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Chickenpox Parties

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
What do you think about "Chickenpox parties"? That is where you deliberatly get kids together with a child who has chicken pox or mumps or measles so they can be exposed and avoid being infected as an adult?
post #2 of 32
I was just thinking about this the other day. I think it sounds really strange. When I was a kid, we got it if we got it, and didn't if we didn't. I just don't know about deliberatly exposing my child to an illness.
post #3 of 32
Getting chicken pox as an adult can do serious damage, and the vaccine offers only about 10 years of 'immunity.' That means if you give your child the vaccination and they don't keep it up as an adult, they are suceptible to a much stronger version. I don't like the sound of that. But actually having the disease offers almost flawless natural lifetime immunity. I will hate seeing my child go through it, but it is a natural, normal part of childhood. I am all for the chicken pox party idea, as it offers my child the best chance of immunity for life. *scratch*
post #4 of 32
This reminds me of a biography I read about John Adams (or was it Thomas Jefferson, oh great, I can't remember). Anyway he went to a smallpox party as an adult. Under a Dr's supervision he and his friends all went to a house together when they were determined healthy and had all the time in the world to rest. They were exposed to smallpox and recovered under the Dr's care. This way they didn't get it when their immune systems were weak or when they became too old to fight it. (His fiance's father wouldn't let her go because he didn't want to risk her pretty face to the scarring).
I would consider a chickenpox party, but only when I was sure the kids were healthy.
I am more concerned that there will be no wild chickenpox to catch. In my state you can't attend school without the vaccine.
post #5 of 32
i was asking my chiropractor about this exact thing last week and she recommended a chickenpox playdate. i do remember being miserable when i had chickenpox, and i think it will be hard for me to try and get my dd purposely infected. but the vaccine is one that i feel very wary of since it is so new, and because of the reasons that lila mentions. with all children being vaccinated now, i am worried that i won't be able to find anyone who is sick with it.
post #6 of 32
I'm just hoping it goes through daycare before I become SAHM in May.
But, I wonder if it's not safe if they're under 2?

We really hope to avoid the vax.
post #7 of 32
I must admit that I am sitting on the fence about them....We were invited to one a while back, and my husband was stongly against it. All the kids that went, got the chickepox about a week later, and they were all done a week or so after that. Half of me is bummed that my sons still haven't gotten the pox on their own by now....I now kind of wish we had gone.....That said, I think that kids getting it on their own is a much better approach. On the other hand.....more and more kids around here are being vac'd for the varacella virus, so it appears that there is much less of a chance that my boys will come into contact with it naturally. *sigh*
post #8 of 32
Something to be aware of if you plan to expose your kids to chickenpox is that you and other adults that your kids come into contact with are also at risk of catching it. If you didn't have it as a child then you could catch it from your kids and the adult version is much worse.

I know that the whole purpose of exposing your kids is so they DON'T get it as adults, but don't forget about you and other adults around your kids. The 3 cases of adult deaths from chickenpox in 1997 were 2 young mothers and 1 aunt of unvaxed kids who had cases of cp.

Also, while most people enjoy an immunity from further infection after having a case, it doesn't work for everyone. My next door neighbor growing up had it 3 times as a kid, each time progressively worse.
post #9 of 32
we arranged a chicken pox play date with a neighbor so ds, 10, could finally get them. he manifested symptoms on the very last day of incubation he could. we were wondering if the exposure "took" and sure enough, it did. 3 weeks later ds #2, 2 got them. both such mild cases. i am glad we got this one out of the way.
post #10 of 32
I am so up for it.

If Owen and or Caleb get it, I'll post here, so any NE area people can arrange to have their children around my children.

Mine as well use a day off from work and school to mingle, right?!?!

Sounds good to me, if all are willing to comply as well!!

post #11 of 32
Just a note on chickenpox. I come from a family of six and none of got them as a child. I got them as a 21 year old adult and it wasn't that bad. They had chickenpox parties then and my mom as a nurse didn't participate. Why would you subject your children to that if it is not necessary? As an adult, I understood the symptoms of chicken pox and knew I could not itch and scratch the pocks, I had a fever, sweats but I understood and could control it. A child can not understand that and you do feel miserable. With a child, they don't understand they can't itch (and it does itch bad!)If your children scratch them, they will scar! I have have scars from the 3 that I couldn't help itching. I would think again, and let them get them naturally. My doctor told our family that if you don't get it naturally, your body can build up it's own natural immunity. I have a 32, 30 year old sisters who have never had them and a 26 year old brother. I was around them all!
post #12 of 32
I have been looking for kids with Chicken Pox, but have not been able to find any!
post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 
My dh got chicken pox as an adult (before we met) and he said it was absolutely terrible!!! Also my cousin got them as an adult, while she was 36 weeks pregnant, she was soooo sick and had to be hospitalized, and her baby was born w/ meningitis! I definately will expose ds to chicken pox. What do you think about measles, mumps, rubella?
post #14 of 32
Originally posted by Stacy
I got them as a 21 year old adult and it wasn't that bad.
Then you were very lucky. Most adults who get it have it much more severely.
A child can not understand that and you do feel miserable.
We can not prevent our children from getting sick, it's part of life. Unpleasant as it is, it is much safer to have chickenpox as a child. It is each parent's choice to make, but it is my opinion that I would rather my children have the milder childhood version than the potentially worse adult version. Furthermore, children may not remember the unpleasantness of it. I remember my Daddy bringing me home stuffed toys and coloring books. I remember my Mom letting me watch cartoons all day and making me whatever I wanted for lunch. I don't remember itching. Having chicken pox has very special memories for me. I hope that my children will remember it the same way.
I would think again, and let them get them naturally.
that is my intention by planning to expose my children rather than having them vaccinated, though you may not choose to do it the same way, and that's totally okay. We intend to homeschool, and our children will not have the same exposure as other children, so intentional exposure appears to me to be a necessary evil.
My doctor told our family that if you don't get it naturally, your body can build up it's own natural immunity.
That may be true, but it is not always the case. Your family may have greater resistance to illness than others. How blessed you are!
post #15 of 32

we've got it!

DS #2 (11 mos.) has got 'em, and we're having a party Friday. I'm really hoping DS#1 gets them this time--he's seven.

We're in Redmond WA, if anyone's interested!
post #16 of 32
We purposely exposed our daughter last year and my husband told me he had already had them. Well we came to find out he hadn't. He ended up with probably 10x as many pox as she did. His entire face was covered and he has many scars now from it. He also had them inside his mouth and could only eat smoothies. This was not a problem for DD. He told me he felt like he had them in his lungs too. Luckily everyone recovered without incident but I am very glad my DD got it now instead of later. I saw how much worse it could be. I am sorry that my DH exposed himself to this though but he did say he was glad he got them at 38 instead of at 70.
So do pay attention as Corriander said to who else may end up exposed.
post #17 of 32
I took dd to a chicken pox party, and all the children *except for dd* got the chicken pox! At least we don't think she did. About a week earlier we had a playdate with the child w/cp, and several days later dd spiked a fever for a day and a half, and was better. I read in my Microbiology text book that mild cases of cp will have no symptoms. We hope that's what she had, but if I hear of more cp, I'll try to expose her again. It's getting harder and harder to find.

I was exposed (intentionally) to the chicken pox several times before I actually got it when I was 11. Like my mom, DD and I both rarely get sick, and when we do it's short and sweet. Thanks, Mom!
post #18 of 32
Just yesterday I started a thread on this very topic in the vaccination forum. I haven't had any responses. I noticed someone on this thread asked the same question I had asked, what is too young for chickenpox? Ds is 21 mos. which seems pretty young, but I don't know how many opportunities will come along, so I may need to go for it whenever I can.

I know to some it seems strange to expose children instead of avoiding it. I believe that not only will they get life long immunity, but there is evidence that childhood disease helps to build their immune system. And yes, sometimes people get it more than once (I had it twice as a kid) but immunization doesn't guarantee immunity either, and some kids even get it from the vaccine.
post #19 of 32


my dd had CP at 8 months of age & did fine(homeopathic remedies were all we used).
post #20 of 32
What I want to know is, can you become exempted from a vaccine by proving that you've already had the illness? If that's the case I'd go for controlled exposure. If you know your kid is likely to be coming down with something you can start your supportive diet and herbs in advance. As far as the rest go, I'd be extra careful with rubella, as far as quarantining is concerned. You wouldn't want to spread this to any pregnant women. Measles and mumps, as far as I know, are also diseases that are less severe if contracted during childhood. Most things that are considered "childhood illnesses" started out as major killers until the population as a whole and the disease worked out a balance. For example, the difference between smallpox among invading Europeans and invaded indiginous cultures in this country's history.

I had cp twice as a kid, once very mildly and once faily severly- it came on when I was on vacation, flying home from Boston to Chicago was miserable. I'd much rather know when to expect it.
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