger could send you in the mail. I think these people should be arrested. At the very least, I do not know why the Facebook page or any forum where this is going on is not shut down IMMEDIATELY. This is irresponsible and poses risks to the entire population.

  7. Charity S

    Would you ever consider giving your kids the virus intentionally? No
    Would you plan a get together with your friends’ kids? No

    I'm just not with this new-age thinking. I would never intentionally infect my child with any type of virus.

  8. Tisha

    My son almost died from Chicken Pox when he was 2. Where we live the vaccination for it isn't standard and so he was not vaccinated. I say vaccinate!


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