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#1 of 32 Old 12-16-2001, 12:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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?
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#2 of 32 Old 12-16-2001, 12:44 AM
 
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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.
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#3 of 32 Old 12-16-2001, 01:33 AM
 
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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*

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#4 of 32 Old 12-16-2001, 02:37 AM
 
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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.

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#5 of 32 Old 12-16-2001, 02:47 AM
 
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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.
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#6 of 32 Old 12-16-2001, 02:38 PM
 
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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.
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#7 of 32 Old 12-16-2001, 03:04 PM
 
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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*
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#8 of 32 Old 12-16-2001, 05:48 PM
 
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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.
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#9 of 32 Old 12-17-2001, 05:50 AM
 
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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.
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#10 of 32 Old 12-18-2001, 02:43 PM
 
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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!!

Love,
Emily

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#11 of 32 Old 12-19-2001, 01:25 PM
 
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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!
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#12 of 32 Old 12-19-2001, 08:22 PM
 
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I have been looking for kids with Chicken Pox, but have not been able to find any!
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#13 of 32 Old 12-19-2001, 10:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?
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#14 of 32 Old 12-20-2001, 05:12 AM
 
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Quote:
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!

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#15 of 32 Old 01-31-2002, 02:06 PM
 
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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!
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#16 of 32 Old 01-31-2002, 03:07 PM
 
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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.
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#17 of 32 Old 02-03-2002, 05:46 PM
 
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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!
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#18 of 32 Old 02-04-2002, 12:35 AM
 
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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.
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#19 of 32 Old 02-04-2002, 10:56 AM
 
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my dd had CP at 8 months of age & did fine(homeopathic remedies were all we used).

::
momma to 4
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#20 of 32 Old 02-05-2002, 05:57 PM
 
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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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#21 of 32 Old 02-05-2002, 06:47 PM
 
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I purposely exposed my older two sons when they were 5 and 2. They both had it at the same time, played quietly together, and healed quickly. The vaccine is now required for school in our state and I am desperate to expose my 4.5 year old but cannot find any unvaxed kids. I have told everyone I know to let me know if they hear of anyone who has it so I can get my son over there. I am really worried that he'll never get exposed naturally. Anyone in the DC/MD burbs area got CP?
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#22 of 32 Old 02-05-2002, 07:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hera
What I want to know is, can you become exempted from a vaccine by proving that you've already had the illness?
Yes you can. If it's in your medical records that you had the cp, or you have the blood test (titre) to test for varicella immunity then you don' have to have the vaccine. That goes for adults and children. I had to either be vaxed or titred for cp, among other things, to get into nursing school.
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#23 of 32 Old 04-05-2002, 02:46 PM
 
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Anyone who wants to come over, email me off-line. My 7 mo. old son and dh have the chickenpox and are currently highly contageous. We welcome visitors, come and see the happy chickenpox baby (looks bad though, so warn your kids).
Love,
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#24 of 32 Old 06-22-2003, 09:43 PM
 
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Some questions were asked here concerning a child's age, and none of them really got answered. I'm just concerned that my 17 month old is too young to be exposed to cp; one that he may get a really bad case and that it would be just horrible or secondly that he may not get a bad enough case to acquire immunity. Is anyone knowledgeable on how young is too young? Would you get a blood test after contracting the disease to make sure a child did acquire immunity?

Thanks.

Julie
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#25 of 32 Old 06-24-2003, 10:22 AM
 
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My mother tried taking me and my sister around three sets of chicken pox children and no such luck catching it. I finally got it when I was 14 and it was absolutly horrible. Oh well, mama tried.

The other concern that no one has mentioned here is Shingles which can occur later in life but is caused by the same virus recieved in childhood. My mother has unfortunatly had several outbreaks. Each have been miserable and temporarily debilitating for her. Shingles are very painful and usually only in the elderly. My mother got her first outbreak before age 50.

Also in regards to shingles you can expose your kids to chicken pox through a person infected with shingles.

I am not sure how I feel about the chicken pox parties. Good luck finding an outbreak for those of you looking for one.
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#26 of 32 Old 06-24-2003, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I remember starting this thread last year... amazing it's still going!!

Since I posted this topic for discussion,my son has indeed had the chicken pox.
We spent 5 months this last winter in Costa Rica. We visited a small town and my son was playing w/ some kids one day at the beach. About 2-3 days later he had chicken pox, and so did just about every kid in town! I didn't know any kids had it while he was playing w/ them, but I am glad that he got them and it's over now. It was really mild and he even played in the ocean during the worst of it. He got them 2 days before his 2nd birthday.
I have heard the younger the child is (excluding infants) the milder the case is.
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#27 of 32 Old 06-24-2003, 08:11 PM
 
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Shingles... that is what I'm afraid of in trying to find a Chickenpox party
Quote:
Shingles are very painful and usually only in the elderly. My mother got her first outbreak before age 50.
I had one outbreak of shingles... when I was 11 (yes, 11, no mistake there!) I still remember the pain more than 20 years later :

Valérie   
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#28 of 32 Old 06-25-2003, 11:20 AM
 
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i have "feelers" out in my area...lol lookin for chicken pox...



my ped's kids had it shortly after being vaxed...:

l, <>< wife to my sweetie, proud mama to 3 cubs, 2 who clw & 1 that i i ep for . baby was evicted early by induction due to severe pre-e/hellp syndrome
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#29 of 32 Old 06-25-2003, 01:13 PM
 
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If there was someone with chicken pox in this area I would be there in a minute. DD had it at 17 months. She had about the worst case I had ever seen (in her mouth, on her throat, under her eye lids and in her ears as well as every inch of her body) and she did just fine. She got it in the middle of July which has to be the worst time to get it. She hadn't figured out how to itch yet so that was good. We slathered her with calamine aveeno lotion and gave her niquil to make her sleep at night. It was over in a couple of weeks. I really wish my 2 year old and six month old could get them now! I just want it to be over with. I would do measels too. That is just so dangerous when you are and adult especially if you are pregnant. It would be worth it to get life long immunity.

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#30 of 32 Old 06-25-2003, 01:15 PM
 
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I would be willing to drive as far as Minneapoils, suioux city and omaha if anyone there had themand would share.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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