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Cross posting: exposing a 14 month old to chicken pox?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I posted in the vax forum but haven't gotten many responses. My two kids are unvaxed for chicken pox. I might have the opportunity to expose them. I think it's a very good time for ds1: 3.5 y/o. But my hubby has voiced hesitations about having ds2 (14 months) exposed. It just seems like a good time to me: I'm not pg, we are probably going to put ds1 in preschool in the fall so this way we can say he didn't get the vax, instead he got the virus. Ds2 is still a bit young but it's not like chicken pox comes up all the time these days.

 

Is there anything out there about the 1-2 year old crowd getting chicken pox and whether it is more or less dangerous than other ages?

post #2 of 12

Are you still nursing? If so, the pain and pressure of mouth sores can cause toddlers to wean. Also, young children and preschoolers rarely have the self-control to avoid scratching themselves and cause a lot of scars.

post #3 of 12

I wouldn't. But then I can't ever imagine a "good time" for chicken pox. Fevers, scratching, and potential mouth armpit and other sensitive area sores are no walk in the park. If your kids gets it that is one thing but purposefully exposing in an attempt to develop immunity is not my cup of tea. No way.

post #4 of 12

I can't imagine willingly exposing my child to a virus that would cause him pain, potential scaring or worse.  So, no, I don't think it's a good age.

 

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaimom View Post

I can't imagine willingly exposing my child to a virus that would cause him pain, potential scaring or worse.  So, no, I don't think it's a good age.

 



Well, given that the varicella vaccine is a live virus vaccine, that's exactly what vaccinating parents do, starting at 12 months.

 

I would be ok with exposing a child to the virus after 12 months because that's the minimum age for the live virus vaccine, which has the potential to cause the virus.

post #6 of 12

Hmmm... I'm not really sure how I feel about this. I feel like 14 months is a little young to be purposely exposing to chicken pox, but I guess it would also depend a lot on the child. Whether they are healthy, still breastfeeding, etc. I would absolutely want to make sure they were still breastfeeding at that age if they were exposed to help fight the infection and boost their immunity and I guess since the chicken pox vaccine is given at 1 year a lot of children younger than 14 months are already being purposely exposed to the virus, so it's really your call on whether you are comfortable dealing with a child that young having chicken pox.

 

That being said, my son had chicken pox when he was 9 months old. I didn't expose him to it, he happened to get it and it was really no big deal. He still had some placental immunity left from me (but from what I've read a 14 month old would have no placental immunity) and he was exclusively breastfeeding and it really helped him heal and deal with it. He never scratched- probably because he was too young and I'm not sure a 14 month old would be able to scratch really either. My younger sister also had chicken pox as a breastfed baby and it was the mildest case out of all four of us sisters who had it at the same time. My mom says that the breastfed babies she sees with chicken pox are usually much, much milder cases.

post #7 of 12

I plan to expose my now-20-mo old to it. I am just hoping that when I find it, it will be a convenient time (yeah, right!)

 

Our doctor recommended it. In addition to it being a stronger immunity, the boosters are so necessary, and it's turning out that a lot of 20 year olds don't get them due to not having insurance - and serious complications are more likely if you get it as an adult.

post #8 of 12

We had an opportunity to expose DS at 13 months and didn't do it.  We were in the middle of packing to move and renovating a house, otherwise I would've considered it more seriously.  

 

14 months is pretty young still.  There will definitely be more opportunities, especially if you decide it's a good time and seek out a pox party.  If you're having more little ones, I'd be tempted to wait until they're all older and can all get it at once.  My four siblings and I all got it at the same time, ages ranging 2-11.  

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Just a note: I am not interested in debating vaccine vs natural immunity nor intentional vs accidental exposure.

JodiAU - he is stil nursing and I had not thought of that. Thank you for bringing it up. Also a good point about scratching. I was thinking keeping him with socks on his hands as mittens would cut back significantly on scratching/scarring.

MyName - I actually had the CP as a still bfing 6 month old. One of my brothers brought it home from school and one after another all three of us got it. My mom has said I had a pretty mild case but I do have a few scars which don't bother me.

Luckiest - That is true. I feel like it is a decent time for ds1 but perhaps not ds2....
post #10 of 12

My oldest was unknowingly exposed to it around 18 months (CP vaccine wasn't routinely offered back then - my youngest did get the vaccine last year). He never actually came down with it, and I'm grateful for that because I'd pick the risk of side-effects from the vaccine over the risk of side-effects from the disease any day. To me, it just seems irresponsible to knowingly expose a child. Fine if you don't want the vax, but why do you feel you have expose your child?

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamandedeux View Post

My oldest was unknowingly exposed to it around 18 months (CP vaccine wasn't routinely offered back then - my youngest did get the vaccine last year). He never actually came down with it, and I'm grateful for that because I'd pick the risk of side-effects from the vaccine over the risk of side-effects from the disease any day. To me, it just seems irresponsible to knowingly expose a child. Fine if you don't want the vax, but why do you feel you have expose your child?



(Speaking for myself here, but most people share my reasoning) Chicken pox in childhood is a nuisance illness - there are some extreme cases, like with any illness, but by and large it's nothing more than an uncomfortable two weeks.  In adulthood, the virus is much more serious, more painful, and more complicated.  Whether through vaccination or exposure of the virus, it's a good idea to be exposed in childhood so you don't have to worry about dealing with shingles as an adult.  

 

Since most kids are vaccinated against the virus now, it's less likely that an unvaccinated child will just happen to pick up the virus (especially if they aren't in school or daycare).  That means the parents might feel it best to seek out the virus by purposefully exposing the child to another child who has it.  

 

Delving further into the issue, there is a theory that vaccinating against chicken pox in childhood is going to cause a spike in cases of shingles.  This is for several reasons - adults being exposed to children with the virus, although they've had the virus themselves, receive a "booster" from the exposure.  If they are no longer exposed in adulthood, their immunity against the virus may diminish.  Also - the vaccine is 17 years old, and we don't know how long immunity from the vaccine will last.  Its protection may diminish in adulthood, making even those vaccinated susceptible to the virus again.  So, it could also benefit the rest of my family to be exposed - I'd like that booster!

 

(Here are a couple of articles about that last part:

 

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/11/02/chicken-pox-vaccine-creates-shingles-epidemic.aspx

 

http://blog.colloidsforlife.com/health-conditions/immune-system/is-the-chicken-pox-vaccine-making-shingles-rates-rise/

post #12 of 12

Get it while you can!

 

No good time to have it.  And it is HARD to find.  Don't pass it up!  Good luck!

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