Chicken pox parties

(214 Posts)
RosebudTheCat Sat 07-Dec-13 12:19:18

A relative has asked if I'd like to expose my two kids to her DD, who has chicken pox. My youngest is just 8mo. AIBU to think it was a stupid question to ask? Do people really still do 'chicken pox parties'?

DS have chicken pox at the moment, I've been struggling telling people not to come over. They all seem to want their kids to have the pox. Odd

RedorBlack Sat 07-Dec-13 12:27:21

Our local sure start group told us this week to have chicken pox parties as it is best to get it over and done with. Apparently it's safer to have it as kids than adults but ideally they should be over 12 months. Not sure I'm convinced though hmm

noblegiraffe Sat 07-Dec-13 12:29:50

If they get it under 12 months they probably won't develop immunity and can get it again so it's pointless.

LuciusMalfoyisSmokingHot Sat 07-Dec-13 12:30:06

My DD has chicken pox atm, and off school for a while it seems, im not one for willing exposing my kids or others to various illness, thats why im staying away from my niece and nephew who havent had it.

RosebudTheCat Sat 07-Dec-13 12:30:34

I wouldn't go out of my way to make them ill at any stage, but this seemed particularly strange because a. one is a baby and b. they would probably have it over Christmas as well, which we are hosting this year...

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 07-Dec-13 12:32:10

Some people are just a bit daft

Taz1212 Sat 07-Dec-13 12:36:42

Oh my mother tried this very hard when I was a child. Any time one of my friends had chickenpox I was straight round to their house. I never caught it but did develop natural immunity so maybe it did work.

I wouldn't send my child to one but will admit to being rather relieved when there was an outbreak at DS' nursery when he was 3. blush

QOD Sat 07-Dec-13 12:44:10

One of my DNS was purposely infected with cp by her mum and aunt, both her brother and cousin are fine, they're 23, ones a graduate, ones a cooks helper, my dn who got exposed is barely continent, can't walk up stairs alone, is trying to learn to tell the time still. She's 22
Intentional infection is fucking stupid. Shit happens, it would have probably happened anyway. But the guilt has destroyed her mum. Booze, drugs and all that crap.

Another little one on here is not the little boy he should be either as cp attacked his brain too, there was another lady whose dd died. It makes me livid that those fuckwits are recommending infecting children.

DazzleU Sat 07-Dec-13 12:45:11

I don't get it but then I do know two DC who got it from their older siblings who were hospitalize as they had such extreme cases. Not one but two DC.

Also know one DC who has had it twice. Not miss diagnosed but actually twice. Apparently it's not that rare - as there are very different strains and some people who do not develop immunity despite having it once.

Once you have it then you carry the virus and it can trigger shingles when old - which is a killer and took one of my GP and left other elderly relative very ill. So having it as a DC still causes consequences as an adult.

So many reasons these 'parties' are a bad idea and no I don't think they are common or normal practice.

I've had it twice, confirmed at the dr's. My dad has had it three times. I'm dreading getting it again as i'm 34 weeks pregnant and don't want to be ill over Christmas.

Saying that, I've also had (one memorable Christmas) Measles, and then mumps. My poor dad had those two with me, and then got TB! So maybe I just attract these kinda things?

having chicken pox under one year also increases the chances of getting childhood shingles. DS had CP at almost 6 months and shingles at the age of 3.

I don't object to it but the incubation period is two weeks so you'd have proxy kids for Christmas. For that reason I'd avoid them.

Lillilly Sat 07-Dec-13 13:30:24

Whilst you wouldn't want a baby to catch it, I thought the idea was that it is sensible to get chicken pox out of the way before they are adults when it much worse & for men can cause fertility probs and for women in pregnancy can cause complications. Though the odd person might catch it again for most it is dealing with a mild illness when younger rather than a serious one later.

Have I missed something as people seem to be saying this cruel or irresponsible nowadays ?

so be it if they get it by accident but i wouldnt intentionally expose someone to a contagious disease. You would then feel very responsible if an exposed child got a very bad case and ended up hospitalised.

lljkk Sat 07-Dec-13 13:33:42

Dd has CP immunity from a bout when she was 3.5 months old.
No problems, No shingles.
I'd LOVE to take mine to an event where I knew they would catch it & I could plan for it coming, rather than this "oh well whenever however inconvenient" alternative. You take a risk no matter what choice you make.

lljkk Sat 07-Dec-13 13:33:53


Taz1212 Sat 07-Dec-13 13:37:04

I think it's a guilt thing. If they become very ill after you'd intentionally exposed them you might then wonder whether they would have had such a bad reaction if they'd caught it by chance exposure.

I was very glad when both DC had it at a young age. It was horrible being an adult and being paranoid every time I came in contact with it- it's generally much worse in adults. I finally was blood tested when I was pregnant and exposed (very stressful) and fortunately the test came back showing I was immune.

is your dd still a child? She could still get childhood shingles! Just because your dd is ok doesnt mean every child will be fine. If they dont get CP in childhood they can always opt for the CP injection when they are a bit older.

noblegiraffe Sat 07-Dec-13 13:41:06

If they don't get it as young children, you could always get them vaccinated to avoid getting it as an adult.

NoMoreMuddyTrousers Sat 07-Dec-13 13:42:52

Mine are very scarred from it , and I wish I had vaccinated.

Article about why UK doesn't vaccinate when other countries do:

MammaTJ Sat 07-Dec-13 13:46:16

I didn't know before my DC had chicken pox, but there is a safe vaccine against chicken pox out there. You have to pay for it, but it is effective.

I would have paid for this to be done.

I certainly would not be deliberately infecting a baby with it.

Have a look here

People really do this??? shock

Why not just immunise them? It is available in the UK.

DD has had the chickenpox vaccine. I gladly paid to avoid her suffering from a pretty nasty illness. She has also had her first men B vaccine today.

NatashaBee Sat 07-Dec-13 14:15:05

Vaccination is standard in the country where I live - but the vaccine does wear off and means that there is something of an epidemic of shingles in older people.

DazzleU Sat 07-Dec-13 14:20:39

I'd LOVE to take mine to an event where I knew they would catch it & I could plan for it coming,

Ha Ha Ha.

My DC got exposed naturally many times - DC they were with coming down after spending time with them ie when they were contagious just prior to spots in some case just hours before.

DD2 was in nursery with them coming down like flies but never got chicken pox herself and still hasn't.

The older two came down in late school summer holidays just before eldest started nursery having had little exposure to other DC and none to anyone I heard subsequently came down with chicken pox.

My MIL never had any childhood illnesses not one - her mother was so worried she took her to GP. She has had perfect health throughout adulthood and is now in her 60's.

It may be contagious doesn't mean you have control over timetable when or if your DC come down with it - you can increase the risks of them catching it but if you want control why not vaccinate as it would be safer?

I was aware there was a vaccine - one of my siblings was badly scarred so thought about it - but our GP wasn't enthusiast or helpful and didn't consider it necessary then older two came down with it so we didn't pursue it.

QOD Sat 07-Dec-13 14:21:29

If you catch it, meh, if it's doing the rounds at school, meh, if it's going round nursery, meh, risk it, they might catch it, they might not, that's life.

Put them in with other children in the oozing stage and encourage sharing of toys, kissing etc and then look at niece 20 yrs later who hasn't got the life she was meant to have?

Fucking stupid risk.

PaperMover Sat 07-Dec-13 14:21:45

We got our dd immunised against chicken pox when she was 3, we would have done it prior to her starting nursery if we had been aware there was a vaccine then. Two injections at £60 each, not cheap but what price is peace of mind; and cheaper than if she had got it and someone had to take time off work to look after her. Our local NHs hospital did it in their private outpatient unit for holiday jabs smile

PaperMover Sat 07-Dec-13 14:24:27

Our gp said we Shouldn't get her vaccinated against it because children have to get ill sometimes, and where would we stop.

Rufustherednosedreindeer Sat 07-Dec-13 14:24:37

How do people know they have immunity?

There is a vaccine for shingles now also.

DazzleU Sat 07-Dec-13 14:38:04

How do people know they have immunity?

They may need a blood test to check if they are immune (protected from) chickenpox.

I thought it would be a blood test - but I don't think it's common to actually test.

quietbatperson Sat 07-Dec-13 15:14:05

Both my DCs got chickenpox naturally and neither had a bad time, but I would never have exposed them to it deliberately as I was that rare case of a child who becomes seriously ill with it. According to my Mum I was more ill with chickenpox than with measles and I was looking in to getting the DCs vaccinated when the eldest caught it, and then predictably two weeks later the youngest got it too.

WilsonFrickett Sat 07-Dec-13 15:29:31

IMO there's accepting the risk your child will get CP at some point in their life, and that chances are it's likely to be a minor childhood illness and everything will be fine. But you know at the back of your mind there's a tiny, tiny risk it will be more serious.

Then there's running headlong towards that risk saying 'here! here! infect us over here!'. Now the outcome will probably be the same - minor illness and everything is fine - but if it did turn into something more serious, knowing you had caused that infection to happen? That is going to seriously fuck with your head.

Rufustherednosedreindeer Sat 07-Dec-13 17:48:13

I hear plenty of people say they have immunity but I don't know of many who have been tested

I don't think some of them know for definate, they just think they are immune

I get the point that were it to become serious you would feel guilty, but really it is logical enough. Get it over with while they are a) young, b) in good health otherwise, c) at a convenient time - not at xmas or just before you fly off on holiday.

ProudAS Sat 07-Dec-13 18:52:39

DH had CP as an adult and wishes he had been exposed deliberately as a child.

Pox parties have almost certainly prevented more brain damage and complications than they have caused by preventing people from catching it as adults or when ill with something else (when the risks are much higher).

Vaccine sounds even better but not read reasons as to why its not normal in UK.

Rufustherednosedreindeer Sat 07-Dec-13 19:26:48

I was thrown into every house which contained a poxy or measles infested child when I was little

Never caught anything, until I was 38 and caught it from ds1 who had it for the second time

We had DD vaccinated. It cost £100 in total for 2 jabs and for me that is a bargain to avoid a week off work and a poorly child. I would have felt terrible if I had deliberately exposed her to CP and she went on to have significant complications.

goldenlula Sat 07-Dec-13 20:16:58

I personally would not deliberately expose mine to it but they have been exposed numerous times accidentally and at 8,5 and 2 they still haven't caught it. In some ways I wish they would as I feel like I spend half my life on spot watch because they have been in contact with some one who has within a day or two come out with cp!
Last year ds2 was shut in a car for 15 mins and had previous to this been play fighting and sharing a drink with a child, who, when they got home, turned out to be coming out in spots on his tummy etc and had cp. still ds2 didn't get it!

ProudAS Sun 08-Dec-13 09:08:52

If you have 2 or more DCs who haven't had CP do bear in mind that them catching it naturally will probably mean one after the other so more time off work and second one getting it worse.

Deliberately exposing a baby must be a bad idea though as they often don't develop immunity.

ProudAS Sun 08-Dec-13 09:14:08

QOD that's awful but if she'd caught it naturally as an adult the risks would have been far greater. The plus side would have been the parents not feeling to blame.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 08-Dec-13 12:34:46

i have been to and hosted wink cp parties - as a nanny often the parents want the kids to get it

one job we went to a 3rd bday party and popped out in spots day later and within 2 weeks every child at that party who hadnt had cp came out in it - but i didnt know charge was going to pop, so wasnt deliberate iyswim

last perm job was in for 5 years and tried so hard to get younger 2 to have cp, older child got at 3, and failed, last day there i saw a chikd with cp and out they popped 2 weeks later for the new nanny - whoops lol

seriously i think its better for children to get when younger, rather then have as a adult, dp was very ill when caught cp/shingles off his then 3yr daughter

you cant catch shingles. it is a reactivation of the chicken pox virus that you would have had in the past.

you can get chicken pox from direct contact with the fluid from shingles blisters but not shingles fron contact with chicken pox

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 08-Dec-13 12:40:59

tho i wouldnt delib expose now as xmas is 2 weeks away

LittleMilla Sun 08-Dec-13 12:50:28

Ds1 took part in a flu vaccine trial last year where they gave cp and hep a(I think) as the other jabs - you didn't know at time which we got.

When I found out it was cp I was delighted and he's getting booster tomorrow. I remember having it as a child and it was miserable! Planning to pay for ds2 who's five mo to be immunised.

Cannot imagine purposefully making my child I'll hmm.

CruCru Sun 08-Dec-13 12:53:06

I'm trying to decide whether to get DS the vaccination. I had the vaccination (2 shots a month apart) between pregnancies (I was tested while pregnant with DS and had no immunity) and it made me less anxious when I was pregnant with DD (now 9 weeks).

Have any of you got your kids vaccinated?

Sorry to derail a bit.

cardamomginger Sun 08-Dec-13 13:00:17

I think part of the reason why some people are so pro cp parties is that immunisation is not included in the childhood programme on the NHS. this leads people to think that it is a minor illness that is really just an inconvenience, so it is better to get it out of the way when they are young and at your convenience.

I don't know what I think of them tbh. I had it as an adult and was very I'll. I wish I had had it as a young child - but that is based on the assumption that it would have been less serious. as people have reported here, it can be serious for a child.

we paid for DD to have the vaccination.

Sirzy Sun 08-Dec-13 13:00:49

I can't understand deliberately exposing your child to any infectious disease. DS had chicken pox in the summer and just avoided being hospitalised.

There is currently a big outbreak at his school and because of that I had to keep him off longer after a course of steroids because although the chances of him catching it would have been slim it could have been nasty.

I always wonder if those who deliberately expose children to chicken pox keep their child away from everyone who is immuno suppressed for the incubation period?

rednellie Sun 08-Dec-13 13:09:39

Does anyone else think the fact they've introduced the shingles vaccine for 70 and 79 yr olds this year means they might be working up to including the varicela vaccine?

Our dd got done as we were living in Canada, the boys Christmas preset this year will be the vaccine.

bishboschone Sun 08-Dec-13 13:12:10

I would never purposely put my ds at risk . So many horrible stories about it of thy have a reaction . If he gets it so be it .

My DS had horrendous complications last Christmas due to CP. He has and always will have a very different life. He's happy and content but its been a battle for him.
It took me a good 6-9 months to stop blaming myself for what's happened (he caught it from siblings) but our life, while improving is a struggle. If he had caught it from a party I know I wouldn't be able to stop blaming myself.

I truly believe how/when he got it didn't affect his reaction to it, he was always going to be this badly affected no matter what. But its in hindsight that I can see that, if a party was the how he got it then I wouldn't have believed hindsight.

When DD1 was a toddler I was in regular contact with the mums I met at ante natal swimming. One morning the toddlers were playing and this friend suggested we usher the children away from the window so as not to upset the neighbours.

The neighbours were grieving parents of a 7 year old who died from complications of chicken pox. The hearse had just drawn up and I shall never forget the sight of the small white coffin. So utterly sad.

Anyone who deliberately tries to infect a child with cp is a moron.

ZeViteVitchofCwismas Sun 08-Dec-13 13:58:54

One of our NCT MUms was secretly exposing her DC to it, without telling the whole group. I was so cross. So utterly breath taking ignorant. She had an older DC and a baby, about 6 months, so was exposing all of us.

I think people should always inform themselves of the whole picture before plunging into things like pox parties or exposing children deliberately then meeting up with other babies.

My baby did eventually catch it, and it was a nightmare, she got very ill with it. She was still a baby so very high chance of being sick with it again. so totally pointless.

I know more DC who have been fine than ill, however its not something I would deliberalty go and give to my DC.

ZeViteVitchofCwismas Sun 08-Dec-13 14:00:05


Thats soooo sad.

grimbletart Sun 08-Dec-13 14:26:14

Stupid. Won't think it's such a good idea when they get shingles later on and spent months in neurological pain.

grimbletart that's right cos if you don't get it on purpose you certainly won't get it later on...

Seriously it would be something to approach carefully and taking into account who else might be affected, but unless you can guarantee they will never get it then it's simply a question of when

ProudAS Sun 08-Dec-13 18:47:48

Quite right BackOn

An unvaccinated person will almost certainly get chicken pox at some time (possibly as an adult or when ill with something else) so the question isn't whether they will get it but when.

Deliberate exposure at a pox party will probably result in a milder dose than catching it from a sibling.

Stories of brain damage or death from deliberate exposure are dreadful but the outcome would probably have been the same had the child caught it naturally. Pox parties almost certainly prevent more complications than they cause due to the increased risks when catching it as an adult.

DH and BIL had CP as adults and wished they had been exposed as children. They didn't get complications but BIL had a scare.

If you don't want your DCs to get CP get them vaccinated. Its a small price to pay for peace of mind.

ProudAS Sun 08-Dec-13 18:51:56

Quite right BackOn

An unvaccinated person will almost certainly get chicken pox at some time (possibly as an adult or when ill with something else) so the question isn't whether they will get it but when.

Deliberate exposure at a pox party will probably result in a milder dose than catching it from a sibling.

Stories of brain damage or death from deliberate exposure are dreadful but the outcome would probably have been the same had the child caught it naturally. Pox parties almost certainly prevent more complications than they cause due to the increased risks when catching it as an adult.

DH and BIL had CP as adults and wished they had been exposed as children. They didn't get complications but BIL had a scare.

If you don't want your DCs to get CP get them vaccinated. Its a small price to pay for peace of mind.

SparkleToffee Sun 08-Dec-13 18:59:44

I cannot stand people's blasé attitude to CP. both my DC had it st the same time last summer.DS was fine, DD was only 3.5 and had it horrifically. She has over 600 spots and had them every where. After 5 days she was so ill I had to take her to hospital, where she was admitted snd in a drip for 4 days, in isolation. Drs told me she had secondary skin infection - same one that gives people group b strep and toxic shock awful all her sores were infected and she was barely conscious.

My heart broke watching her in that hospital bed to ill to even lift up her hand, sobbing in pain, covered in sores. I cannot tell you how bad I felt and she just caught it as it was going round . If I had deliberately done that to her I would never have forgiven myself . She is fine thankfully, badly scarred but a year and s bit later they are grading slowly .

It was awful and people need to be a lot more aware of how serious a condition it is.

IslaValargeone Sun 08-Dec-13 19:01:30

I am astonished that anyone would suggest that someone deliberately exposes their child to chicken pox.

IslaValargeone Sun 08-Dec-13 19:02:23

sparkle glad your dd has recovered, I can't imagine how horrific that must have been for you.

SparkleToffee Sun 08-Dec-13 19:03:07

Sorry - stafftacocus aureas is what she had that causes toxic shock and that flesh eating disease.... So pretty serious!!

ProudAS why would CP be worse from a sibling than a CP party? Do you have any evidence to support that suggestion?

oodyboodyboocs Sun 08-Dec-13 19:34:54

As others have said above you especially don't want the younger one to get it because of the increased risk of childhood shingles. My dd caught chicken pox at 10 months old when her elder siblings had it. She then had quite a painful dose of shingles when she was 5.

ProudAS Sun 08-Dec-13 19:36:53

I've read higher up this thread and on other threads that second sibling usually gets it worse because they are generally more exposed.

bumbleymummy Sun 08-Dec-13 20:01:32

I don't think I would intentionally expose my children at an early age but I would possibly consider it if they were older and still hasn't contracted it. Both of mine have had it already anyway so it's not something I have to think about. Aside from being a bit headachy on the first day and then itchy for a couple of days they were fine. This seems to be the case for the vast majority which is why I suppose some people seem slightly blase about it. Yes, there can be complications (some with tragic consequences) but they are certainly not the norm and probably just seem more frequent than they actually are because you tend to read about them on threads like this whereas people will rarely talk about their fairly normal case of CP. There can also be complications from a cold but people are quite blase about catching colds too.

SparkleToffee Sun 08-Dec-13 20:23:33

The thing that I find upsetting, with people being blasé, is that yes complications are quite rare, but you have no idea if that will be your child or not that gets them. I had no indication that my DD would be so ill. People are quite often, uninformed about the risks and many people who heard about what happened to my DD had no idea you could be that ill, or worse from CP. unlike a cold, which you have very little control over catching, IMO it is simply wrong for people to have "parties" for DC to contract illnesses that can cause horrific complications. They aren't "getting it out of the way", they are taking uninformed risks.

tummybummer Sun 08-Dec-13 20:44:58

Chicken pox isn't always mild - it can have very serious consequences. Rare - but serious. Would you want to feel that you had caused your child (or another's child) to be very seriously ill? On purpose? No, me either.

There is NO excuse for this. If you really want it 'out of the way' so badly, then bloody well vaccinate them.

bumbleymummy Sun 08-Dec-13 20:52:36

Colds can have horrific complications too Sparkle...

Tummy, as others have mentioned, the vaccines aren't 100% effective and immunity from them can wane leaving your children vulnerable as adults.

gastrognome Sun 08-Dec-13 21:02:05

My child also suffered severe complications of CP. Most likely caught at her own birthday party when one of her friend's parents brought along the contagious little brother but neglected to mention this to me. Found out the later that they had been laughing and joking and telling the other parents to bring their kids over to him so they could catch it too. One parent there was 6 months pregnant. I was fuming when I found out the parents knew their son was contagious.

As it was, despite getting a fairly mild case of CP (only about 50 spots), my DD ended up with a severe strep infection and was going into toxic shock by the time I got her to hospital. She then suffered further complications but fortunately was ok after 2 weeks in hospital.

I was angry with myself as I'd wanted to get her vaccinated but the doc had talked me out of it (said healthy kids didn't get complications). I cannot imagine how I would have felt if I'd exposed her intentionally.

Mandy21 Sun 08-Dec-13 21:14:56

It makes me so angry that CP is classed as a 'mild childhood disease' and isnt it better to get it over and done with? People wanting to 'control' when their children get it so they don't have to take time off work? Seriously?!

We know of 2 children (both family friends, separate families, different ends of the country) where their children had strokes as a result of getting CP. One was hospitalised for months in a regional (specialist) hospital 60 miles from home. 2 years later, he still hasnt got the full use of one side. Its heart breaking. Would they always have reacted like that? I don't think so, maybe in later years their immune systems might have been stronger, it might have been a particular strain of CP which caused the complications.

It beggars belief that any parent might deliberately expose a child to that risk, however small that risk is.

Pinholes Sun 08-Dec-13 21:20:57

I was fuming at one of the mum's at school last week, didn't say anything but I really wish I had. 4yo DS came out of school and spotted this woman's toddler in the buggy (he's friends with the older brother). He ran over to "say hello to XXXX's baby brother". He was kissing the baby, rubbing his cheek on his cheek, etc, then ran off to play. The mother then told me, laughingly, that the little one has chickenpox. DS was with him for a good five minutes, she could have shoo'd him off or mentioned before DS started kissing him. I'm 7m pregnant and DD has a shitty immune system.

Deliberately infecting a child is wrong IMO. If left to their own devices its not 100% that they'll catch CP, some people never ever catch it, so arguing that the end result of infection would be the same regardless of whether that infection is deliberate isn't a valid argument. That child may be the child who will have a bad reaction to CP but they may never actually catch it, so that bad reaction never happens. On the other hand they may get deliberately infected and have an awful reaction. I don't think I'd be able to live with the guilt if it was me TBH.

bumbleymummy Sun 08-Dec-13 21:31:25

Pinholes, chickenpox is endemic in the UK. The vast majority of people will catch it.

Incidence of serious complications is around 0.85 in 100,0000 iirc.

Altinkum Sun 08-Dec-13 21:36:34

I personally think anyone who deliberately goes out their way to give their child a contagious illness that can cause serious harm, should be shot at the stake!!

Its cruel, its potentially life changing and fucking idiotic, no matter what small risk, you think it may be, because to your child it may BE A HIGH RISK!!!!

ZeViteVitchofCwismas Sun 08-Dec-13 21:40:28

Yes but Bumble even if not serious as in hospitilsation, many parents do have a nasty border line time of it, with secondary infections.

The infection that sparkle talks of has killed a good friends of mines mother, quickly and put another in hospital for months.

You cover and or put antiseptic on a cut to stop infection. with CP you are creating raw wounds usually all over the body.

When my DD finally got it at three, she was nice and strong and healthy and I was in the right time to also have her at home.

The lady that was happily trying to expose our whole NCT grroup, may have found the time was right for her to expose us all, but it wasn't right for the rest of us.

When by baby did get it, she was very ill, her temp was shooting up, fast, it was during the heatwave, she was inflamed with the spots, and a secondary infection, she would not take the anti biotics, she was EBF and not used to anything else but me, it was awful.

Not hospitalised, not serious serious, but enough of a worry to give me some more grey hairs.

ZeViteVitchofCwismas Sun 08-Dec-13 21:42:17

As I held my baby my one tiny consolation was thank fuck I have not deliberately given her this.

NK5BM3 Sun 08-Dec-13 21:45:11

Totally stupid behaviour. angry

My DS caught cp from his sister although to be fair everyone at nursery had it. He however was the only child to have a bad reaction a month later when he collapsed and after 6 weeks of a daily rash, fever and joint ache, he was referred to Great Ormond St and diagnosed with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis. He/we stayed in hospital for 2 weeks, he had a bond marrow puncture and was on heavy duty drugs for a year.

Only recently has the dr taken him off the drugs to see how he copes and it's looking positive.

But no cp parties are stupid. Getting them randomly or through school etc is one thing... Gathering for the purposes of infection...?!!!! Mad.

ChrisMooseMickey Sun 08-Dec-13 21:45:23

DD was 7mo old when she caught chicken pox. I was very shock hmm at people wanting to freely come round with their kids. DD was so so ill- its not an experience i EVER want to repeat again.

ChrisMooseMickey Sun 08-Dec-13 21:46:43

Or one that I would wish on other people.

If chicken pox parties were a good idea then they would be recommended by the NHS.

Sparklymommy Sun 08-Dec-13 21:52:15

I don't understand why people would want their children to be ill. All of mine have had cp, but I would never have deliberately exposed any of them. My youngest has nasty scars as she was very badly infected with it and I would not wish that on anyone.

A silly idea. Very irresponsible!

Twighlightsparkle Sun 08-Dec-13 21:53:02

Someone way back said sure start advocated pox parties!

Mental! That sums up sure start to me.

One word, encephalitis.

bumbleymummy Sun 08-Dec-13 21:53:14

Altinkum, the same could be said for vaccines - for some children they may be high risk and can have life-changing consequences. Does that make parents who vaccinate cruel and idiotic? Probably not in your eyes. Yet that is all some parents are doing with CP - exposing them to something which, for the vast majority, will have no negative effects or consequences but lifelong benefits but for others (who we are not currently being identified) can have serious complications.

Zevite, sorry to hear about your friend's mother. The risk of complications in adults is much higher and they are usually more serious. I think that is why people are saying that it is better to 'get it out of the way' in childhood.

ProudAS Sun 08-Dec-13 21:57:04

DS wishes he had got it in childhood.

If you don't vaccinate your kids they will almost certainly get it. Saying no to a pox party doesn't stop them getting ill - it merely delays it.

ProudAS Sun 08-Dec-13 22:00:06

Of course the NHS won't recommend pox parties. They'd be sued if a child got brain damage or died.

FourArms Sun 08-Dec-13 22:15:25

DS2 got a fairly mild case and ended up seriously ill in hospital and then ill on and off for a year with ITP sad Very glad I didn't purposely infect him.

Lillilly Sun 08-Dec-13 22:18:43

It is more irresponsible to think you can avoid it, leaving your children quite likely to catch it as adults with terrible consequences. Especially if you have a girl, how could you live with yourself if she gets it whilst pregnant and it caused her baby problems, all because of a deluded idea you can avoid it.

NaturalBaby Sun 08-Dec-13 22:21:03

I have considered it on a couple of occasions but only once my youngest was over 12months. He's now nearly 3 and none of my dc's have had it yet.

tiggytape Sun 08-Dec-13 22:24:59

If a girl hasn't had chicken pox by the age of 14, there is an NHS vaccine for it.

Of course that is very unlikely - it is highly infectious and most children catch it at some stage.

It is pointless to infect a baby on purpose though because (aside from potential complications) they don't necessarily acquire full immunity to it at that age so it would be a pointless and miserable 2 weeks.

Being unable to avoid infection in the population is not the same as deliberately choosing to infect a child. Complications are rare but can happen to strong and healthy children and in very rare cases, previously healthy children die of chicken pox. Some die every year. The feelings you'd have if your child was hospitalised after unavoidable exposure would be very different to those following parental decision to infect the child.

Mim78 Sun 08-Dec-13 22:29:44

8 mo is too young for this to be any benefit (for reasons others have stated that you don't get the immunity) and also you don't want her to get it so young because a baby with CP itching is much harder to cope with than a 3/4 year old.

It's good for them to get it before the start school though IMO because they don't really want to miss time.

I've also heard that the vaccine is not as effective for CP as acting having the illness, but don't know what that is the case for CP and not other things.

nocheeseinhouse Sun 08-Dec-13 22:29:51

Immunise them, I did. £70 ish.

Rufustherednosedreindeer Sun 08-Dec-13 22:31:53

tiggytape do you have to request a bloodiest for that?

Rufustherednosedreindeer Sun 08-Dec-13 22:32:30

Obviously that's supposed to say blood test!!!

tiggytape Sun 08-Dec-13 22:37:45

Generally if you request the vaccine, the Dr will test for immunity.

The reason for this is, of all the people tested who think they've never had CP, a fair % will still show immunity. This is because they caught it and never knew they had it (perhaps those 2 mosquito bites one summer were in fact CP). Not everyone gets ill with it. Some people may literally have 1 spot on their back and never know.

For the people who come back showing no signs of immunity, 2 vaccines can be given. This offers protection for young women entering child bearing age since the risks of CP in pregnancy are high to mother and baby. And unlike other illnesses, it continues to be risky even after 12 weeks. Other people who would also consider this route are those planning on entering a profession in health care or teaching where exposure is likely to be frequent and unavoidable.

Mandy21 Sun 08-Dec-13 22:39:29

I dont think anyone is saying they can definitely avoid it hut as Tiggy says, its one thing to catch it through exposure at school, quite something else to have a parent deliberately expose you to it.

Proudas - thats not true that people will get it if they're not vaccinated, plenty of people never catch it.

WhereIsMyHat Sun 08-Dec-13 22:45:25

I was wondering last night, approx 10% of those that have had CP get it again, so natural immunity is about 90% effective.

Does anyone know the efficacy of the vaccine? Is it more or less than 90%?

On the third week CP here, I have 3 children. It's been boring being in but preferable to a stomach bug or virus. I think we've been lucky so far. Hoping all are now immune.

Rufustherednosedreindeer Sun 08-Dec-13 22:45:40

Thanks tiggy

I was pregnant with number three when number two was exposed to chickenpox. I had to go down to the hospital to double check immunity but they didn't test either of us as they said the odds were very good that we had already had it, like you say it may just be one spot in a fold of skin that never gets noticed.

Having said that I got chickenpox 4 years later! Will take her to get tested in two years, it's in my diary!

tiggytape Sun 08-Dec-13 22:50:01

That is quite shocking really. Exposure in pregnancy for a woman without a known history of CP should lead to testing unless your exposure was more than 72 hours or so ago.
There is something they can give in the first couple of days after exposure to lessen / prevent CP taking hold (VZIG). Not many people need this and not many people know about their exposure early enough but if you fell in this category, they should have acted and not just assumed you'd be immune (since you obviously weren't!)

SparkleToffee Sun 08-Dec-13 22:53:26

bumbley but that's the whole point - yes colds can rarely have horrific complications, but most often not in children that were perfectly well before. I would be very surprised if someone deliberately set out to give their child a cold ?! It's not the catching of the illness that's the issues, it's the delibrate blasé-ness of ignorant people who willingly attempt to infect their child with an illness that had known complications, with NO idea if their kids will react badly of be the ones that react badly. .

goldenlula Sun 08-Dec-13 22:54:51

If mine get to their teens not having had it, then I will probably immunise them then. I do worry about ds2 getting it he has had 50+ boils and 30+ styles in the first 7months of this year, which showed up to have staphylococcus aureus infection. He then had follicullitis in August and a further infection in a molluscum contagiousum in October. For this reason I would worry about infection setting in with him.

rednellie Sun 08-Dec-13 23:00:55

tiggy you sound like you know what you're talking about. Do you know how effective the vaccine is? Dd had it when we were in Canada and I'm considering it for the ds...any thoughts?

foreverondiet Sun 08-Dec-13 23:07:26

Definitely would not intentionally infect a baby with it, but I did expose DD age 2.

DS1 got it (from school) at a very inconvenient time, we almost missed a holiday. Note that DS2 caught from DS1 and was very ill with it, and my GP said this was very common in children who caught from siblings as repeated exposure, so maybe better at CP party as no repeated exposure. DD caught from one exposure with her cousin (planned) was v mild and DS1 caught at school also mild. If I had exposed DS1 to it intentionally (it never arose) before DS2 was born, perhaps DS2 would have caught at school later and would have had it more mildly.

re: vaccine, I personally wouldn't as unlike having the illness, the vaccine protection can wear off. My friend had CP whilst pregnant - she'd been vaccinated as a child (abroad) but vaccination wore off and her older child caught at nursery when pregnant with younger child.

DazzleU Sun 08-Dec-13 23:39:46

I was wondering last night, approx 10% of those that have had CP get it again, so natural immunity is about 90% effective.

In a study, up to 13% (around one in eight) of people diagnosed with chickenpox reported that they had had the condition before.

US studies conducted from 1995 to 1999 found that 4.5 to 13% of people diagnosed with chickenpox reported that they had had the condition before.

Other US studies have found that after having chickenpox, some people do not develop the antibodies needed to protect them against reinfection. For example:
from a report in 1996: tests on adults who reported having chickenpox showed that 97-99% of them had developed antibodies
from a report in 2007: tests showed that after having chickenpox, three quarters of children aged one to four had developed immunity, compared with all adults aged 20 to 29

Experts agree that if you have already had chickenpox, it is very likely that you will have developed antibodies.

Do you know how effective the vaccine is?
It has been shown that nine out of 10 children vaccinated with a single dose will develop immunity against chickenpox. A two-dose schedule is recommended, as it gives an even better immune response.

The vaccination is not quite as effective after childhood. It's estimated that three-quarters of teenagers and adults who are vaccinated will develop immunity against chickenpox.

75% protected in those taking vaccine in teenage years to 87% at worst with chickenpox. Though the chickenpox virus comes with small number of serious cases.

But if vaccination in Canada is routine like I think USA is then herd immunity plays a part in reducing risk of contracting it anyway.

WhereIsMyHat Sun 08-Dec-13 23:57:11

Great, thanks. So as expected natural immunity is more effective but good point re. Herd immunity in countries that offer routine vaccination.

RosebudTheCat Mon 09-Dec-13 04:23:29

Ah, thought this thread was on the wane but obviously not! Glad she at least told us about the cp - some of these stories of people not caring if their kids are infectious are really bad...

rednellie Mon 09-Dec-13 07:24:25

Thanks Dazzle. Hmm, things to think about...

stirrupleathers Mon 09-Dec-13 07:55:35

If I had known ability the cp vaccine I would have paid for it gladly. My little girl was so ill that she was admitted to hospital and stayed there on a drip in isolation for a,week. It was terrible, she lost so much weight and the scarring on her torso is still bad 5 years later. Just be careful...

thegreylady Mon 09-Dec-13 08:08:34

My 4 year old dgs has just come down with cp despite having been exposed to it many times without effect. Lots of his class mates have had it recently too . Hopefully it will be done with by Christmas.

thegreylady Mon 09-Dec-13 08:16:29

You have terrified me now. He has lots of spots and a temperature but he is playing quite happily though he says he 'hates these chickens'. Is there anything I need to watch out for while I am looking after him today?

tiggytape Mon 09-Dec-13 08:30:57

I think the general opinion is that the vaccine hasn't been available long enough to know whether it will offer whole life long immunity to people vaccinated as young children.

However, even if it is not effective for life, a case of chickenpox after vaccination is likely to be very mild and is also far less risky. The chance of developing complications is lower.

thegreylady - spots and a temperature at the start is normal. If his temperature becomes very high or if he becomes less responsive (or if there's anything you're not happy with) then get medical help.
The complications mentioned here are scary but rare - the most likely complication you're looking out for is a secondary infection of the spots. This normally happens a few days after the first spots appear. Some spots may start to look dark, infected or have a red halo around them and it normally triggers a fresh temperature rise as well (a temperature at the start is normal but a raised temperature after a few days of it going back to normal can be a sign of infection)

DazzleU Mon 09-Dec-13 08:32:41

He'll almost certainly be fine thegreylady most DC are.

Contact your GP straight away if you or your child develop any abnormal symptoms, for example:
if the skin surrounding the blisters becomes red and painful
if you or your child start to get pain in the chest or have difficulty breathing

In these cases, prescription medicine, and possibly hospital treatment, may be needed.

In one case I know hospitalized the DC was completely covered in spots - every patch of skin every where no space in between.

It's more preventing them scatting and scarring usually. In my sibling case he managed to knock fair few spots out leaving deep pock marks - but my DC didn't do that and the minor scarring the had has slowly disappeared over the years.

DazzleU Mon 09-Dec-13 08:36:56

I think the general opinion is that the vaccine hasn't been available long enough to know whether it will offer whole life long immunity to people vaccinated as young children.

I'm not sure if that quote I did earlier about teenagers and adult from NHS site about saying the vaccine immunity being lower in teenagers and adults is talking about patients given the vaccine as teenagers and adults, so immunity developing after vaccine in first place, or about young DC given vaccine then their immunity checked as teenagers and adults ie immunity wearing off.

hackmum Mon 09-Dec-13 09:02:45

I think a lot of people getting really angry about this just don't understand risk. Chicken pox is usually - not always - a fairly mild disease. It's also highly infectious. If you protect your child against it when they're young, there's a very high chance they'll get it later anyway. The point of chicken pox parties is to get it out of the way. It might not be everybody's way of doing it, but it's not stupid per se.

My DD had chicken pox when she was 3. It was a fairly mild case. But my DH, who had never had it as a child, caught it from her, and was extremely ill with it - it is generally much worse in adults. So it would have been much better for him to have been exposed to it as a child.

tiggytape Mon 09-Dec-13 09:18:19

If you protect your child against it when they're young, there's a very high chance they'll get it later anyway.

You cannot protect them against it. Everyone knows that. The virus is contagious 2 days before spots appear so virtually every child who comes down with CP will have infected others first. However there is a vast difference between locking a child away from the world so they can never catch CP and deliberate exposure

I very much doubt your DH's parents kept him indoors until he was 15 just so he wasn't exposed to CP.
In fact he may have been exposed many times in childhood but never succumbed until he was an adult. That's not unheard of and is just bad luck. It is cases like these where the vaccine is helpful - it is certainly not justification for multiple deliberate exposures with unknown consequences.

wishful75 Mon 09-Dec-13 09:27:07

It is shockingly ignorant to have chicken pox parties, utterly moronic. It is not a mild disease for a lot of people, it is very dangerous. I have seen fatalities in young children and life changing complications in others. Why on earth would any parent with half a brain do this?

I honestly thought this type of ignorance died out years ago as there appears to be much greater awareness of the risks in my area.

GobbySadcase Mon 09-Dec-13 09:27:18

Mum constantly sent me to pox parties when I was a kid. Still didn't get it til I was 29 and got it off DS1.

expatinscotland Mon 09-Dec-13 09:35:09

Purposely trying to make your child ill is beyond irresponsible. I cannot believe anyone would be so ignorant, I really don't.

Notcontent Mon 09-Dec-13 09:44:04

I paid to get the vaccine for my dd in the uk because it's standard where I come from. I had chicken pox as a child and I still have bad memories of it.

I am aware that the vaccine may not offer lifetime immunity so it's something I am going to keep an eye on. I did some research before deciding that the vaccine was the way to go.

cardamomginger Mon 09-Dec-13 11:18:45

DD's UK paediatricians (2 at GOSH, 1 at Tommy's) all recommended the cp vaccination, even taking into account the official reasons why it is not offered on the NHS. She doesn't have any particular health issues, other than a tendency to eczema, why she should be at risk of complications.

MrsDeVere Mon 09-Dec-13 11:27:05

DS2 had the vaccination. He got CP about 5 years later but it was very very mild.

I had best not put into words just what I think of CP parties. I might get banned.

SooticaTheWitchesCat Mon 09-Dec-13 11:30:16

I had both mine vaccinated. DD1 was done in Turkey as it is standard over there and DD2 had it done here but I had to pay for it. Both have lifetime immunity (apparently), the one DD1 had is a single vaccine that lasts for life and DD2 had a booster so it doens't wear off.

I'm sure the only reason they don't do it as standard in the UK is for cost.

TimeIsAnIllusion Mon 09-Dec-13 11:38:02

I would never deliberately expose a child to chickenpox.

My child was 18m when he got it.

He has no underlying health issue. He is a perfectly healthy child. He was breastfed still too.

He had complications when he got chicken pox (staphylococcus aureus - that's a skin necrotising infection) resulting in a "peeled child" who looked like he should've been in a burns unit (it looks like scalded skin and is also known as scalded skin syndrome).

I don't know how common this complication is but it exists and children who are perfectly healthy can get it.

The hospital didn't want him brought there as they said he would only pick up worse infections in their care and to keep him at home.

He was in the most unbelievable amount of pain and being at home we could only use over the counter pain relievers which were in my opinion not strong enough.

I had to take him to the gp every single day.

Luckily it was summer and warm. Dressing a peeled toddler is not possible. Not even a nappy. He was kept in his cot and rinsed with a shower and the towels beneath him changed after every wee or poo.

It took two adults caring for him round the clock - the other children were sent to grandmas while we dealt with this.

It was horrendous. Never deliberately give your child chicken pox - nobody would wish the risk of complication like this on their worst enemy let alone your own child.

My child still has scars now. Not the usual scars - but where large areas of skin fell off. His entire genital area was "peeled" along with other sizeable patches on his torso, arms and legs.

AmberLeaf Mon 09-Dec-13 11:45:02

I never got it as a child, neither did my brother.

I got it aged 20 and it was horrific, I remember wishing I would die.

My children got it when they were quite small, one after the other, one of my children was really ill with it. I spent several weeks stuck indoors, no way was I going to expose other people to it. My Mum has a compromised immune system so I know how serious things like CP can be for some people.

I would never have knowingly infected my children with it.

diplodocus Mon 09-Dec-13 11:48:51

I wouldn't do it myself, but if you don't immunise your child WILL get it, so I don't think there's anything wrong per se with trying to do it at a time when they will be least inconvenienced / likely to be less ill. You're right in saying it can be very serious, but the only way to reduce this risk is immunisation (and that isn't by any means 100% certain and then raises risks of shingles). I briefly considered exposing my DDs together as there is a dose reponse effect so children who catch off a sibling usually get it worse. It felt wrong and I didn't do it, but as expected DD2 caught it off DD1 and had a much worse dose.

rednellie Mon 09-Dec-13 12:13:31

Right, after reading all that I'm def going to get the twins done. Thanks MrsDeVere, you've really helped me make my mind up. And thanks to all of you whose dc have had an awful time with it, must have been horrible.sad

rednellie Mon 09-Dec-13 12:14:49

Right, after reading all that I'm def going to get the twins done. Thanks MrsDeVere, you've really helped me make my mind up. And thanks to all of you whose dc have had an awful time with it, must have been horrible.sad

rednellie Mon 09-Dec-13 12:15:09

Right, after reading all that I'm def going to get the twins done. Thanks MrsDeVere, you've really helped me make my mind up. And thanks to all of you whose dc have had an awful time with it, must have been horrible.sad

rednellie Mon 09-Dec-13 12:15:39

Right, after reading all that I'm def going to get the twins done. Thanks MrsDeVere, you've really helped me make my mind up. And thanks to all of you whose dc have had an awful time with it, must have been horrible.sad

rednellie Mon 09-Dec-13 12:16:38

Oh bloody hell blush

WhereIsMyHat Mon 09-Dec-13 12:17:51

Coming back this morning to say my youngest, 16 months, slept for twenty minutes last night, fucking chicken pox. Get the vaccine!

Disclaimer, I am sleep deprived and not medically trained so take this post with a pinch of salt.

ProudAS Mon 09-Dec-13 13:08:17

Before deciding not to take your DCs to a pox party think about this:

How would you feel in 25 years time if your DD got CP whilst pregnant or one of your DCs got it whilst their own child was undergoing cancer treatment and you know that you could probably have prevented it?

There is no right or wrong answer but consider both arguments.

TinyTear Mon 09-Dec-13 13:19:16

We just gave the second dose of the vaccine last week... i paid £85 per dose but I don't care!

I don't understand the 'moron' and similar comments. Do people not see that they are likely to get it anyway and possibly worse? Is the deciding factor simply that having them catch it at any age is better than any guilt you might feel?

I can understand the reluctance, I really can, but it seems a bit selfish.

If the vaccine is a safe and effective alternative then that is obviously better, but it seems that it might not be.

expatinscotland Mon 09-Dec-13 13:47:37

Proud, one of the first things done before a child starts chemo is ask about such diseases and vaccines. My son was vaccinated by our GP whilst D1 was in hospital awaiting chemo. Ditto if you are pregnant.

TimeIsAnIllusion Mon 09-Dec-13 13:48:37

ProudAS there may not be chicken pox around like it is now in 25y time as vaccinating might be the norm in the future.

How likely is it that a child will inadvertently get cp without deliberately taking them to a "cp <party>"?! Most kids get it anyway without the need for any such germ swapping gatherings.

My sis was exposed to cp through siblings as a child and never got it herself. Blood tests (as an adult in pregnancy) showed natural immunity.

expatinscotland Mon 09-Dec-13 13:53:09

My DDs got it from DD1s nursery. DD1 was very ill with it. I know two people IRL whose children died. It is only 'rare' when it doesn't happen to you or your loved one.

MrsDeVere Mon 09-Dec-13 15:04:22

If you haven't immunity to CP and your child gets cancer you get the vaccination, as do your children.

WHY do we think it is ok to deliberately expose children to a potentially serious illness as long its chickenpox?

We would not do it with any other illness.

A lot of these issues would be solved if selfish fuckwits didn't insist on taking their infectious children out in public.

expatinscotland Mon 09-Dec-13 15:33:21

When the DDs got it, there was no vaccine and I wasn't even pregnant with DS, but if there had been a vaccine, I'd have got it for them.

bumbleymummy Mon 09-Dec-13 16:55:34

expat - it is considered 'rare' when you look at population data as a whole and see that only a small minority of people have complications. Yes, when you read a thread like this on mumsnet and hear all the horror stories about complications it seems like the risk is much higher but the reality of it is that it is usually a self-limiting disease in children without complications or any long term effects.

Lots of illnesses are potentially severe - As I mentioned earlier, even catching a cold can result in serious complications. It doesn't even have the benefit of giving us lifelong immunity either! (unlike CP) Most children will have at least one cold every year - every one has the potential to result in complications.

diplodocus Mon 09-Dec-13 17:05:48

"A lot of these issues would be solved if selfish fuckwits didn't insist on taking their infectious children out in public."
While I certainly don't condone people doing this it wouldn't make any difference at a population level. People are infectious before they get symptoms. If you aren't immunised there is an almost 100% chance that you will get CP, usually as a child and if not as an adult (which you really don't want - so avoiding it as a child is certainly not a good thing). It's a rather unpleasant fact of life. And immunisation increases the risk of shingles so is not necessarily a suitable public health intervention. If you don't want your child to get it then immunise, but you won't be able to avoid it and even if you do your child will be at risk at an adult.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 09-Dec-13 17:36:43

And immunisation increases the risk of shingles

Something I read yesterday can't remember what it was it it was linked to through the NHS site as those are the only ones I tend to biter with did say that in the country's that have the cp jab as a normal childhood vax and have done for many years show no evidence of this and I'm pretty sure the info as to why the uk does not uses fairly vague language so could instead of does.

It just interested me.

DazzleU Mon 09-Dec-13 17:36:45

Since a varicella vaccine became available in the U.S. in 1995, the incidence of disease and hospitalizations due to chickenpox has declined by nearly 90%.

There are two types of varicella vaccines:
A chickenpox vaccine for vaccinating children, adolescents, and adults
A shingles vaccine for vaccinating adults age 50 years and older

And immunisation increases the risk of shingles so is not necessarily a suitable public health intervention.

That statement is a little miss leading:
Vaccine strains are, as far as we know, less likely to reactivate to cause shingles.

It is not necessary to vaccinate everyone to reduce chickenpox to very low levels—to cause an infection to die out in a community it is only necessary to vaccinate a sufficient proportion such that the average case on average transmits the infection to less than one person.

However if your talking not about the vaccinated DC but the older population:

Mathematical models predict that shingles in the unvaccinated would initially increase by 30%–50% if childhood vaccination rates were high, and would decrease thereafter. Combined results from three studies suggest the increased incidence of shingles would last for 30–50 years and would affect mostly those aged 10–44 years at the time of vaccine introduction.8,11,12 The greater the chickenpox vaccination rates the higher the initial incidence of shingles would be until everyone was vaccinated (in other words until those of us my age who harbour varicella zoster virus in our nervous ganglia die off).

It's possible to vaccinate both elderly with shingles vaccine and young with chickenpox and avoid that issue so it not being in the public health interest isn't clear cut.

expatinscotland Mon 09-Dec-13 17:38:27

Feel free to risk your kids on that then, bumble, because I for one could not, hand on heart, live with myself if my child were one of those who died after I deliberately exposed them to disease. I find that so far beyond irresponsible I cannot even qualify it without probably getting banned.

MrsDeVere Mon 09-Dec-13 17:39:38

Yes yes we KNOW that people are infectious before they come out in spots.

We hear that as an excuse for nipping down the shops or going to the playground or going swimming on every bloody 'AIBU to take my poxy child out because I am booooorrrred' thread.

I think people with CP should 'avoid' contact with others.
I think no one in their right mind would make their child ill on purpose
I know that CP kills children

Xmasbaby11 Mon 09-Dec-13 17:42:58

That's insane - too young, can be very serious in under 1s.

I never had it so had the vaccination after I had DD. I'd consider getting DD vaccinated as it's nasty illness.

DazzleU Mon 09-Dec-13 17:46:38

Lots of data here and I've no idea how accurate but it does support what Sockreturningpixie was saying

It has been claimed that adult shingles may increase after introduction of varicella vaccine. ... While research using computer models has tended to support the hypothesis that vaccination programs would increase incidence of zoster in the short term, the evidence from epidemiological studies is mixed ... and increases observed in zoster incidence in some studies may not be related to vaccination programs, as the incidence increases prior to the varicella vaccine program being initiated. ...^

Honestly don't get why we don't vaccinate routinely in UK - as the vaccine been shown to be safe to DC and the expected rise in shingles doesn't appear to happen, as shingle activation is poorly understood anyway not a huge surprise models and RL differ.

stillenacht Mon 09-Dec-13 17:46:41

My DS got chicken pox at 9 mo. It undoubtedly contributed to his development of epilepsy and low functioning autism. Chicken pox can be v dangeroushmm

MrsDeVere Mon 09-Dec-13 17:57:46

my DD got CP when she had cancer. It caused her immense suffering and masked the fact that she had relapsed leading to a delay in treatment. She died a few months later. She probably would have died anyway but we could have been spared at least a few months of extreme pain.

But according to PP our experiences are so rare as to be irrelevant.


I should avoid these threads. They do me no good at all.

Epilepsy sucks btw. DD had that too. flowers

diplodocus Mon 09-Dec-13 17:58:31

It's the inevitability of CP in the unvaccinated population that I think is different and why people may expose willingly - and why, while I wouldn't do it myself, I don't think it's worthy of the reaction from many people on here. You're not exposing them to anything they're not going to get at another (possibly more dangerous / difficult) time. Agree people should stick with quarantine requirements (I did strictly) but this isn't what drives the infection risk. I think if I had my time again I'd probably immunise.

MrsDeVere Mon 09-Dec-13 18:13:47

Its an emotive subject diplodocus

Those of us who have had terrible experiences become exasperated at those who keep insisting its nothing, its just a common childhood illness and that people shouldn't be hysterical.

That is why these threads do not tend to go well.

There are always people who say its fine, do it, don't worry, infect them, ,take them out, people are stupid etc.

Its awful.

bumbleymummy Mon 09-Dec-13 18:16:03

MrsDeV, I hope you are not referring to me as the PP who thinks your experience is irrelevant. There is a big difference between saying something is irrelevant and pointing out that complications are very rare when you look at the population as a whole. I'm sure most people are well aware that CP can be very serious for the immunocompromised (like your daughter) and I'm sure you have seen me saying as much on other CP threads where the poster is asking whether they should take their child out because they are bored.

As far as 'risking my child' goes, I have already said that both my boys have already had CP so I do not have to consider intentional exposure. I just think that all the frothing and insults aimed at people who have said that they would consider it if their child had not contracted it by a certain age is a bit unnecessary. Everything carries a risk (including catching a cold) but people aren't accused of being neglectful, idiotic, insane etc etc for allowing their children to play with other children who have a bit of a sniffle.

rednellie Mon 09-Dec-13 18:24:49

I know pointed it out earlier, but do people not realise this year all 70 and 79 year olds are being offered the shingles vaccine. It'll be rolling out. I'm convinced this means they'll probably start introducing the cp vaccine for babies in the next decade

When I asked in Canada why the UK doesn't they reckoned it was a) cost related and b) the govern felt it would be hard to convince parents to accept another childhood vaccine after the whole mmr debacle.

DazzleU Mon 09-Dec-13 18:39:55

I know pointed it out earlier, but do people not realise this year all 70 and 79 year olds are being offered the shingles vaccine

No I missed this earlier in thread - most of my older relatives are either over 80 already so illegible or in 60's so not yet eligible so I wasn't generally aware either.

Good news.

Though they may have a point with vaccines and young DC as many parents do seem to understand how vaccines and immune sytems work and talk about 'over loading' already - but I'd have like it for my DC.

bumbleymummy Mon 09-Dec-13 18:44:32

So we vaccinate against CP (which may require boosters throughout our lifetime) and then we have to vaccinate against shingles as well - well Big Pharma are certainly doing well out of this idea!

tiggytape Mon 09-Dec-13 21:13:46

Shingles vaccines are nothing to do with any undesirable consequences of the CP vaccine. Few, if any, of the 70-79 year olds currently being vaccinated against shingles have ever had the CP vaccine yet they are still vulnerable to shingles.

Shingles if the reactivation of CP in a person who contracted CP at any time in their life (or who had the vaccine). A bit like coldsores. It isn't a new cold sore each time as such - it is the virus lurking in the nerve cells and reappearing at times of high UV exposure, stress etc.
Well it is the same with shingles. Anyone who is immune to CP is automatically at risk of shingles because the CP virus is in their system offering both immunity to CP and the chance of a bout of shingles at any time it reactivates.

bumbleymummy Mon 09-Dec-13 21:43:37

As others have said on the thread Tiggy, the concern about introducing the CP vaccine in the UK is that it may increase the likelihood of shingles in older people.(source: NHS website) IIRC this has something to do with the decreased circulation of CP in the community reducing the opportunity for natural 'boosters'. I think someone earlier mentioned that rolling out the shingles vaccine may be a sign that they are planning to introduce the CP vaccine in the next few years.

ZeViteVitchofCwismas Mon 09-Dec-13 21:52:27


Couldn't agree more.

This is why I was so furious when NCT MUm was deliberately exposing her DC then meeting up with us all she kept saying " I keep exposing them, like last week but they have not got anything yet" confused she clearly had no idea about the two week gap between exposure and spots, even more of a fucking prat. angry. She had also been doing baby massage along side very prem babies and other mums where we did not know their med backgrounds. She was not even bothered about telling them all, I had to ask her to tell the others that her child had come down with it,.

She had no idea of the chain reaction she could have been causing. It ruined my holiday tBh as I was paranoid about spots appearing every day until we went. angry.

Sadly its just ignorance.

bumbleymummy Mon 09-Dec-13 22:35:47

ZeVite - but that could have been the case with plenty of people who weren't intentionally exposing them too. You could be surrounded by any number of people incubating chicken pox. It's endemic in the UK

tiggytape Mon 09-Dec-13 22:36:19

The latest research (published this month so very new) suggests that in fact the CP vaccine is not responsible for the increased cases of shingles as everyone first assumed.

Dr Craig Hales reviewed US figures and confirmed a huge rise in shingles cases but these started before the CP vaccination programme of 1996.
Over an 18 year period (1992-2010), the rate of shingles went up but no more so after the CP vaccine than before. This could not be explained by any factor - not the CP vaccine because the timing was wrong but not medications or pre existing conditions either. They net result is they now recommend the shingles vaccine too because they simply don't why the CP virus reactivates in some people and not others

Perhaps all American research is more likely to favour the vaccine but the study did demonstrate that "as immunisation coverage in children reached 90 percent, shingles continued at the same rate" which defies the original assumptions.

expatinscotland Mon 09-Dec-13 22:43:22

That may be true, bumble, but to deliberately expose young babies and children is, IMO, shockingly ignorance and irresponsible. I would have complained A LOT about such an individual in such a position.

DD1 got it at nursery, it was before there was a vaccine. She got swine flu, too, from that nursery, again, before there was a vaccine and before the people knew they were sick. In fact, what happened in the later case was that a father of one of the children was on a hired coach to an away football game that picked up a number of fans in a neighbouring town who were all carrying. They caused a serious outbreak in our small town and in the city where they went and sat in a crowded stadium.

Nothing intentional, this happens.

But to deliberately expose people is ignorant and irresponsible, IMO, no matter how 'endemic'.

My child died of an endemic virus she obviously contracted in hospital, seeing as she was in strict isolation at the time, HMV. I accept that many people carry this and are asymptomatic entirely and that it can make even healthy children very ill.

But no one deliberately exposed her, an immune-compromised child.

LuciusMalfoyisSmokingHot Mon 09-Dec-13 22:56:52

After looking at my spot ridden, exhausted and dehydrated 6 yr old DD, i cant understand deliberate exposure, DD is itchy and shattered, and sadly will miss her nativity play.

I've told my Dsis to not come over and see other Dsis im looking after and DD, because i really dont want her getting the virus and passing it to her children. Shes already had it, but she can still carry the virus.

LuciusMalfoyisSmokingHot Mon 09-Dec-13 23:01:39

Apparently, you cant spread it if you've already had it.

ZeViteVitchofCwismas Mon 09-Dec-13 23:06:12

expact it was horrid, I heard a hushed conversation about it as she arrived, and she wasn't being open about it, her and the host were good friends, I was taking my shoes off and happened to catch it. My heart started to pound, looking at my 6 month old thinking, god, i came here for a chat not to catch the fucking pox angry

So seconds later others arrived and her baby with possible pox was playing on the floor along side all of our babies, one lady had already had a nasty time of it with her older DC...and I knew that lady would'nt have told the other lady who was exposing us, it all put me in a very difficult and horrid situation.

Another one of the mums had been driven to the wall because of her DC having back to back illness, again her little DC was on the floor next to the possible pox carrier! It was a nightmare, so unbelievably selfish.

Bumble my baby got it months later and it was a fraught time, she did get a secondary infection, it was horrid. My one consolation was thank god I have not chosen to do this to her. I will be more than happy for her to get it when older and sturdier, but I think its disgraceful to expose tiny babies to it.

She still has a few scars now.

ZeViteVitchofCwismas Mon 09-Dec-13 23:07:47

Expat flowers

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 10-Dec-13 01:08:06


Yes you can. Its possible to get it more than once and you will be contagious on every occasion that you have it.

thegreylady Tue 10-Dec-13 08:53:51

It is quite hard reading this thread while you are looking after a child with cp. Yesterday dgs was reasonably ok, playing happily and watching some tv. He went a bit sleepy after lunch so I gave him Calpol and Piriton as advised by GP. This seemed to perk him up a bit. Last night dd bathed him with some peppermint and tea tree oil in the bath which was very soothing and she put Eurax on the spots.
Today should be his first speaking part in a Nativity play but he will miss it of course. How long do I need to worry about these horrendous complications? Atm new spots are still appearing. His temp hasn't been above 37.7 and is controlled by Calpol. He hasn't a great appetite but is sitting at the table and eating his meals. Dd is more or less giving him what he fancies eg fish fingers and cucumber followed by raspberries with yoghurt and honey.
I am including the detail to show that this isn't a desperately ill child atm but when can I be fairly sure he will be ok? How long is the danger period?

TimeIsAnIllusion Tue 10-Dec-13 10:51:01

My ds's complications began in the first 2-3 days of the first spots appearing. I didn't notice the temperature so much as the spots looking very red around the edges and he was extremely miserable. It got progressively worse.
If the spots start to look like a scab with a large red ring around the edge then go back to the dr.

bumbleymummy Tue 10-Dec-13 11:02:18

Grey lady sad It sounds like your DS is doing well so please try not to worry. Just watch out for the spots getting very red. I put tea tree on the redder ones on my DSs and they calmed down quite quickly and dried up. The first couple of days were the itchiest for them and they just had lots of time playing in a porridge bath. After that they were completely back to normal except for the spots!

37.7 isn't really a fever so I wouldn't bother with the paracetamol. There was a recent study that showed it can prolong the length of time it takes for the spots to crust over so I would just stick with soothing the itching for now.

SantaIKnowHimIKnowHim Tue 10-Dec-13 11:59:34

I can't get my head round why someone would DELIBERATELY want their child to catch an infectious disease and make them poorly. Absolutely ridiculous.
Yes, I 'get' that those who do it want their child to 'get it out of the way' but really?
What happens if they become seriously poorly with it? How would you feel knowing you'd deliberately exposed them to it?
It's an idiotic idea in my opinion. and one I definitely wouldn't do.

diplodocus Tue 10-Dec-13 12:20:07

Yes, the potential guilt would stop me deliberately exposing, but where do you draw the line? At the DD's pre-school there were regular outbreaks of CP at least once if not twice a year. It went through the group like wildfire. I knew by keeping DD at the pre-school during an outbreak there was a very high chance she would get it (and she did). Is that "willful exposure" or bowing to the inevitable?

puntasticusername Tue 10-Dec-13 12:27:22

Sorry, I have not RTFT but if the likelihood of catching it is that high, wouldn't you vaccinate?

diplodocus Tue 10-Dec-13 12:42:47

AS discussed in the thread earlier the decision to vaccinate is by no means straightforward. In hindsight, though, and now there is new evidence (this was some years ago) I think I probably would vaccinate privately.

puntasticusername Tue 10-Dec-13 13:27:37

Sorry, I knew I should have RTFT...I just couldn't immediately see how vaccinating would be potentially MORE risky than allowing (to whatever point of deliberate-ness) your child to catch the full-blown illness.

sleeplessbunny Tue 10-Dec-13 13:33:58

Seems like madness. If you're going to go to that trouble, why not vaccinate? A well proven vaccine has been available for years and is used routinely in other countries in Europe, USA and Aus. It is only available privately in UK, we paid £100 for our surgery to vaccinate DD (2 quick jabs 3 months apart). Less pain, stress and worry all round, I am a bit cross it is not available on the NHS though.

sleeplessbunny Tue 10-Dec-13 13:46:29

Just read some more of the thread. Some of the stories of children becoming seriously ill with chicken pox make me even more angry the NHS doesn't offer this vaccine routinely. "Not cost effective" .Well it seemed cost effective to me to pay £100 and have her jabbed rather than watch my child suffer, risk complications, and, oh, lose a week or two's pay while I stayed at home to look after her hmm

tiggytape Tue 10-Dec-13 14:04:23

The decision about vaccination in the UK is quite complicated.
Mainly it is money. Not enough children get seriously ill blocking hospital beds to make it worthwhile paying for everyone to be vaccinated. That's zero consolation if your child is one that ends up seriously or dangerously ill but it doesn’t' happen often enough for the cost to be deemed worthwhile.

In the US, money influenced the decision too but there, they count time lost off work as being more important since health bills aren't such a state concern. The concern in the states was that it is bad for the economy for every working parent to miss 2 weeks or more of work per child per dose of CP.

Also it is public perception in the UK
In the UK we've had a bumpy ride with childhood vaccines recently and are more questioning / suspicious of mass vaccinations that other countries who welcome such initiatives and respond well to government reassurance.
The USA started routine CP vaccinations in 1996 which wasn't a good time for the UK to think of following (around the same time as the MMR scandal here). In some areas CP vaccines are (or were) practically compulsory in the US as children couldn't attend school without them.
Parents in the UK won't stand for that. They don't have the same acceptance so there was a concern that adding another childhood vaccine would reduce the uptake of the whole lot (so leaving a child exposed to far more than just CP).

bumbleymummy Tue 10-Dec-13 14:04:38

SantaIKnow, what if you keep your child away from all the outbreaks and they end up catching it as an adult. What if your daughter contracts it during pregnancy it it affects your grandchild? Wouldn't you be feeling guilty about that and wishing they'd 'got it out of the way' in childhood?

bumbleymummy Tue 10-Dec-13 14:10:15

Why should the NHS be paying millions to vaccinate children against a disease that very rarely causes serious complications. The US uses the whole 'save money because you don't have to take time off work' angle to promote the vaccine over there. Yes, it's inconvenient but children get sick and having to take time off is just par for the course. It's usually around a week - not two - anyway.

bumbleymummy Tue 10-Dec-13 14:12:34

Just realised I repeated some of tiggy's points

tiggytape Tue 10-Dec-13 14:15:44

what if you keep your child away from all the outbreaks and they end up catching it as an adult.

Nobody can keep their child away from all the outbreaks - that is impossible

CP is present in the population and therefore, unless you literally keep a child indoors and away from all non-immune people until adulthood, you are never avoiding exposing them to CP.

Sending a child to school and cubs and allowing them to lead a normal life with the daily risk that they may encounter CP is a completely rational and sane response to the risk of CP (assuming your child is not immuno compromised in which case you may have to take more precautions)

It is in a different league to sending them to a pox party to be deliberately exposed. Nobody should (rationally) feel guilty if their child catches CP at school and has complications - that cannot be helped and the alternative of keeping them away from people all their lives is not viable.
However, taking them to a pox party, is not a rational response to the risk of CP or to the desirability of childhood exposure. It is just downright irresponsible. If they don’t catch CP as a child, then get them vaccinated as a young adult. You can’t play Russian roulette with their health by hoping to they get a mild dose from deliberate exposures.

Having continued reading the thread, I really don't understand why someone would rather their child caught a reasonably unpleasant and sometimes very dangerous illness, when they could just pay to vaccinate.

DD's vaccination cost £130 - hardly a fortune.

expatinscotland Tue 10-Dec-13 14:22:28

Why treat rare cancers on the NHS, then? Why introduce the pneumoccocal vaccine then, it's 'rare'? Why offer the HPV vaccine, HPV is almost endemic among sexually active humans? Why give babies a rotavirus vaccine, most have it without complications? Why treat rare diseases on it? What's a few kids fucked up for life or dead?

What an attitude!

MoominsYonisAreScary Tue 10-Dec-13 14:26:16

I have a friend who took her children to a cp party, then moaned and was upset for weeks when two of the 4 (all under 3) were really ill and miserable with it.

Wouldnt intentionally expose my dcs to it, especially the baby

MinionDave Tue 10-Dec-13 14:32:55

I was exposed to the chickenpox loads of times throughout my childhood but never caught it, my doctor did a bloodtest when I was pregnant as he didn't believe me when I told him I hadn't had it!

Anyway, fast forward to me having a 14 month old DS and and 5 month old DD and we ALL catch it at the same time. It was actually 6 weeks of hell, I was so incredibly ill, I couldn't even walk with the pain. I was exclusively bf so couldn't take any strong painkillers, and the only liquid I could drink was gaviscon due to my burning throat hmm

I get a bit worried when I hear babies under 12 months don't build up an immunity against it, because DD has got quite a few scars from it. Does anyone actually know if this is true or not?

badkitty Tue 10-Dec-13 15:02:45

I shouldn't have read this but please can someone say something to make me feel better - am stuck at home with Ds1 who has chicken pox, Ds2 (2.5) and DD(5months) - there is absolutely nothing I can do to stop the little ones getting it and am sick with worry about it because I can't keep them safe. sad What can I do? Does breastfeeding DD mean that she will get some of my antibodies so maybe not be so ill?

bumbleymummy Tue 10-Dec-13 15:26:34

Yes twiggy, I know that it would be difficult to avoid, but apparently we should all be trying to do this because exposing our children to chickenpox is neglectful and idiotic etc etc. I have already said that it is endemic in the UK and most people will contract it during childhood. My response was to Santa who was asking how guilty you would feel if your child had a serious complication after you had exposed them. My point was that if, as a parent, you made every attempt to prevent your child from catching CP and this meant that they then contracted it as an adult then you would feel guilty about that too.

charley, as others have mentioned, vaccines don't always work, immunity from them can wane and you could be left vulnerable as an adult. Plus, vaccines carry a risk too - how do you know your child won't have a serious reaction to the vaccine?

Expat - Treating cancer on the NHS is not the same as introducing a vaccine program. Yes, meningitis is rare but it is still more common that complications from CP and the consequences of it are ore likely to be severe. There is already a question mark about the HPV vaccine among many people in public health. I will agree with you that the rotavirus vaccine seems unnecessary. Again, treatment of disease is different to preventing disease. No one is saying that you shouldn't treat a child if they do develop complications from CP. As for "what's a few kids fucked up or dead?" Don't be ridiculous - no one is saying that but rolling out a mass vaccination program to prevent a few cases of CP that do develop complications is a bit extreme. Why not throw all that money into figuring out a better way to treat the complications if they do develop.

bad kitty, the stories on this thread are not representative of chickenpox in general. Please visit the NHS website for reassurance. Most people, including me, can tell you that their children came through CP with no problems. Yes, if you have immunity to CP yourself then you will be passing some on to your baby so she may not get it at all or she may have it mildly - this may mean that she gets it again when she's a bit older but hopefully that will reassure you a bit for now.

Bumblemummy, here's some information from the CDC on the vaccine

It certainly looks effective to me and as to duration that looks pretty good too. What it boils down to is cost. The NHS won't pay - they are more likely to include the Meningitis B vaccine in the immunisation schedule next.

I would rather take a very small risk on a reaction to the vaccine - which is only a tiny dose - than risk a full blown infection that could have much more serious consequences. Here is some information on side-effects to the vaccine.

Do you not understand that some people would prefer to not watch their children suffer for two weeks from a 'mild' illness that causes them a lot of pain and covers them in blisters.

I am one of those unwilling people and had no issue with paying for the vaccination, nor for that matter the Men B which DD had her first dose of on Saturday.

bumbleymummy Tue 10-Dec-13 16:49:28

charley - it's not typically 2 weeks - it's usually 2-3 of days of feeling ill followed by a few extra days for the spots to dry up so they aren't contagious. That is the usual course of the disease for the vast majority of children. I understand that it is not nice to see your child unwell with anything - that does not mean that I would rush out and get a vaccine against it without thinking through the potential consequences.

Re effectiveness and duration:
"From the second to eighth year after vaccination, the vaccine effectiveness remained stable at 81 to 86%."

So we only know that it is 81-86% effective for 8 years so far. So that would take most children into their early teens/adulthood depending on when they get it - not so great if it starts to wane then when complications are more likely and they are usually more serious. (As has already been discussed on the thread)

What exactly looks good to you?

"It is not known how long a vaccinated person is protected against varicella." ?

or are you looking at the 10-20 years (bit of a gap there - when should you get a booster?) and skipping over the part where it says:

"But, these studies were done before the vaccine was widely used and when infection with wild-type varicella was still very common."

I'm not sure what you mean by a 'tiny dose' of a vaccine - a vaccine is a vaccine. They all carry risks. Just have people have been saying that you don't know how likely your child is to react badly to CP, you don't know how likely they are to react badly to the vaccine either. According to the NHS link - the risk of a serious complication from the vaccine (e.g.. anaphylaxis) is less than 1 in 100,000. I believe I quoted the risk of serious complications from CP earlier as being 0.3 in 100,000. The risk of less serious complications from the vaccine such as developing a rash are 1 in 10. Having CP is also more effective at providing lifelong protection (over 90%) without having to worry about when it will wane (with a range of 10 years!).

Ah, a pessimist. You see I read that information with a more optimistic outlook. 81-86% sounds very good to me after eight years. Other studies in Japan, where they have been vaccinating since 1988, show no decline in effectiveness after twenty years.

I think this compares well to tetanus and diphtheria which only last 5-10 years. The flu vaccine only lasts one year.

As to boosters, yes she will have them if the medical community suggest this is necessary. She will also have natural boosters from coming into contact with children with chickenpox.

By 'tiny dose' I meant a very small amount of live virus.

What looks good to me is my DD not dying or suffering serious disability from a disease that I could have vaccinated for.

Never mind 8 years what about 25 years or 50? I'm just glad I had it as a child when it was safer.

I was so ill with CP I had to take a couple of days off school and watch TV.

bumbleymummy Tue 10-Dec-13 21:00:52

Lol! I don't think that's being pessimistic - just realistic! smile As I pointed out - 8-10 years could mean waning immunity when you are more at risk of complications. Having CP gives lifelong immunity in over 90% of people - no need for boosters.(which, as vaccines, also carry a risk.)

New guidelines for tetanus are 5 shots in a lifetime - not every 10 years. Although reading about the tetanus vaccine is very interesting.Very few cases of tetanus annually and nearly half of the cases are up to date. I wonder will we see a new vaccine soon.

If you vaccinate everyone then those natural boosters won't be there ;)

If you look at the figures, your daughter is as likely(if not more likely) to die or suffer a serious complication from the vaccine as she is from the disease. Add up all those boosters over the years and factor in the risk of her not being immune anyway...

LuciusMalfoyisSmokingHot Tue 10-Dec-13 21:28:14

Question about Chicken pox, DD started first having spots last wednesday, most are all crusted over now, when is it safe to take DD out again?

Lillilly Tue 10-Dec-13 21:29:36

You could flip this thread , go back 15 years and we could be talking about the MMR. I remember the conversations, lots of anecdotes about horrific effects of the jab, people taking the view that it isn't worth the risk, and people saying they couldn't live with themselves if the jab meant something happened to their child...

bumbleymummy Tue 10-Dec-13 21:38:56

Lucius, you have to wait until the last one has crusted. Hopefully it won't take too much longer if she started last Wednesday.

Lillly, I don't really think they're comparable because the risk of complications from CP is less than the risk of complications from measles. While people may have delayed, or opted for singles, most people still vaccinated against measles because the risk of complications from the vaccine was less than the risk of complications for measles (for some children this was not the case the parents made a different decision).

In this case, the risk of complications from CP is very small and, in fact, seems to be less than the risk of having a serious reaction to the vaccine. It seems strange to me that people are prepared to take the risk with the vaccine and assume that their child will not have a bad reaction to it but are worried about their child having severe complications from CP - you don't know either way and the odds are actually in the favour of CP (particularly when you take boosters throughout life into consideration as well)

Also worth noting that the CP vaccine is not as effective in adults so if you do need a booster in later life it is less likely to work for you and you may end up completely unprotected in adulthood.

ProudAS Tue 10-Dec-13 22:31:09

It seems that catching CP is the best form of immunisation (other than in babies) which is why some people want their DC to get it over with.

DH had it as an adult and wishes he had been exposed as a child. - hpa says 5 days from spots first appearing

ProudAS, he probably was exposed as a child but just didnt get it.

ProudAS Wed 11-Dec-13 07:03:07

I doubt he went through childhood without any exposure but feels he may have got off more lightly with deliberate exposure as a child.

I wouldn't comment on any mothers choice to actively seek out chicken pox infection, or not, nut would say that trying to avoid every infection is not the wisest course.

My mother kept me as protected from infections as much she possibly could, as a child.
As a result, I caught everything from my children (this was pre MMR!!)
I almost died from cp, which went internally.
I was so ill with mumps, and the aftermath, that I couldn't care for my baby for weeks.
Adults - as a general rule - are far more sick than children if they get 'childhood' illnesses. Where cp affects internal areas, 1 in 8 adults die. (sorry, can't ref that stat ...straight from the consultant who treated me)

MrsDeVere Wed 11-Dec-13 07:45:58

I can't find anything that supports that figure.
I would think that I very high number like that would be all over the place.

Children get CP internally too. It is not an adult complication.

As children are generally more vulnerable than adults you would think that it would make CP more dangerous in that group wouldn't you?

Have just done a quick whizz through and located this info here

In our study, the frequency of respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation was 42%, a finding that indicates that patients with Varicella pneumonia are at high risk for respiratory failure and subsequently require mechanical ventilation. With supportive management, the majority of them recovered. The overall mortality rate was 5.3%, which is lower than the reported 10-33% in the literature. Improvement in mortality is likely to be the result of several factors, including better respiratory support in ICUs, early diagnosis and institution of acyclovir therapy.[2] However, all patients in this study were treated with acyclovir, which may explain the low mortality rate.

This study ran 1992-2005, so I assume the higher mortality referred to was the data the consultant referenced, as I was ill in '92. The reasons for improved stats are clear...........and very good to see smile

bumbleymummy Wed 11-Dec-13 08:17:33

You would think that MrsDV but complications are more common and usually more serious in adults NHS
"Adults with the virus are more likely to be admitted into hospital. Approximately 5-14% of adults with chickenpox develop lung problems, such as pneumonia. If you smoke, your risk of developing lung problems is much greater."

It's the same for most childhood illnesses - measles, mumps etc - they are more serious in adulthood.

bumbleymummy Wed 11-Dec-13 08:18:42

Sorry X-post HaveA. That's very interesting.

thegreylady Wed 11-Dec-13 08:36:41

Dd just rang to say she is staying at home with dgs today as she doesn't like the look of one of the spots near his eye. She says he is still quite chipper in himself but very uncomfortable. How long do the spots keep on coming out?

Also interesting, from Journal of Infectious Diseases
Despite declining fatality rates, in 1990–1994, adults had a risk 25 times greater and infants had a risk 4 times greater of dying from varicella than did children 1–4 years old, and most people who died of varicella were previously healthy. Varicella deaths are now preventable by vaccine

...and, again, thank goodness medical research continues to advance.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 11-Dec-13 09:04:26

I misread your initial post as 1 in 8 adults who get cp die. Was confused for a while.

Those of you who think cp parties are a great idea, why do you think doctors no longer say go for it,they used to before the ed of the 70's nowadays if you asked about it at the minimum you would get that look they do (the one that makes you squirm and go red).

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 11-Dec-13 09:06:55

Did you omit a word there?

Perfectly healthy smokers? Or do they no longer say its a complication that mainly effects pregnant women (the more pregnant the more likely) and smokers?

Sock the second extract was from a different journal entry ... here and doesn't mention smoking.
It does say 'previously' healthy, though, not 'perfectly', so perhaps it covers those who may have smoking related issues, but insufficient to have required any medical treatments?
Not my article so can't clarify sad Full text may offer more.

MrsDeVere Wed 11-Dec-13 09:41:16

The studies I have looked at quickly mention pneumonia as the reason for death rates.
Smoking increases the risk.

I haven't seen the age range the studies were done on but if they are 18 - 100 they would be seriously skewed.

Don't have the time to go back and read through again, but seem to recall the elderly stats were run as a separate study.
The first link clearly dealt with degree that Varicella pneumonia stats were influenced by smoking, the second did not but full text may well do......... again, I do not have time to run the research this morning.

Thank you for prompting me to go back and confirm the original consultant info though. Times have moved on, as have drugs, and it is very good news that the stats have improved a bit for adult deaths from severe cp.

DazzleU Wed 11-Dec-13 10:24:13

Why should the NHS be paying millions to vaccinate children against a disease that very rarely causes serious complications.

There a whole article saying the same about shingles vaccine.

I had one DGP die from shingles but two more relative have it one in 80s and one in 60s. The two that were ill were in pain for months and very ill for months - which had knock on effects to other family members. 80 year old needed more support from working relatives and 60 year old was provide free around school childcare and acting as carer for another relative.

One reason to vaccinate against chickenpox is that when those DC are old they won't, or much much less likely to develop, shingles.

Sockreturningpixie, Regardless of the pros and cons of CP Parties I don't think GPs would dare recommend them now. Everybody sues everybody these days.

I'm not completely for or against them myself. I just think that someone who weighs the risk and decides it's safer that way is not a moron as some posters earlier were saying.

If they could vaccinate and guarantee that they won't get it as an adult that would be a whole new situation.

thegreylady Sun 15-Dec-13 10:05:01

Just to say that when dd took dgs to the GP last week a mum with two children, a baby and a two year old, came over and asked if he had chickenpox. Dd confirmed this and the mum said,"I hope my two catch it, I want them to have it before they start school." She was dissuaded from encouraging dgs to "Give the baby a cuddle!" when dd explained that the two little ones would probably be ill over Christmas!
The good news is that the doctor said dgs' spots were almost all crusted over and provided no new ones appeared he could go back to school on Monday. He gave Fugicin ointment for the two that looked a bit dodgy and they are now better.
Thank God. That was the youngest of my dgc and the last to get cp. Some of the things I have read here have changed my perception of what I always viewed as a fairly mild childhood illness. I will never forget reading ClutchingPearls account of her little boys traumatic experience last year, from when he was "still sleeping" until she finally got him home. I was wondering how they were.

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