Help! Should I expose my children to chicken pox?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 05-30-2012, 05:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey everyone, my two daughters (2.5 and 5) are both unvaccinated and one of my close friends son has just gotten the chicken pox.  Should I expose my children to him so they can get the disease now and have it done with?  A huge part of me feels like its totally crazy and irresponsible to deliberately try to infect my children with a disease, but I know if they don't get it as kids and get it as adults it can be very severe and even deadly.  But it can also be pretty bad and there are risk of complications as children too. 

 

With mass vaccination happening, by the time they are adults I wonder what the chances really are of them even being exposed to it?   Plus, once you have chicken pox you are at risk for shingles later in life and I've read the research that now says they expect a pandemic of shingles because people who had chicken pox as children are no longer getting the immune boosting effects of being around children with chicken pox due to mass vaccination.  I have no idea what to do.  I feel like trying to stay away from it is the best thing, but what could that mean for my children down the road?  Please help!!!

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#2 of 19 Old 05-30-2012, 07:22 AM
 
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I vote get it now. Mine had it at 1.5, 4, 5, 5. none of them had a really bad case, and thank goodness now they have life long immunity. We also got it in the summer and did lots of time in the splash pool and outside.


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#3 of 19 Old 05-30-2012, 11:09 AM
 
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I would definitely expose them.


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#4 of 19 Old 05-30-2012, 11:15 AM
 
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Expose them now, there is no guarantee that they'll get chicken pox, i think that poxy kids are contagious 2 days before spots and up until spots scab over.

 

CP is dangerous for infants, but i'd be okay with anyone 2 and older.

 

It is hard to find them 'in the wild' so I'd expose when you get the chance!

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#5 of 19 Old 05-30-2012, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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But what about the chance of getting shingles later in life?  Does that not concern anyone?  The only way you can get shingles is if you have had the chicken pox.  I feel like no matter what I decide there is a downside and risks.  For everyone out there who's kids got the chicken pox naturally, how bad was it for them?  Anyone have a severe case? 

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#6 of 19 Old 05-30-2012, 12:51 PM
 
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Does anyone know why CP is dangerous as an adult, if our unvaccinated kids don't get it as kids?  Is there factual evidence to this, or just myth?

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#7 of 19 Old 05-30-2012, 02:14 PM
 
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I will not be exposing my kids on purpose (but wouldn't be upset if they happened to get it).  I'm not worried about it at all.  Yes it's more severe as an adult, but 1. there is a chance they will never get it, ever, because it's so rare, and 2. serious complications are even more rare.  I don't know why everyone frantically seeks out pox party's, I think it's over-kill. 


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#8 of 19 Old 05-30-2012, 03:12 PM
 
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Shingles is the same virus as Chicken Pox, just adult onset.  So, "The only way you can get shingles is if you have had the chicken pox" is incorrect.  

 

Shingles is more prevalent NOW (in older kids and adults) due to the vax.  Because adults are not being exposed to kids with CP, they aren't getting 'boosters' and thus their immunity weakens as they get older.

 

Japan, where they've been using the CP vax for a longer period of time then the US, has higher incidences of Shingles in kids.  (which used to be almost unheard of)

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#9 of 19 Old 05-30-2012, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Katt, thanks for your reply but  the only way you can get Shingles is if you've had chicken pox.  You cannot get it without first having chicken pox.  Yes Shingles is the same virus, but it is a reactivation of the chicken pox virus that is already in your body that comes on later in life.  Here are some sources:

 

Can a person who has never had chickenpox develop shingles?
No. To get shingles, one must already have had a case of chickenpox and therefore harbor the varicella-zoster virus in the nervous system. However, the case of his or her chickenpox may have been very mild and unrecognized.

National Shingles Foundation - http://www.vzvfoundation.org/shingles&phn.html

 

What Causes Shingles?

Shingles arises from varicella-zoster, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Following a bout of chickenpox, the virus lies dormant in the spinal nerve cells. But it can be reactivated years later when the immune system is suppressed by:

  • Physical or emotional trauma
  • A serious illness
  • Certain medications

Medical science doesn't understand why the virus becomes reactivated in some people and not in others.

Web MD - http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/shingles/understanding-shingles-basics

 

Yes Shingles is more prevalent now because scientists and doctors have discovered that by constantly being exposed to children with chicken pox over the course of your life (after you yourself have had cp), the virus gets an immunity boost and continues to stay dormant.  But now that mass vaccination is happening, today's generation of those who had chicken pox as children are not getting that boost because no one has chicken pox anymore. 

 

This issue alone is concern for anyone who has had chicken pox as a child probably including all of us.  I don't want to get shingles, so now I wonder if I can prevent my children from getting chicken pox then I prevent them from getting Shingles later in life...which is way worst and the effects can last for months.  But if they get chicken pox for the first time as adults that too is supposed to be just brutal.  It feels like a lost lose situation!
 

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#10 of 19 Old 05-30-2012, 08:28 PM
 
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Melanie, I think that was the idea behind the chicken pox vaccine--prevent chicken pox, and then supposedly you'd also prevent complications from chicken pox, including shingles later.


Unfortunately, it didn't work that way in real life, and people who were vaccinated for chicken pox DO get shingles, and that includes more and more children. As noted above, shingles in children used to be unheard of, but not anymore.

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#11 of 19 Old 05-30-2012, 08:41 PM
 
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I'd bring my kids to a pox party (when they are old enough to understand) because if you get naturally aquired CP you can still get shingles later, but the case will be milder.  Now if you never had varicella at all, and get exposed for a primary outbreak as an adult, that's when the serious issues around shingles come in.  SO I do think there is benefit to getting natural CP early in life.  I got my CP at age 8 from a pox party.  All the girls in my grade did, we had a sleepover :)


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#12 of 19 Old 05-30-2012, 08:42 PM
 
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I think 2.5 would be too young for me, though, no way to explain what is happening and no way to get them to not scratch (and one of the main issues of CP is the risk of infection in the pox which could cause a secondary staph infection and/or scarring.


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#13 of 19 Old 05-30-2012, 09:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nukuspot View Post

I think 2.5 would be too young for me, though, no way to explain what is happening and no way to get them to not scratch (and one of the main issues of CP is the risk of infection in the pox which could cause a secondary staph infection and/or scarring.

 

My oldest son got chicken pox when he was 18mo and he didn't have any issues at all. (I did not purposely expose him, he just showed up with spots one day.)


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#14 of 19 Old 05-31-2012, 12:11 AM
 
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You have to have the virus in your body, whether by disease or vaccine.
the vaccine is a LIVE VIRUS....
So yes, you can get shingles from the vaccine.
I mean, not from the vaccine. but from having had the vaccine and not the disease.
 
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#15 of 19 Old 05-31-2012, 06:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry if I wasn't clear on that point about Singles.  Yes you can get shingles later in life from just getting the vaccine, because the vaccine is the live virus like you said Katt and then it has dormant in your body.  What I meant was for those kids who never get the vaccine or natural chicken pox...then they are not at risk for Shingles later in life...assuming they never catch Chicken Pox.  Maybe my 2 year old is too young to deal with it...especially if she has a bad outbreak.  I would hate for her to just scratch and scratch and not understand and then potentially have bad scars.  The problem is I may not get this chance again.  We live in a small town and most kids are vaccinated.  Big sigh!
 

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#16 of 19 Old 05-31-2012, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry if I wasn't clear on that point about Singles.  Yes you can get shingles later in life from just getting the vaccine, because the vaccine is the live virus like you said Katt and then it has dormant in your body.  What I meant was for those kids who never get the vaccine or natural chicken pox...then they are not at risk for Shingles later in life...assuming they never catch Chicken Pox.  Maybe my 2 year old is too young to deal with it...especially if she has a bad outbreak.  I would hate for her to just scratch and scratch and not understand and then potentially have bad scars.  The problem is I may not get this chance again.  We live in a small town and most kids are vaccinated.  Big sigh!
 

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#17 of 19 Old 05-31-2012, 07:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Melanie7977 View Post

 What I meant was for those kids who never get the vaccine or natural chicken pox...then they are not at risk for Shingles later in life...assuming they never catch Chicken Pox.  
 

You can't assume they would never catch chicken pox!  And chicken pox later in life can cause complications as well.  But so can vaccine reactions. You're darned if you do, darned if you don't.

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#18 of 19 Old 05-31-2012, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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 You're darned if you do, darned if you don't.

 

That's for sure.  It seems like no matter what you do, there are risks!  Its so frustrating and I still have no idea what I should do. 

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#19 of 19 Old 05-31-2012, 02:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Melanie7977 View Post

 

That's for sure.  It seems like no matter what you do, there are risks!  Its so frustrating and I still have no idea what I should do. 

 

If you aren't comfortable with purposely exposing them right now, then don't do it. Go with your gut. 

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