Is it true that people are deliberately infecting their children with the chickenpox virus, to gain immunity against the virus for life? Moreover, are they really giving their children infected lollipops to suck on? How disconcerting can this get?
How far can overprotective parenting go? How can parents do bizarre things like deliberately infecting their child with a virus, to gain immunity? Well, some parents doubt the efficacy of vaccinations and have found, what they think is the best way to protect their children. They hold pox parties where their child interacts with a child infected with chickenpox and contracts the infection. Then again, the latest method is by giving their children lollipops to suck on, which have been smothered by the saliva of a child, infected with chickenpox.
Chickenpox Lollipops Fad
Pox parties have been going on for quite a long time now, wherein, the parents of a child infected with chickenpox, invite children in the neighborhood for a party. The sole purpose of this party being, the other children contract the virus as well. Parents of these children believe contracting this disease at a young age, will help gain the immunity they need for the rest of their lives. Moreover, they believe exposing their children to a sick child, is far better than getting vaccinated.
Well, if this was weird enough, check the next level that parents would push, to ensure their children contracted the disease. Parents are using Facebook as a platform to avail chickenpox-infected lollipops and other infected items. A parent whose child already has chickenpox, gets her child to smother some lollipops with saliva and sells them on Facebook. The infected items are then delivered by mail. The kids at the receiving end, lick the already smothered lollipops and contract the disease. Parents went so frenzy over the whole issue, that they were even willing to pay $50 over an infected lollipop.
Are Chickenpox Lollipops Safe?
The anti-vaccine hysteria has spearheaded this crazy chickenpox lollipop fad. The reports about autism being linked to vaccination, have caused people to refrain from vaccinating their kids. Those reports have long been nullified, however, the fear from the parents’ hearts have not been able to be stilled. They continue to believe it is better to stay away from vaccines. Parents may have good intentions while doing this, however, how safe is it?
Feeding your child disease-ridden candies simply goes against common sense. Forget the unseen implications of licking infected lollipops, just the thought of giving your child a burger at McDonald’s, that the waiter has spat upon, will make one cringe. Who would feed anything like that to his or her child? It’s simply ridiculous! We all know saliva is a reservoir for all kinds of bacteria and viruses, capable of spearheading all kinds of diseases. So why would we do an unhygienic thing, such as getting our kids to lick an already licked lollipop?
Increases Risk of Contracting Other Diseases
Now, for the unseen implications of licking an infected lollipop. According to Dr. Tim Jones, Tennessee’s state epidemiologist, infecting kids with vials of saliva or chickenpox-infected candies, from complete strangers can prove to be lethal. The infected lollipops may also be infected by other dangerous illnesses, like hepatitis or influenza. Let alone these diseases, since people are ordering chickenpox-infected lollipops from absolute strangers, nobody knows what kinds of potential disease-causing bacteria and viruses are present in that piece of candy. Dr. Salvadori, from London Health Sciences Centre, states that licking infected lollipops puts kids at risk of all kinds of germs.
Death Due to Chickenpox
Getting exposed to a mild form of chickenpox is alright. It results in a mild attack of chickenpox and goes away without causing any havoc. However, some children are not so privileged. They end up with serious complications like pneumonia, brain inflammation, encephalitis, etc. These complications can also result in death of the child. Before the chickenpox vaccine was introduced, about hundred children were seen to die every year due to chickenpox.
Moreover, children on chemotherapy and other medication affecting the immune system, cannot get vaccinated. If children with chickenpox transmit the disease to them, they will not be able to withstand the disease. This will be nothing but murdering another child. So triggering chickenpox is not a safe thing to do. You cannot be sure how your child’s body will cope with the virus (not to mention the safety of those around). It’s safer to take the vaccination and save your child from a severe case of chickenpox.
How Effective is the Chickenpox Lollipop?
Since the virus causing chickenpox is transmitted effectively through the air, chickenpox lollipops may not be as effective as parents believe. The lollipop is infectious, if it is licked as soon as the lollipop has been smothered with the saliva, of an infected person. However, after the lollipop has dried, there are slim chances for the virus to survive.
According to Dr. Wilbert Mason, an infectious disease expert at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the chickenpox virus requires cells to live in. These cells are present in saliva, which is how the virus does get transmitted by it. However, they are not likely to survive for long. By the time the lollipop is mailed to the respective child, the chances of survival of the chickenpox virus may be very slim. Moreover, the chances of viruses causing other dangerous diseases, being transferred to the child are greater.
The U.S. Government doesn’t think so! It is a federal crime to send viruses across the states in the U.S. Moreover, it is illegal to tamper with consumer products. If you come across anybody offering you such chickenpox lollipops or receive pox mails in your inbox, stay away from them. Don’t believe their baseless claims. Your child does not need such ridiculous means to live a healthy life. Vaccinate your child and be free from the worries, that plague some parents so easily.