Are chicken pox parties still a thing?

Are chicken pox parties still a thing?

Are the good old days of “chicken pox parties” a better option than immunization?

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin recently said he exposed his nine children to the disease, raising the idea again in the media. It was a common practice before the vaccine became available.

“That may have been the practice before the vaccine, but it makes no sense today,” says Dr. Kevin Dahlman, a pediatrician and medical director of Aurora Children’s Health. “The premise that your children are miserable for a few days, but all will be fine is like saying , ‘I let my child ride in the car without seat belts, and since we didn’t have an accident, it’s not a problem.’”

Dr. Dahlman says parents who don’t immunize their children are putting them at unnecessary risk. Vaccines for childhood diseases are safe and effective.

“What parent wants to put their child at risk for the worst-case scenario?” asks Dr. Dahlman. “While the disease can clear up quickly, in some cases, chicken pox can lead to bacterial infections, and in some, even a more severe complication that can cause irreversible brain damage.”

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One Comment

  1. Chickenpox also creates the possibility of varicella zoster recurrence, aka shingles, which vaccination does not.

About the Author

Evonne Woloshyn
Evonne Woloshyn

Evonne Woloshyn, health enews contributor, is director of public affairs at Advocate Children's Hospital. Evonne began her career as an anchor and reporter in broadcast news. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in health care marketing in both Ohio and Illinois. Evonne loves to travel, spend time with family and is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan!