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Chicken pox parties - are these really A Bad Thing?
Chicken pox is so contagious before the spots come out that sending your child to nursery or playgroup in the spring is just about like sending them to a party! Dd3 hasn't got it yet but i'm wondering if that's because she's still breastfed and has enough immunity from me? Dd1 was 3 when she caught it but my friends son got to 5 before he got it. If they don't get it pre-school they nearly always get it at school. The difference is that chicken pox is always around in the community and swine flu isn't - it's a new outbreak of a virus that a large majority of the population don't have immunity to. Very differnt from chicken pox.
I wouldn't put my children deliberately in the path of chicken pox, it can be very nasty, and if I'd deliberately exposed them and they had complications I'd never forgive myself. But I haven't stressed unduly if they are in contact with it - it's more or less inevitable at some point. As Nothernlurker says, it's most contagious before you know they have it, so if you send your dcs to school when there's an epidemic, they are pretty much guaranteed to catch it, so what are you meant to do?
You can't guarantee when they'll get it. dd has been exposed many many times - she caught it a couple of weeks ago.
Sods law says they'll get it at the most inconvenient time possible <said bitterly, as I try and reschedule next week's holiday as ds has gone to bed showing all the symptoms>.
My friend's DS nearly died of chicken pox and while I know that this is incredibly rare, I will never expose any of my DCs to it on purpose. Nor would I bring DS1 and DD round to a friend's so her daughter could catch it - couldn't live with the potential (but to me, very real) serious consequences.
I can remember having CP when I was about 4 or 5, and it wasn't nice (I was completely covered in spots). So 3 year old DD had the CP vaccination a few weeks ago. So now I don't have to panic every time I see someone who looks a bit spotty !!!
My DH had the CP vaccination a few months ago cause he's 32 and has never had it. Now we have DS and DC2 on the way, he was more likely to come into contact with it and wanted to avoid it - it cost £75!!!
Started another thread on pretty much this subject before I noticed this one (sorry ) but my situation is a bit different as I am 14 weeks pregnant...
I've had my immunity checked stillstanding and know for sure that I am immune. From what I've read, my immunity would protect unborn DC2. I'm really worried about how I'd cope if DS got it just after DC2 is born though...
My husband almost died of cp two years ago, ended up with a temp of 41.5 for 24 hrs and it would not come down. He ended up with multi organ failure in ITU, as the spots infected his organs. Luckily due to excellent and prompt medical care he came through it. I would not take my daughter to a cp party but would pay for the vaccine
My worry about the vaccine (and the reason I decided not to give it to the dcs) is that no-one quite knows whether it confers life long immunity. At the moment, the advice is that it may decline over time, meaning that at some point in the future you won't be protected. Fine if I'm around in 25 years to nag them to get re-immunised, but not if I'm not and they forget.
Yes, there are mixed views about the vaccine - and yes, there is still a chance of getting it anyway, although the symptoms are then usually very mild. I decided that it was best for my DD, but it's a very personal decision (like a lot of medical decisions...)