expose kids to chicken pox? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 51 Old 01-18-2011, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!


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#2 of 51 Old 01-18-2011, 07:01 PM
 
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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.)

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#3 of 51 Old 01-18-2011, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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).  :(


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#4 of 51 Old 01-19-2011, 07:45 AM
 
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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.

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#5 of 51 Old 01-19-2011, 08:11 AM
 
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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. 


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#6 of 51 Old 01-19-2011, 11:00 AM
 
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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. :)

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#7 of 51 Old 01-19-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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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.


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#8 of 51 Old 01-19-2011, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Your comment about Wakefield shows your strong bias for mainstream medicine.  I wasn't looking for those types of responses....


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#9 of 51 Old 01-19-2011, 02:19 PM
 
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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.

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#10 of 51 Old 01-19-2011, 02:44 PM
 
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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. 


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#11 of 51 Old 01-19-2011, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your responses.  We decided to go for it...and will see what happens!


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#12 of 51 Old 01-22-2011, 04:16 PM
 
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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.

 

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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.).

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#13 of 51 Old 01-23-2011, 09:47 PM
 
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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!

 


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#14 of 51 Old 01-24-2011, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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!


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#15 of 51 Old 01-24-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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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. 


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#16 of 51 Old 01-25-2011, 03:59 PM
 
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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.

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#17 of 51 Old 01-25-2011, 06:44 PM
 
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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.

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#18 of 51 Old 01-26-2011, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.


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#19 of 51 Old 01-26-2011, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.


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#20 of 51 Old 01-26-2011, 01:12 PM
 
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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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#21 of 51 Old 01-26-2011, 01:45 PM
 
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I hear you and I am on the fence myself about intentional exposure.

 

It doesn't make sense to seek out illness, BUT when the risk of contracting an illness increases with age, then it makes more sense to actively seek it out becuase the risks associated with it are far less. However, that is going on the assumption that a child that did not get CP as a child would definitely get a case as an adult and that it would be horrible and this that not be the case at all. I had CP at age 18 - while unpleasant, it was far from dangerous. I think the concern comes when a person is older and female (child-bearing years). But at that point I think a person can make up their own mind as an adult about whether they want to risk a case or get a vaccine that may or may not protect them.


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#22 of 51 Old 01-27-2011, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I had this discussion with a friend of mine.  For me, the risks and seriousness of contracting the disease as an adult are worth intentionally exposing the kids now.  Since I will not vaccinate, this provides the protection of immunity and eliminates the risks of a serious case later on.  I know everyone doesn't see it that way.


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#23 of 51 Old 01-28-2011, 12:17 AM
 
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So it has been 8 days since DD was a guest at a chicken pox party, and she now has a few pox and I hope a few more on the way! She does seem to also have a cold with a very runny/stuffy nose and some sneezing but I think she will do ok in the end!


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#24 of 51 Old 01-28-2011, 12:39 AM
 
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I would be wary with the younger one under a year.  Chicken pox can sometimes be very serious for babies.  On the other hand, sometimes they are still protected enough by maternal antibodies to only have a mild case.  Which may not be a good thing either since it is my understanding that since their immune system isn't doing it on their own makes kids who have it that young more likely to get it again later.  Kids who have chicken pox under a year of age also have a higher risk of getting shingles in childhood than kids who have cp just a little older or get the vaccine. 

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#25 of 51 Old 01-29-2011, 10:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did have my chiro's ok on exposing the baby. Both the kid's chiro and mine (our first line of defense for health care before a pedi) agreed that they thought it would be fine, but stressed that it was largely because he was healthy enough for it.  He has had a stuffy nose a few times, but never been sick or on any medications.

 

They said that if he had been sick often or on and off of antibiotics they would have said no.  Also, with so many people having to repeatedly expose their little ones in order for them to get it, and with how difficult it is to find around here, I cautiously agreed.  They had no concerns with shingles, and I guess I am not aware of the higher incidences of shingles of little ones that had chicken pox early. Pers, do you have a source?  I would be interested in hearing more, specifically about which of those kids are the ones getting shingles later.


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#26 of 51 Old 01-31-2011, 11:04 PM
 
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Sorry, for the chicken pox under a year part, I do not have a specific study.  It's the medical consensus though, if you google "risk factors for pediatric shingles" nearly every article/health website that comes up  that actually discusses shingles in kids mentions that the mother having chicken pox in late pregnancy and chicken pox infection under the age of one as risk factors.  I wish I could give you more info, but you might be able to turn up more in pubmed or by emailing the CDC or NIH or somerhing. 

 

Oh, and shingles is still quite rare in kids, even those who had CP under a year, so not really something to worry about.  It is just slightly less rare in those kids than in those who had the disease as older children or who had the vaccine, so should be taken into consideration when making choices of these sorts. 

 

For the vaccine vs. natural chicken pox in regards to shingles, more study is needed, but there was a study by Kaiser released about a year ago in which they had followed many children vaccinated in one of their health regions for a number of years after vaccination and found that the incidence of shingles among them during those years was lower than what they would expect based on the normal rates of shingles among kids who have had chicken pox.  This is just the first article that turned up when I searched for a description of the study:  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091204092443.htm  There is also a much, much older study  that looked specifically at kids with leukemia (thus at a greater risk of shingles than healthy kids) which found that the kids who had been vaccinated were only a third as likely to get shingles as kids who had had the disease naturally http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1658650

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Quote:
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I did have my chiro's ok on exposing the baby. Both the kid's chiro and mine (our first line of defense for health care before a pedi) agreed that they thought it would be fine, but stressed that it was largely because he was healthy enough for it.  He has had a stuffy nose a few times, but never been sick or on any medications.

 

They said that if he had been sick often or on and off of antibiotics they would have said no.  Also, with so many people having to repeatedly expose their little ones in order for them to get it, and with how difficult it is to find around here, I cautiously agreed.  They had no concerns with shingles, and I guess I am not aware of the higher incidences of shingles of little ones that had chicken pox early. Pers, do you have a source?  I would be interested in hearing more, specifically about which of those kids are the ones getting shingles later.



I love it when my chiro adjusts my spine, but I would never trust him on a question regarding exposing an small child to an infectious disease.  He doesn't deal with infections or babies enough to understand the risks.  Those topics are not covered in the chiropractic literature.  He doesn't even have hospital admitting privileges.  

 

IMO, few things are scarier than a baby with a serious illness.  Furthermore, most people who get chickenpox under the age of one seem to have the double-whammy of shingles risk *without* life-long immunity to chicken pox.   

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunfish21 View Post

I did have my chiro's ok on exposing the baby. Both the kid's chiro and mine (our first line of defense for health care before a pedi) agreed that they thought it would be fine, but stressed that it was largely because he was healthy enough for it.  He has had a stuffy nose a few times, but never been sick or on any medications.

 

They said that if he had been sick often or on and off of antibiotics they would have said no.  Also, with so many people having to repeatedly expose their little ones in order for them to get it, and with how difficult it is to find around here, I cautiously agreed.  They had no concerns with shingles, and I guess I am not aware of the higher incidences of shingles of little ones that had chicken pox early. Pers, do you have a source?  I would be interested in hearing more, specifically about which of those kids are the ones getting shingles later.



I love it when my chiro adjusts my spine, but I would never trust him on a question regarding exposing an small child to an infectious disease.  He doesn't deal with infections or babies enough to understand the risks.  Those topics are not covered in the chiropractic literature.  He doesn't even have hospital admitting privileges.  

 

IMO, few things are scarier than a baby with a serious illness.  Furthermore, most people who get chickenpox under the age of one seem to have the double-whammy of shingles risk *without* life-long immunity to chicken pox.   



I feel the same way. The reason I appreciate and trust my chiropractor so much is because he's aware of his limitations. I would definitely be more comfortable trusting someone whose every day experience had to do with infectious disease, preferably pediatric. Also, research is finding that chickenpox does not seem to give lifetime immunity, as once previously thought. Instead, immunity was bolstered by re-encountering the disease as an adult. Sort of the same way that booster shots work for vaccines. So with a population that is increasingly seeing less virulent strains of chicken pox, some people's immunity is waning and they're able to catch it again as adults. Although, if your child was exposed to chicken pox s/he could probably get a booster shot for it as an adult to keep his/her immunity up. Or seek out another CP party lol.gif!

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#29 of 51 Old 02-02-2011, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It is a common misconception that chiropractors are good for cracking backs and little else.  This view not only ignores the way the central nervous system is affected by chiropractic care, but also disregards a chiro's vast medical training. It is easy to find sites that show the hours of training that mds and chiros get. In some areas mds have more; in come areas chiros do.  When someone has that many hours of clinical and classroom training in physiology, anatomy, pathology, etc....I don't understand not utilizing that knowledge. 


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#30 of 51 Old 02-02-2011, 05:47 PM
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It is a common misconception that chiropractors are good for cracking backs and little else.  This view not only ignores the way the central nervous system is affected by chiropractic care, but also disregards a chiro's vast medical training. It is easy to find sites that show the hours of training that mds and chiros get. In some areas mds have more; in come areas chiros do.  When someone has that many hours of clinical and classroom training in physiology, anatomy, pathology, etc....I don't understand not utilizing that knowledge. 



I'm curious.  Where are these sites that show the hours of training mds and chiros get?

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