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A New And Dangerous ‘Hand Me Down’; Diseases That Kill

by | October 31, 2018

Hand-me-downs are a great way to share things, but there are new dangerous hand-me-downs making the rounds. Diseases that kill. Pop-up Pox parties are making a resurgence across the U.S.A.

Pox parties were common back in the day, at least until the varicella zoster vaccine came out in 1995, which made the parties absolute. Parents would intentionally expose their kids to the virus to build up their immunity.

A few decades ago, it wasn’t uncommon for parents to bring their kids around to a friend’s house when a neighborhood child developed the classic itchy, red, blistery rash of chickenpox, a disease caused by the varicella zoster virus.

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Since the virus is extremely contagious, it can be spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through touching the oozing blisters, exposing your child to a person with chickenpox was usually good enough to infect them. And since most kids would get it anyway at that time, parents figured why not catch it and get it over with?

The disease can lead to more complications for teens and adults than in young children, so having it in childhood and developing an immunity to prevent them from getting it when they’re older seemed like a no-brainer. As most parents would do whatever it takes to prevent their children from contracting the disease, especially diseases that kill if they encounters complications, a group of parents in Colorado, who are part of the growing anti-vaxxer movement, believe infecting their children with it is safer.

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This group of parents in Colorado are arranging “Pox Parties” in order to expose their children to chicken pox through a method referred to as “tenting”. A technique that was used by families decades ago in an attempt to build up their kids’ natural immunity to viruses.

A Colorado TV station is reporting that Boulder parents are organizing a Chicken Pox play date to expose their children to the highly contagious disease. (Photo: Getty Images)

The planning of a chickenpox party.

An NBC affiliate reported that it was sent screenshots from a private Facebook group that showed the preferred method of a chickenpox party

The poster says for the most effective chickenpox party:

  • Make a comfy tent fort of blankets and enclose the children inside.
  • Allow the children to breathe each other’s exhaled breath for 30 minutes.
  • Add glow sticks, Legos and flashlights for fun.
  • “Then let the party begin!”
  • “Bonus for sharing snacks out of the same bowl.”
diseases that kill
Screenshots sent to 9news.

What’s startling is, that the group are following advice from ‘a friend that works at the CDC’ and the UK’s NHS varicella-zoster even though both the CDC and the NHS advise against this approach, especially for diseases that kill if complications arise.

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‘I have been swamped with requests to have my daughter share chickenpox, and I can accommodate as many requests as possible,’ one mother wrote in the private Facebook group.

‘We seem to have a pretty contagious wild virus here that started when my husband came down with the shingles around the middle of September,’ she added.

‘It seems to be a week or so before you notice results.’

She then goes on to offer specific times and days of the week when she can host visitors.

“Bring the host mom something by way of thx. A casserole or tp or something!’ she adds as if it’s a pox potluck party.

The seriously and overlooked risk with chickenpox, though, is that the virus can lead to complications, including pneumonia, encephalitis, and group A strep, all of which can prove fatal in young, vulnerable, developing children.

Diseases that kill are nothing to mess around with. If you are seeking advice, please always contact your doctor.

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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, USA | Contactable via Julie@raisevegan.com

Categories: Parenting
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