If you hear that chicken pox is going around your child’s school, you may not worry because everyone gets chicken pox, right?
You’ve probably even heard that some people purposely expose their children to chicken pox.
But doctors are warning parents about “chicken pox parties,” saying this is not something to take lightly.
“The itchy benign illness that many of us remember from childhood now is an illness that, in its wild strain, can kill.”
Dr. Ellen Rome is head of the Center for Adolescent Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital. Several years ago, she remembers a 2-year-old child who died -- and the only thing wrong was chicken pox.
When people started bragging about purposely exposing kids on Facebook parenting groups a few years ago, doctors kicked the warnings into high gear.
“People used to think of chicken pox as a rite of passage., Nowadays, we think of it as an opportunity missed to be better vaccinated,” Dr. Rome said.
Unless you’re anti-vaccination, your children received a shot as a newborn and a second booster shot before kindergarten. Those shots keep them protected for life.
“Those kids who are vaccinated, if they get a wild form of chicken pox on top of it, get a milder illness. Maybe 10 days instead of three weeks.”