Chickenpox Parties Are Still Happening
Even though the CDC says it's not the best idea, parents are still throwing parties to get their kids in the same room with another child who has the chickenpox, to expose them and boost immunity down the road. Is this a good idea?
I remember getting the chickenpox at age 13, and it wasn't pretty. I had a high fever, those nasty, itchy water blisters all over my body, and just felt tired and horrible for about a week. Kids who get a case of the chickenpox at a younger age seem to snap back fast, and that's exactly why some parents want to get their kids in the same room with a case of the pox now.
The CDC doesn't endorse the plan to share the disease. They said exposing kids to chickenpox on purpose is "unsafe," and it's risky because a child could end up with a really severe case that could have been prevented.
A friend of mine took her two boys to a chickenpox party a few years ago, they both got the pox, and both recovered fairly quickly. Would you expose your kids?
One mom in another state said she was "overwhelmed" recently with requests to get kids into the chickenpox party when her son was the guest of honor.
What happens at these parties exactly? Kids play in close proximity, breathe the same air and don't cover their mouths when they cough, and they might eat snacks from the same bowl and drink out of the same cup. And tents are a big hit at these parties, to keep all the germs and kids under a dome.
None of my girls have had the chickenpox yet, and I haven't taken them to a pox party, although I've heard about them happening around town. If one of the girls gets a case of it the other two will no doubt be exposed, and I guess in that case it will be an automatic pox party at our house; tent or no tent.
The chickenpox vaccine is designed to prevent the disease altogether, and that's widely available now. That would be the ultimate chickenpox party pooper.