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expose kids to chicken pox?  

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

My son is 11 months, daughter will be three in March.  We have a friend whose kids have the chicken pox and I am not sure what to do.  I wanted to wait until the baby was at least two before 'trying', but these friends waited 6 years to get exposed!  I want to have another baby, hopefully in the next year or two, so there will be another newborn to think about....(hopefully!).  Should I take the chance now?

 

The kids are in excellent health--just a few colds in their lives.  Probiotics and chiropractic care are a regular part of our lives and both are breastfeeding still....I like to think that their immune systems are great and that we wouldn't get a terrible case.  I know there is always a risk....  Anyone have any thoughts for me?  I haven't done all the research yet....was waiting but now only have a few days to act, if that is the route I take. Thanks!

post #2 of 51

Some information to help you with your decision :) - 

 

"Varicella {chickenpox virus} also accounts for significant morbidity (4000 hospitalizations per year) and mortality (50-100 deaths per year) in otherwise healthy children" (From this site - http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/800546-overview.)

 

"The vaccine is exceedingly safe: approximately 5% of children who receive the vaccine develop a fever or rash, but as of 1 May 2006, there have been no deaths yet attributable to the vaccine despite more than 40 million doses being administered." (From this site - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varicella_vaccine.)

post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 

Featherlou, I should have clarified: I will never vaccinate against chicken pox.  A lifetime of natural immunity is the goal. So, is waiting and hoping we run into it down the road a better idea than trying now?

 

As far as I understand it, the serious risks are (like with many things) far more likely to be experienced by those with compromised immune systems, those suffering from other conditions, etc.    (and emedicine and especially wikipedia are not sites I would use to make health care decision for my kids).  :(

post #4 of 51

Do it. We're going through this right now. There has been a big outbreak around here because a lot of people don't vax in our community. We've exposed dd 3 times and she hasn't gotten it, which is a bummer because now she (and I and dh) has the flu and I don't want her to be sick again after this misery. Because so many people DO vax, it's not passing around like it used to naturally and it's a lot harder to chase it down! Healthy breastfeeding kids are ideal candidates. Just get it out of the way.

post #5 of 51

We exposed our children in November last year and they contracted the pox.  It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Just a few extra oatmeal baths and they were good to go.  I also did the occasional allergy relief so they weren't so itchy.  It didn't last very long, about 4-5 days of really itchiness.

 

I know a couple families did it with children under 1 year old and they handled it pretty well.

 

Good luck on making the decision!  Also, don't wait too long, there is an open window to getting the pox.  None of my daycare kids that weren't vaxed got them because they weren't here for a couple days (because one of my kids got strep).  The two families that got them from my kids were here for about an hour and a half and just played with their toys and were around each other. 

post #6 of 51


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunfish21 View Post

As far as I understand it, the serious risks are (like with many things) far more likely to be experienced by those with compromised immune systems, those suffering from other conditions, etc.    (and emedicine and especially wikipedia are not sites I would use to make health care decision for my kids).  :(


The author of my first quote is Richard Lichenstein, MD, Associate Professor, Pediatric Emergency Department, University of Maryland School of Medicine.http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/800546-overview

 

The source of my second quote is Wise RP, Salive ME, Braun MM, et al.(2000). "Postlicensure safety surveillance for varicella vaccine". JAMA 284 (10): 1271–9. (That would be the Journal of the American Medical Association).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varicella_vaccine#cite_note-Wise2000-10

 

They're your kids and your decision, of course, but disregarding valid health care practitioners and studies out of hand is an interesting choice. If you have better sources of information that you're using to make health care decisions for your kids, I'm all ears. I hope one of them isn't the former doctor Andrew Wakefield. :)

post #7 of 51

Go for it!  I exposed my kids twice and we still haven't had it.  The first person we tried to get it from tried like 7 times and finally got it.

post #8 of 51
Thread Starter 

Your comment about Wakefield shows your strong bias for mainstream medicine.  I wasn't looking for those types of responses....

post #9 of 51

I would ideally wait until they were four, so that they understood that it was going to go away, if they turned out to be among those that itch badly and are really bothered. But if it was as hard to come by as you describe, then I would probably say go for it.

 

Where I live, the vaccine is not in the "official" vaccine program, and it is not recommended for children. It is funny how chickenpox is considered such a risk by the "official" US.

post #10 of 51

It is hard to find here as well, I'd go for it. I exposed DD2 when she was 18m old, she did wonderfully. That was 3 years ago and I've yet to hear of another case in someone that would let us get exposed, I'm looking for it for my 20m old now. 

post #11 of 51
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your responses.  We decided to go for it...and will see what happens!

post #12 of 51


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunfish21 View Post

My son is 11 months, daughter will be three in March.  We have a friend whose kids have the chicken pox and I am not sure what to do.  I wanted to wait until the baby was at least two before 'trying', but these friends waited 6 years to get exposed!  I want to have another baby, hopefully in the next year or two, so there will be another newborn to think about....(hopefully!).  Should I take the chance now?

 

The kids are in excellent health--just a few colds in their lives.  Probiotics and chiropractic care are a regular part of our lives and both are breastfeeding still....I like to think that their immune systems are great and that we wouldn't get a terrible case.  I know there is always a risk....  Anyone have any thoughts for me?  I haven't done all the research yet....was waiting but now only have a few days to act, if that is the route I take. Thanks!


I exposed my baby and toddler (around the ages of yours) to chicken pox and they never got it. The baby was still nursing, so that may have been a factor. The local ps got it a few years ago when dd's were 11 & 13. Ds got it, then dd#2 got it two weeks later. Both children insisted on sleeping with me for the duration. Dd#1 never got it and neither did I (I've been exposed to chicken pox several times in my life, including this experience and have never had it).

 

My point is that there are some people who never get it even when exposed. My personal understanding is that it is easier for a young child to have it than an older child.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by featherlou View Post

Some information to help you with your decision :) -

"Varicella {chickenpox virus} also accounts for significant morbidity (4000 hospitalizations per year) and mortality (50-100 deaths per year) in otherwise healthy children" (From this site - http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/800546-overview.)

 

"The vaccine is exceedingly safe: approximately 5% of children who receive the vaccine develop a fever or rash, but as of 1 May 2006, there have been no deaths yet attributable to the vaccine despite more than 40 million doses being administered." (From this site - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varicella_vaccine.)


50-100 deaths per year is actually miniscule in a country this size; hardly "significant". You're just as likely to get hit by lightning and more likely to get killed in a car accident while wearing a seat belt. I don't see a reason to poison my child if I don't have to (and, no, I'm not being snarky or rude even though it probably sounds like that. *sigh* The limitations of the written word.).

post #13 of 51

DD is 22 months and a friend posted on FB that her DD had Chicken Pox so we went for a visit about 5 days ago and DD now has a fever and some nasal congestion and I am hoping she caught them! I want to get them over with, I didn't get a good dose of them until I was 17 and that wasn't a pretty sight, I was covered! She is still nursing and otherwise healthy so I am crossing my fingers and hoping!

 

post #14 of 51
Thread Starter 

Thanks ecoteat, I was unable to explain/reply as kindly as you did.  :)

 

We are now five days in and just watching and waiting.  I read that the incubation period was 7-21 days, with 14 being the most common.  newtomotherhood, can you let us know if those were the early symptoms for your little one? Thanks!

post #15 of 51

When my girls got it, it was 19 and 21 days after exposure. i was convinced they were not going to get it! I didn't really notice any symptoms before hand, one day the first one woke up with a slight runny nose and a couple spots. The next day they started multiplying and I was sure we had it. And actually, that first day we had a pedi appointment for DD2 to get new inhaler scripts so I mentioned to my awesome pedi who barely vaxs her own children that I thought she was getting CP and she told me they can't even tell the first day or two, not until the spots really start coming on. 

post #16 of 51

I know you didn't ask me, but my daughter got chicken pox almost exactly two weeks to the day after her brother came home with it. With ds, he had a "bug bite" on his neck and scratched it (and complained about it). We looked around later and found more spots, so I told him to stop scratching the one on his neck and not to scratch the others. (He has a scar where the first one was.)

 

My daughter just didn't feel well, then broke out. I don't recall runny noses first, but my kids were older.

post #17 of 51

sunfish21, where are you at in WI??? I am in IL and would LOVE to expose my 2 girls to this as well! 2.5 and 8 months.

post #18 of 51
Thread Starter 

Sorry Random--want to hear everyone's experiences with it!  I hear 14 days is average....but some are later.  I hear mixed things on the runny nose/fever to start too...

 

And sorry Carly--I am closer to St Paul, MN than Illinois....west-central WI here!  I would think there would be a place to share this info with others; I originally posted this under the "I am not vaccinating" thread/heading.  Maybe you could post somewhere here or maybe the Holistic Mom's pages have a place....good luck.  Part of why I jumped on it was that the person we got exposed from had been looking for 6 years.

post #19 of 51
Thread Starter 

Sorry Random--want to hear everyone's experiences with it!  I hear 14 days is average....but some are later.  I hear mixed things on the runny nose/fever to start too...

 

And sorry Carly--I am closer to St Paul, MN than Illinois....west-central WI here!  I would think there would be a place to share this info with others; I originally posted this under the "I am not vaccinating" thread/heading.  Maybe you could post somewhere here or maybe the Holistic Mom's pages have a place....good luck.  Part of why I jumped on it was that the person we got exposed from had been looking for 6 years.

post #20 of 51

I do not vaccinate.

I would not expose children to any disease. If they catch it, we will deal, but going around trying to get sick doesn't make sense to me.

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