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Chicken Pox...do I need to expose my kids?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have 2 unvaxxed beautiful girls, 5 & 8. Neither have had serious illnesses, 8 y/o had 5th's disease a few months back. Should they not have had chicken pox by now? My dr said if my eldest didn't contract them by age 9 I should have her vaxxed since CP apparently is more risky in older people....not quite sure what that means, I haven't been able to find any concrete evidence on that. My DH had them when he was 11 or 12, he said it was fine, no complications. I had them early on in childhood. Should I be trying to expose them, or just let things be?
post #2 of 8

Well, that's a tough question.  I can not tell you what you should do, but I can tell you the vaccine in not life long effective and can actually open your child up to getting chicken pox at an older age (besides teenage and young adult).  


I somehow survived childhood with out getting chicken pox.  I did receive one dose of the vaccine (didn't get a booster) but I had my titers checked during pregnancy and it showed immunity (on the low side but I was "immune") Fast forward a few years..  I had the opportunity to be around some wild pox.  We didn't get anything, but someone else did, so a few weeks later we gave it another try.  Well, I had a sip of my daughters drink in which the sick child had shared.  Two weeks later....I had chicken pox (but not my kids).  It was horrible, I didn't have any complications but I was SICK (fever, headache, nausea) and the spots where just annoying and they hurt more then they itched.   I also skipped a period after having them, probably because I had my period at the same time as I got the chicken pox and then my children did come down with chicken pox two weeks after I got sick. They sailed threw it (ages 3 & 6).  (they had a low fever, lack of appetite, and itchy but felt fine otherwise) My oldest had a nasty stomach flu a few days after she was cleared to go back to school, she said chicken pox was much better then that stomach bug. 

If my children hadn't had chicken pox I would not get them vaccinated, I would leave that choice up to them when they are older.  But because the vaccine can be effective short term, wild chicken pox is getting pretty hard to find (you actually have to look for it in most cases).  


As a side note, I did just have my titers checked again, and I have high immunity now.  My mother came over and cared for me while I was sick and now she has given her body a natural booster against shingles.  So I would think that even if you don't want to "expose" your kids, you might want to be looking for them for yourself. ;)

post #3 of 8

I would read this thread for an interesting discussion on the issue:




I would not necessarily jump to vaxxing at 9 if she has not had CP.  I would look up how likely complication are to be had in each age group.  If it is complicated in teens, why not wait till 11 or 12 and see if she gets it naturally?  You can also test titres if you like - some kids have such a mild case it does go largely unnoticed (my son had 10 spots - maybe - the only reason I jumped to CP was because I know he had been exposed).

post #4 of 8

I laughed at your doctor considering a 9 year old an "older person." 


I think you should be actively searching for chickenpox parties. There are Yahoo groups, etc.


I think you will find one within a few years. Your best chance of your kids getting it will be as soon as possible during the illness. It becomes less contagious each day. So as soon as you hear of a party, jump on it that same day if you can. The time it finally worked for us, the sick kids blew up balloons, and let them deflate, flying through the air in the room, aerosolizing the germs. They also shared lollipops with my child. Also, my child wore a shirt for a few hours that one of the sick kids had worn to bed.

post #5 of 8
I wouldn't. If my children get an illness, than we will deal with it, but I just could not bring myself to actively search for them to get sick. JMO
post #6 of 8

I think you should look for one too...have you tried here?

post #7 of 8
Originally Posted by Shanesmom View Post

I wouldn't. If my children get an illness, than we will deal with it, but I just could not bring myself to actively search for them to get sick. JMO


You know I kind of feel the same way. We don't vax and I was just hoping dd would get chicken pox somehow on her own by a certain age. She is only 3 now (almost) but healthy as a horse. We didn't check her titers yet and I have no clue if she has even been exposed. So I was just hoping we would find someone, someday if she hasn't had CP by that magic age (don't even have a number in mind). But now, when I picture bringing her intentionally to a house with chickenpox and having her breathe the air and play with the kids happily not knowing the intent of the playdate...I KNOW I can't do it. It's doesn't seem right. While I had CP as a kid and it was not big deal and we don't avoid germy kids too much (because she really never gets anything anyway) I can't do it with chicken pox. I wonder if the 'CP is a horrible disease' mentality has made a deep imprint in my mind somehow...? I have absolutely no problem with other moms doing it (not dissing anyone here!) and actually laughed a lot at the post describing how nicely the kids played at the CP playdate. :)

post #8 of 8

oh, i definitely wish i'd had a chicken pox party with my youngest!  i did with my older two and they had a grand time, caught chicken pox, got over it, no problems.


my youngest, i have NO IDEA from where she caught it.  there were no reported cases at the day care, but it's the only place she could have gotten it.  the only thing i can think was that some kid had a very mild case with no symptoms.  interestingly enough, i know more than a few kids had been recently vaccinated with CP, so who knows.


anyway, i had no idea what was wrong with her.  it was the height of summer and we lived in the bush so i thought she was just still being eaten alive by mosquitoes.  i was putting all kinds of bug repellent on her - poor kid must've gone through hell!  it wasn't until she had a hearing test.  she was impossible to deal with - so whiney and cranky and crying and uncooperative -  and the doctor looked at her and asked "how long has she had the chicken pox?".  i said "oh, no - it's mosquito bites.  they eat her alive every year."


he said "um... no.  i'm not a paediatrician, but i have 4 kids of my own, and that looks like a very serious case of chicken pox."  


he sent us to the walk-in clinic downstairs and i'm the one with egg on my face.


i would MUCH rather have had a chicken pox party and been fully prepared with calamine, games, nummies, videos, and everything needed to keep a convalescing child happy and distracted instead of constantly getting frustrated with her whining and cranking.

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