You Are Cordially Invited…to a Chicken Pox Exposure Party. Please RSVP.


OK. So my invite didn’t say that. It actually said:

“Carly* has the chicken pox and we wanted to invite you over for a pox party tomorrow morning from 9am-noon for some controlled exposure and snacks and fun! Let me know if you guys can make it, we’d love to see you!”

*name has been changed.

Yep. You read that right. It was a very cute and well designed e-vite to a party. Where the entire goal was to  purposefully get my child, and the rest of our playgroup, sick.

Head. Desk.

Come for fun, games and disease!!

OK. I actually understand the concept behind controlled exposure. Within reason. But I am just surprised that this is happening so commonplace now. I mean, I was not an only child and when one of us got the chicken pox, I am pretty sure my mom encouraged playing amongst ourselves so that we all got it at the same time so she only had to deal with it once. It seems reasonable to me. Chicken pox was a right of passage for the 2nd grade, when I was growing up. We didn’t have the vaccine that they have now and it was just one of those miserable periods of childhood…like head lice. Lordy I want to scratch just thinking about it. ::shudder:: If Diva is destined to get the chicken pox, I want it to come on naturally, otherwise she will be spared the itching and oatmeal baths that I endured by receiving the vax. Simple as that.

Well, my child does not have siblings (unless you count the dog) and she is also a young toddler. As a solo parent, I have quite a bit on my plate as it is and as a grad student, the idea of purposefully making my child ill in the middle of a nasty flu season and at the beginning of my semester just sounds horrible.

Faced with the social issue of “How do I politely decline an invite to this without coming across as crazy-psycho for freaking out and saying “GET YOUR GERMY KIDS AWAY FROM MINE PRONTO, ARE YOU INSANE!”? I did what every other technology addicted young adult would do. I posted it on Facebook. Emily Post did not write about this. I looked. It was up to my Facebook community to fill in the void.

"Yes, this child looks overjoyed to have been tricked into swapping his candy for a contaminated sucker and getting the Chicken Pox at a party."

I actually didn’t expect it to get as much response as it did. There were the typical:

“Seriously?! Who does that?!” responses.

One “I would do it!”

Quite a few, “That is so irresponsible!”

And the alarming revelation that people do this with other diseases…like measles. (!!!)

"Mommy wanted you to have this because she loves you, babycakes!" *GAG*

Why would one purposefully give their child the measles?! It is not like giving them a relatively simply illness, measles kills. (For more info about measles parties: http://www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/family/kids/measles-parties-a-hazardous-route-to-immunity-1.1211175)

My friend Amanda said it best, “Non-vaxxers are one thing, but then there is this subgroup who seek out chickenpox and measles AND THEN send their kids to school (incubation and contagious period is prior to symptoms). This group is a significantly worse problem. ”

As can be expected with a huge contingent of parents in my Facebook friend list, the conversation did take a brief detour into the vaccine debate etc..etc.. but I am left with lingering questions about the quest we all seem to have to keep our kids safe.

It’s like daycare. I get it, people HAVE to go to work. Taking a sick day because your kid is sick SUCKS. It sucks that your kid is sick too but missing out on work can have long-standing impacts. Sometimes you make a judgement call, your child is sick but is he or she THAT sick to stay home? You do have that big meeting… Life happens. Kids get sick. Fact of life.

That’s how things like pink-eye and rotavirus and HFMD get passed around like wildfires at daycare. I know I have been guilty of taking my child who probably should have stayed home that day and dropping her off at daycare because I really didn’t have a whole lot of other options. In hindsight, I would have done differently because then she got more sick and ending up making me sick too. That probably could have been prevented had she been kept home for a day to recuperate properly. That is one thing. I respect that people parent differently. Personally, I choose to vaccinate. I have had so many vaccines in my day from all the travel I have done and I am (and this is up for debate) perfectly fine. I have enough trust and have done my research to believe with certainty that for MY child, this is the right choice. I recognize others have differing thoughts. That’s fine, to an extent.

But when a parent exposes their child to a disease, like the measles or the chicken pox, or heck, even pink-eye…ON PURPOSE, and then allows them to go out and about during their contaigous period, it becomes everyone’s problem. It becomes a public health issue.

The argument I hear from the people that are FOR this practice is: “Well, you are vaccinated so it should be fine, right?”

Not really, no. You aren’t just exposing the kids in the class, you are exposing EVERYONE THEY COME IN CONTACT WITH. It is a community issue. Exposing your own kid, in your own home, is one thing. Taking your exposed kid out into the public and going about daily life as if nothing is the matter is another and far more serious.

Here is my example (forgive me for being so long-winded about this).

Bobby’s mom decided that Bobby needed the measles.

Bobby has been exposed by visiting his cousin Edgar.

Bobby goes to his school and interacts with the 25 kids in his class. 18 of whom have been vaccinated. 6 have not.

11 of those children have at least one sibling at home.

6 of those children at home are infants. Measles tends to have a higher infection rate among children under 5.

of those 26 kids, there are say, 57 adults in question as parents or guardians (to account for some families having bio-parents and step parents)

So far we are up to 57 parents/guardians, 26 classmates, 11 siblings (6 infants), and (at least) one teacher exposed to Bobby in his measles pre-symptom state.  That is 95 people. 95 PEOPLE WHO DID NOT HAVE A SAY IN CHOOSING TO BE EXPOSED TO THE MEASLES. 

But wait, many people have had the measles vaccine right? So they should be fine, right? Maybe. But what about Winnie, the classmate whose family member is  immuno-compromised? Is she going to be fine having been exposed to the measles so carelessly? Maybe not. What about the rest of the school? This could cause a huge impact at the school, poor little Bobby. Not only does he have to go through having the measles, but he also becomes, in a way, the kiddie version of Typhoid Mary. Not Good.  Or what about when little Josh brings home the germ to his mom, who is in her first trimester of pregnancy? Measles can cause fatal complications for the fetus. But  it was just a harmless measles party right? People totally did that in the 60’s, so that MUST make it ok! (Newsflash: people also did a lot of other things in the 60’s…like acid.)

So, does that mean that I am against all types of “exposure parties”? For MY family, at this time in our lives? Resounding YES. I have quite enough to get on with, without having my child become ill from a disease I can prevent or reduce the severity of. If it comes knocking on our door, fine, but I am NOT going to borrow trouble.

I can’t tell others how to parent but I can say this: expose your kids to whatever you want to, they are your kids and you can legally do that. BUT DO NOT allow your exposed child to then be the little germ bringer to the community.

You want Bobby to get the measles? Fine. Personally, I think you are nuts, but it is your prerogative as parent of Bobby to do so. I hope, for your sake and for Bobby’s that he makes a full recovery.

But YOU deal with it, by keeping Bobby at home. For the entire period of exposure to end of disease. Also, be warned, mailing contaminated candy and other nastiness is ILLEGAL. You cannot send a virus through the US Mail. Read more at this link here: http://moms.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/11/04/8638469-chickenpox-lollipops-some-moms-may-be-sending-in-mail

Bringing Measles Bobby to school the next week is not only irresponsible but it is how epidemics get started and I, for one, would be one parent who would make an outrageous stink about it if I learned that had happened in my child’s class or school. To steal a line from a movie, “You won’t just get a scene, you’ll get a Broadway musical!”

All of this being said, I would be interested to know your opinion, particularly if you actually read all of this!

Do you believe that Measles Parties or Pox Parties are a good idea? Why or Why not?

Have you ever purposefully exposed your kids to a disease to build immunity or get it over with? 

Peace, Love and Carefully Worded Regrets,

Bekah

P.S. Continue the conversation, share this post on Facebook, Twitter or in a forum and let’s share each others perspectives! Handy dandy share buttons are right below this sentence! 🙂

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Comments
58 Responses to “You Are Cordially Invited…to a Chicken Pox Exposure Party. Please RSVP.”
  1. Kim L says:

    This is unbelievable!! I am another one that would be causing a “musical”! Its on thing if/when T gets these sicknesses that’s fine its going to happen at some point but if his brother got it could be deadly! Come on people where is common courtesy gone!! Good grief… This is why my kids stay home with me for right now.

    • simply.bekah says:

      Absolutely Kim, people forget about the kids/people that are immuno-compromised and cannot fight off even the smallest infections the same way that others can. It makes me angry as well. :-/

  2. Lizz David says:

    Good Lord, the stupidity and ignorance of some people is astounding. i can’t stand people who are anti vax and think it’s a GOOD idea to expose their children to diseases. Even chicken pox. I have SCARS from having chicken pox when I was a kid, why the hell would I intentionally give it to my daughter? I can’t stand people who are anti vax period, it is irresponsible and selfish. Their 10 year old might get something and be fine, but what about when he passes it off to an infant who is too young to have had the vaccine and dies or ends up with heart problems or some other kind of long term health effects?

    • simply.bekah says:

      I agree. I had chicken pox as a kid and it was horrible. My poor brother got double chicken pox and was basically one giant itchy blister. I don’t wish that misery on anyone, least of all my kid. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  3. Nathan says:

    This is outstanding. Thank you for this perspective.

  4. Ashley Gray says:

    oh my lord. This is outrageous. I would never do that to my child. That is tourture to the child(ren). As you said it is one thing to expose the child to the disease but keep the child home during the whole period. If I found out that someone intentionally let their infected child around my child or family or friends I would be highly pissed. Some people are beyong ignorant.

  5. Lizz David says:

    I love your blog, by the way. My friend linked me to it since she knows I’m extremely passionate about being pro vax.

    • simply.bekah says:

      Oh that is awesome! I am glad you found your way here! I write about a variety of things, mostly related to parenting but also just trends and stuff that interests me. Hope to see you around again soon! Feel free to link if you know of others that are interested in this topic, I always love to hear feedback! -Bekah

  6. Miriam says:

    I had a horrible case of chicken pox in 2nd grade, leaving my tonsils scarred on such a way that I’m now getting them removed as an adult after chronic yuckiness due to crypts that harbor infection. AND at 36 this past year, I got shingles (caused by the same virus which enters the system as ck pox and lies dormant at the nerve base until stress causes it to flare up). Not so fun, and not something I want my child to experience. We’ve thought about the risks vs. benefits of vaccination for our family, and for us vaccination is what is best.

    • simply.bekah says:

      I have had chicken pox and shingles, UGH. Miserable. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences! I have made the decision to vaccinate my child for similar reasons! 🙂

  7. Lisa B says:

    WOW – That is crazy!!! I know I had the chicken pox one year at Christmas and my Aunt had my cousins play with me. But other than that.

    I WOULD never do that. Who wants to make their child sick on purpose? A cold one thing, Chicken Pox and Measles? OMG!!!

    Well written, LOVE this post.

  8. Christine says:

    This is great, Bekah! You’re totally awesome! I can see the idea behind the party–the girl probably just got the idea from her mom or something. But in these days, when there is a VACCINATION and chicken pox isn’t inevitable, it’s probably a lot more cruel than necessary. I had it when I was 1, so I don’t really remember it at all. Remembering when my siblings had it, there is no way in heck I would willingly expose my daughter to it–and all the other people she would come in contact with before she showed symptoms. Thanks for your post!

  9. Kristin O says:

    I throughly enjoy learning about your perspective as a parent! Knowing the medical mumbo-jumbo about the Varicella virus, it’s vaccine and the complications it poses (Shingles for example), your article is very well written, researched and informative. Exposing people to Measles is down right stupid and dangerous. Vaccines are a public health stable and are required for very good reasons! Thank you for sharing this!

    • simply.bekah says:

      I really appreciate the comment, Kristin! I totally agree, vaccination is a public health issue. I know there are some valid reasons for a very small percentage of the population to delay or decline vax and I recognize and respect that. But purposefully infecting children with the measles? I will never understand that! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Amanda says:

    I adore your photo captions. Keep up your fantastic writing.

    You already know everything I have to say about this subject, but I just wanted to formally announce… L.O.L. to your sense of humor. 🙂

  11. Rebecca says:

    “Have you ever purposefully exposed your kids to a disease to build immunity or get it over with?”

    Yes, several times. With a shot. At his doctor’s office. 🙂

  12. Jo says:

    I need to read up more on the real risks of chicken pox and the effectiveness of the vaccine as compared to naturally-acquired immunity (i.e. having had them).

    I never had the chicken pox as a kid, although I was exposed on several occasions via classmates and whatnot. Into adulthood, I assumed I was immune b/c of this exposure + no disease and the fact that my dad, who is now over 50, has never had them either.

    When I got pregnant with my daughter, however, I discovered through a blood test that I am not, in fact, immune. At all. And you can’t get immunized while pregnant. And chicken pox + pregnancy = bad.

    Avoiding chicken pox for a few months has never been a problem before, so it shouldn’t be a problem now, right? Well, until you share a big fluffy chair with another adult at a baby shower in your second trimester and the next day, the host of the shower calls to say your seat buddy has come down with chicken pox. I mean, what are the odds?

    Thankfully, I managed to avoid getting them AGAIN (I mean, seriously, does someone need to FEED them to me in order to get me sick or something?!) and got the immunization as quickly as I could manage once I was no longer pregnant.

    Now I’m pregnant again and, lo and behold, a blood test at the end of my first trimester confirmed that I am still — SOMEHOW — not immune to the g-d chicken pox. Even after being vaccinated.

    I’ve managed to avoid rubbing up against someone in their contagious period for an entire afternoon this time around (*crossing fingers I can continue this trend for the next 1-6 weeks, until this baby arrives*), but I still can’t help but wonder… am I just superhuman or something?

    We got our daughter vaccinated as a precaution b/c although it seems physically impossible for me to catch them *or* acquire immunity, I don’t want her unknowingly bringing them home from school from one of these unconsenting Typhoid Mary kids to test me.

    • simply.bekah says:

      Wow! I wish I had that superpower! *fingers crossed* that you never get chicken pox or shingles!! Thanks so much for stopping by!!

    • Seriously? Even without extensive knowledge of titer testing, it seems that it would be obvious in your situation that clinical non-immunity does not mean non-immunity. In other words, lack of laboratory confirmed immunity does not mean you’re not immune.

      This demonstrates how flawed vaccine dogma is. Vaccination does not equal immunization, and lack of vaccines does not imply increased vulnerability. Immune response is a very individual phenomenon, and many factors influence disease rates.

      It would be prudent for anyone to avoid chicken pox while pregnant, but it’s not something to get all worked up (and vaccinated) over.

  13. Oh, my mom did that do us when I was little. Sherry Yago had the chicken pox and as soon as my mom heard that, she called the mom and we went for a visit…lol (Loved your post) 🙂 Vickie

    • simply.bekah says:

      It probably happened similarly for me as well, I just remember my brother being the first one to get it and then we all played together and all three of us ended up with it at the same time. I can see the reasoning, that way my mom had to deal with all three of us sick but only once. Thanks for stopping by!

  14. windwein says:

    It’s amazing to me that parents would willingly subject their kids to a very uncomfortable illness when there is a perfectly safe and effective vaccine against it. It’s completely ignorant. And irresponsible. As you stated, there is an incubation period that can’t be exactly pinpointed where kids can carry the virus around and infect susceptible populations such as the immuno-compromised and the elderly.

    Rampant belief in internet pseudo-science peddled by celebrities is something that frustrates and maddens me and I’ve written about it before. Thanks for being on the side of SCIENCE!

    http://windwein.wordpress.com/2010/02/02/mccarthyism/
    http://windwein.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/no-big-whoop/
    http://windwein.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/there-is-no-scientific-evidence-that-autism-is-caused-by-vaccines-yeah-i-said-it/
    http://windwein.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/epic-fail-pregnancy-newborn-magazine/
    http://windwein.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/bachmanns-slam-against-hpv-vaccine-was-unnecessary-and-untrue/

    • simply.bekah says:

      Ohhh! I love your links! “Rampant belief in internet pseudo-science peddled by celebrities is something that frustrates and maddens me and I’ve written about it before. Thanks for being on the side of SCIENCE!” —> steps back and claps. Well said!!

      Thank YOU for stopping by! I shall be following your blog to learn more! 🙂 -Bekah

  15. Adrienne says:

    Wow! I’ve never before heard of an exposure party, but a big “ditto” to your entire post! 🙂

  16. Tracey says:

    Hi, great post. I just stopped by to warn you that the anti-vaxers have been dog whistled to come over here and comment. I just saw this on the “Proud Parents of Unvaccinated Children” facebook page:

    “Informative comments needed. Major bashing of non-vaxers and pox parties. Keep it nice and informative. https://simplybekah.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/you-are-cordially-invited-to-a-chicken-pox-exposure-party-please-rsvp/

    Direct link to the post: https://www.facebook.com/#!/permalink.php?story_fbid=10150622572905809&id=302370145808

    And just as a matter of interest, hey don’t allow opposing opinions on that page, they delete and ban anyone who dares.

    • simply.bekah says:

      Oh dear, haha, thanks for the heads up! I am actually a little surprised it has taken them this long. I do wish they would READ though, no where in my post have I ‘bashed’ anyone. I just pointed out facts and repeatedly said I recognized that others may parent differently and that is their prerogative to do so. Sigh. Reasoning with this mindset is always an exercise in frustration.

      And if they REALLY want to argue that the risks to exposing your child to the measles are worth it, well, they are welcome to do so. I have already stated that chicken pox parties, while I view them to be nonsense, are an entirely different matter.

      Anyway. Thanks so much for the support and for stopping by! I guess we shall see what happens. I generally approve all comments unless they are truly heinously attacking people. 🙂

  17. @advodiaboli says:

    Good article Bekah.

    Yes, I’ve heard of all the above and in Oz we have antivaxxers selling a book called “Melanie’s Marvellous Measles”. If poor Melanie contracts SSPE in her late teens as can happen, it won’t be so marvellous. She will die.

    Sadly, the notion of natural immunity from exposure today comes from entrenched ignorance. One concern is that the decision is made on the back of enormous slabs of misinformation designed to undermine trust in vaccine regimes. It can’t be considered critical analysis of risk/benefit, or such parents would never once place their child in a car or even a plane.

    Of course there are degrees of distrust, but once a parent is on about vaccines as untested, toxic, money making scams (and are of course, fully vaccinated themselves) I fear they are using kids as a proxy finger to society. Worse still the ill named notion of “informed choice” really means “I say no.”

    We consider corporal punishment a form of abuse yet denying children protection from potentially lethal, disabling disease, with the added on bonus of infecting a community is “a democratic right”.

    Hard to believe that the same species that invented these miraculous interventions that save lives, stop disability and unimaginable misery, can also be so spectacularly stupid.

    • simply.bekah says:

      Thank you so much for your reply to my post! I have read some of the articles you have posted on your blog and WOW! So much information! As someone who works in social services I am continuously amazed by the spectacular stupidity of choices that people make. It is both alarming and fascinating from a human behavior standpoint, although as a parent, I am considerably more concerned about the exposure of my child and family to diseases that we COULD be eradicating. Thanks again for stopping by! –Bekah

  18. Maria says:

    This argument would have a leg to stand on if the measles vaccine were not a live virus vaccine and capable I’d spreading a vaccine induced version of the measles.

    • Maria says:

      And just to clarify no one is bashing anyone but you make a point of calling people’s choices that you don’t agree with stupid. I respect all decisions that all parents make because we all want what is best for our kids. I would personally rather see my kids get the chicken pox so as not to worry about them getting it when they are older. It’s called a childhood disease for a reason. The reason that shingles is on the rise is because we aren’t continuously exposed to pox as we age to keep our immunity. Being a non-vaxxer doesn’t give me the right to ridicule or mock a vaccinating mom. Your blog is cute otherwise 🙂

      • simply.bekah says:

        I re-read to make sure, but no where did I say that it was stupid. I said I thought you were nuts to purposefully expose your kids to the measles but it was your choice to do so! 🙂 And thanks for stopping by to visit my blog, I do enjoy it. It helps keep the sanity there when the kiddo is driving me crazy! 🙂

      • maria says:

        In one of your commments you said that you are amazed by people’s stupidity. If I’m wrong, I stand corrected.

      • simply.bekah says:

        Oh! I see it now, ok. Well that was more along the lines of in my work I see people making outstandingly stupid decisions about a lot of things, it wasn’t really directed at the non-vax vs. vax debate. My apologies if you felt that was bashing non-vaxx parents. While I will argue the benefits of vaccination till I am blue in the face, I try to remain respectful of others choices. The purpose of this blog post was to express the shock that I discovered about pox parties and, more specifically, the measles parties where children then go back to school and infect others. If someone wants to infect their kid with the measles and that kid stays at home through the whole period of contagious through end of illness…well, all I can say is “I wish you a speedy recovery and hope that none of the complications emerge.” Hopefully that clarifies a bit.

      • maria says:

        I really can’t imagine knowing that my children are sick and sending them to school. I’m sure people do that but most people that I know are socially responsible and would never knowingly expose someone without their consent. If I went to a pox party, I would be sure to keep my kids home for however long the incubation period was. Did you keep your daughter home after giving her any live virus vaccines?

      • simply.bekah says:

        Being socially responsible is something I think ALL parents should strive to be. That being said, my child has spent most of her life with me and not at daycare. I have the ability to tele-commute for a majority of my clients and then I have class for grad school. I will fully admit that I probably didn’t intentionally keep her with more than a day after her shots but it worked out that way. Either way I am ok with it. 🙂 I am headed back to football as well, so I wish you a lovely day! Thank you for the conversation. I know we may not agree on many things but at the end of the day, we are both just moms trying to protect our kids the way we see fit to do so! (and for the record, I do not think all non-vaxxers carry disease, lol)

    • simply.bekah says:

      I’m sorry but the idea that vaccinating my child against the measles is somehow contributing to a greater risk of spreading a vaccine induced version of the measles is absurd. Live-virus vaccines are immensely effective and are created to give immunity without giving someone the disease. True, in certain people, usually ones with a significantly compromised immune system (and thus not truly recommended to receive the vaccine in the first place) it could, although unlikely, be possible to then spread. The minuscule likelihoods of this happening does not negate the benefits of providing the vaccine immunity over purposefully giving my child a disease. If you have some sort of scientific evidence to this effect, such as a peer-reviewed medical journal, please do share it.

      It is a well-documented fact, “Ninety-five percent of those who receive the MMR or monovalent measles vaccine at 12 months of age or older are immune after the first dose. After the second dose, 99.7% of those immunized are protected. Immunity is lifelong.” (http://www.cdc.gov/measles/)

      • maria says:

        A live virus is just that, it is live and it spreads for 21 days after it is given.

      • maria says:

        http://www.informedchoice.info/cocktail.html
        Regardless of how you feel or how I feel the list of ingredients is just gross and not something I want in my or my children’s bloodstreams.

      • Amanda says:

        I’m kind of curious. Prior to this most recent resurgence of the anti-vax movement, how many cases of measles and measles outbreaks did you hear about? Because the vaccine has been in use for somewhere in the vicinity of 50 years… and while I’m not a scientist (yet), I do wonder why, if the vaccine were spreading the measles, we haven’t heard about it by now.

        I have heard this argument and those similar to it. I’ve even heard arguments that we’re creating a super version of [insert disease] by doing these vaccines. It’s been quite some time now. Where is the vaccine-related measles epidemic?

        The thing is that millions of children get these shots every year and many are immediately taken to daycare or school… yet measles outbreaks don’t happen. The fact is that this “live” disease is so incredibly weak that the ONLY group of people I’ve EVER heard recommend stay away from a recently vaccinated child is the immune compromised. In other words, only people who have no immune system need be fearful of this “shedding” vaccine… it’s THAT rare.

        Anyway, my two cents. Peace out.

  19. maria says:

    Ok, one more thing and then I’ll get back to football. Just vaccinating doesn’t mean you still can’t carry a disease and spread it. So maybe your daughter is exposed to measles and the vaccine worked in her body but she still picks up the virus and spreads it unknowingly to someone else. Non-vaccinated people are not disease carrying people.

    • Amanda says:

      I’m not Bekah, but I believe the point here is that you’re *intentionally* getting your kid sick. You can’t help it if your kid catches a virus from someone and carries it around and gives it to someone, but you *can* keep your child away from pox parties.

  20. Kristine says:

    I always wonder how a parent would feel if a child who attended their pox party had a serious complication.

  21. Carrie-Anne says:

    Anti-vaxxers have been one of my top pet peeves since I first discovered their existence and their loopy, easily-rebutted, anti-scientific, historically false claims about 7-8 years ago. Maybe because I grew up reading so many older books and a lot of historical fiction, I’ve long known about all these scary diseases that used to routinely maim and kill children in the pre-vaccine era. These people claiming things like smallpox Magickally ran its course right around the time the vaccine came out were never alive when these diseases were real threats and parents would’ve killed for vaccines.

    I had chickenpox for two weeks at age fourteen, one year before the shot came out in the States. I’d give anything to have slightly weaker induced immunity over having been sick that long and being left with scars under my hair, on my upper arms, and on my thighs, along with the risk of getting shingles.

    I had a bunch of essays on the anti-vaxxers on my old website, but I haven’t yet moved all the worthwhile pieces over to my new site. Those pieces I wrote about the anti-vaccine crowd will definitely be some of the pieces I’ll be reposting.

  22. Danene says:

    Not to mention that if a pegnant woman has never had chicken pox and gets it while pregnant it can cause a load of problems. Plus if you never get chicken pox you will never get shingles(which I’ve had and its very painful) we are fully vaxing our son to try to avoid many of these things that now a days no child should have to suffer. So please keep your sick children at home.

  23. Mandy says:

    I think my response to that invite would be “We will not be attending, but please send me the guest list because I would like to keep my children away from them for the next 7 -10 days. Thanks!” I had the chicken pox the summer before 4th grade. I remember the misery well. I had a particularly awful case of them & the nasty little things ended-up in my throat & lungs. Horrible. Needless to say, I vax my kids against them.

    I won’t even start on how over-blown the concept of vax “shedding” has become. This is one of my fav blogs about it. The author cites well: http://luckylosing.com/2011/10/13/vaccine-shedding-time-up-for-another-vaccine-myth/

  24. Bekah, your reference to “What a Girl Wants” is awesome.

    Germs and exposure are daily realities. Sinus infections, colds, pink eye, flu, bronchitis and others are just regular school year maladies. Add these other diseases and you are talking about children who will miss half the school year or more along with all the residual exposure to families. My attitude has always been, “I try not to share and would appreciate the same from others.”

    There was no chicken pox vaccine when my five oldest children were small. Yes, I did purposely explose them, but only during the summer where I could monitor their contact with the outside world. It took five exposures before my children got the chicken pox. It came late in the summer but they were well enough to go back to school when it started. School pictures that year showed residual scabs and pink spots on their skin and my children keep threatening to burn them.

    My youngest child got the vaccine. Why put her through that if I don’t have to.

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