An unsafe new practice is on the rise as some parents are electing not to get their children immunized against chickenpox.
Incorrectly believing that vaccination will increase their child’s risk of autism or that having the disease itself instead of the vaccine provides stronger immunity, parents are looking for other ways to infect their children with the illness.
Recently a Tennessee mother gained national attention for reportedly selling chickenpox infected lollipops, Q-tips and spit infected with chickenpox to parents hoping to avoid the chickenpox vaccine. Not only is this illegal – it’s unsafe.
Experts say that this scheme is a bad idea for two reasons. First, it’s unlikely that the chickenpox virus would survive the shipment, but other more dangerous viruses, like hepatitis, might. Second, if your child is successfully infected from these substances, he or she could be at risk for serious complications, which may lead to hospitalization. Moreover, a mild case of the chickenpox from a lollipop could expose other, unvaccinated individuals to the virus and put them at risk for developing a life-threatening form of the disease.
At the end of the day, the best way to protect children from the chickenpox isn’t a “natural” immunity from a stranger’s lollipop – it’s making sure they receive all their vaccinations on time.
Source: NPR “Family Doc Says No To Perilous Chickenpox Pops”