There are certain illnesses that are already part of a kids’ life and one of this is Chicken Pox. Still, even though we know that kids go through this, parents still make sure that their kids are protected against the itchy blisters as much as they can. However, keeping their kids safe from chickenpox is not the only thing that some parents do.
A report from Boulder, Colorado states that some parents are organizing “Pox Parties” through a Facebook group. Their goal is to expose their healthy children to those kids who are already infected with the virus instead of getting them vaccinated.
One question remains: Is this safe?
One biologist is not in favor of this practice and is encouraging parents to go for chickenpox vaccination instead of exposing their child to the infection and potentially face some serious risks because of this.
The reason behind these “Pox Parties” is because some of the parents are against vaccinating their kids from getting the chicken pox virus. However, if your children do not have chicken pox until they are older, the complications from the virus can turn out to be serious infections like shingles. This is why parents are now deciding to expose their kids to others who are already infected believing that once their children already have the pox, it will not be as bad because they are still young. They also believe that once they are done with chicken pox, the kid will be immune from the virus for life.
More and more parents are joining and showing interest in these Facebook advertising about the pox parties and some parent even comes from out of state. Some screen grabs that are sent to WTHR 13, it was revealed that these parents are using the “tenting method” to effectively spread the virus. This is when they allow a sick child to sit in an enclosed space for an hour to make sure that every space is contaminated with the exhaled air. Then they place a healthy kid into the contaminated area, let them play with some toys to keep them occupied.
The Center for Disease and Prevention says that chicken pox can be spread when a healthy individual breathes in the virus particles that come from chickenpox blisters and also possibly through the tiny droplets that came from the infected individual that gets into the air after they breathe or talk. This is why the tenting method during the pox parties is very effective in spreading the infection.
This person who shared the post wrote that bonuses will be given for sharing snacks out of the same bowl! Another effective method is the “Baggie Back-up Method” where a child who is infected breathes into a well-sealed sandwich bag and then lets a healthy child breathe in the contaminated air.
Pox parties may seem like an easy way to expose your healthy child to the virus and give them the immunity instead of having them vaccinated, science does not back up this idea. Community Immunity founder Lindsay Diamond states that even though the pox parties’ goal is to improve the community healthy by decreasing the vaccine-preventable diseases through education and advocacy, forcing naturally immunity is misguided. Diamond believes that even though parents just want the best for their kids, little did they know that they are actually putting not only their child at risk but also the entire community.