Do you remember when you were in grade school and everyone’s mom would schedule a play date with the kid with Chickenpox on a Saturday night? To an innocent second grader, this seemed like a fun filled night full of adventure and stories to tell at school on Monday. The only problem with telling the stories on Monday would be that there would be no school to attend. You would have to stay home, watch cartoons, and slather yourself in pink Calamine lotion for the next week because the itchy red dots had manifested atop of your skin.
While Chickenpox parties have become a thing of the past, over-eager mothers have turned to a new solution to infect their children with the Chickenpox virus. According to a report on MSNBC, more parents are turning to infected lollipops in order to get their children infected with the disease. The common thought has been that it is better to get it out of the way at an early age instead of having to deal with it as an adult. And what better way can you convince a child to willingly infect themselves with a harmful and contagious outbreak than giving them candy?
According to a report from CTV, many family doctors are extremely wary about using lollipops as an effective method to control Chickenpox epidemics in local communities. Some of those selling the contaminated lollipops are attempting to do so by mail, FedEx, and UPS, which is a federal offense and taken very seriously.
While parents are turning to untested medical methods in order to curb Chickenpox outbreaks, the irony is that there has been a vaccine available to combat the disease for a long time. Medical researchers like Huntingdon Life Sciences and other extensive research facilities have been testing the most effective and safest ways to administer complicated inoculations for decades.
One of the biggest reasons why parents are not getting their children inoculated against the Chickenpox at an early age is the fear of mercury levels present that can lead to dangerous and debilitating conditions like autism. While the media likes to play up any story it can in order to draw attention and spark debate, the theory is not based on peer-reviewed scientific principles.
Giving Chickenpox to a young child is not just some benign rite of passage that parents should be doling out like they do with cough drops (which shouldn’t be doled out either). According the the Livestrong website, over 4 million people caught the disease every year before the vaccine was officially on the market. Of those 4 million, some doctors reported severe cases of encephalitis, pneumonia, bacterial infection, and even death.
With the availability of vaccines, parents who expose their children to unknown germs form lollipops possibly handled by strangers are more irresponsible than those selling the infected items. It should be a crime to actually consider doing this to your child when all medical evidence proves that receiving a simple vaccine as an infant or toddler will work just as well. Pretty soon parents will need to check Halloween candy for biological pathogens instead of razorblades.