Friday, June 10, 2011

Pox Parties

Have you heard of/have gone to a Pox Party?
From Wikipedia: "A pox party is a party held by parents for the purpose of infecting their children with childhood diseases, most commonly chickenpox, thus acquiring some immunity to the disease.[1] According to the Washington Post, parents who expose their children to the virus in this manner believe that this method is "safer and more effective than using vaccines."[2] Similar ideas have been applied to other diseases such as measles. In the case of chicken pox, and also some other diseases such as mumps and hepatitis A, the course of the disease is typically less severe in children than adults."
Would you send your kid to one? I have a 4 year old, and we opted not to get his chicken pox vaccine because we felt that it was an unnecessary medical intervention.  Since chicken pox isn't life threatening (except maybe in rare cases), in my opinion, there's no need to get a vaccine for it.  Other people have different opinions on that matter, and I certainly won't tell them that they are wrong for thinking the way they do.  No one knows what's best for your child other than you (except in the case of medical emergencies, IMO). 

Anyhow, a friend mine's youngest child just got chicken pox.  I'm thinking about asking the mom if I can take the little man over for a play date.  I was talking to my partner about this very thing yesterday so it almost feels like it's fate. 

Here's the dilemma: I'm still off work on medical leave.  It's really hard for me to interact with my child right now unless he's hanging out on the bed with me.  I have trouble walking, standing bending over and sitting.  Do I want to intentionally make my child sick, knowing that I won't be at my best to take care of him? 

The child's been sick for a couple of days now, so she's probably not contagious anymore but I really see the benefit of having our kid get the chicken pox now rather than when they're older.  They're more likely to scratch the lesions to the point of scarring (I did) and they'd likely miss out on school once they're school aged, either when there's an outbreak or when they actually get the chicken pox, so there's that concern too.  Our son starts school in another year, so the window's starting to close up. 

What to do.  What to do.

What would you do?

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