A Facebook page named “Find a Pox Party in Your Area” is currently under-fire by the media and medical experts alike over it’s unethical practices. What is a “pox party” I hear you ask? Well it’s a community of parents who try and willingly infect their children with chicken pox by exposing them to belongings of children that are currently infected by the illness. The FB users request items such as used lollipops/suckers covered with infected saliva, items of clothing and even wet rags covered in infected saliva. Yuck!
The theory is that by allowing them to contract the illness naturally, it will help increase their immune systems. Vaccines are available for the illness, but some parents are choosing to let them catch it the old fashioned way because they believe giving kids too many vaccinations is bad for them. The problem is, by mailing people the virus they’re actually breaking the law. Here are a couple of posts left on the page’s wall:
One post reads: “I got a Pox Package in mail just moments ago. I have two lollipops and a wet rag and spit.”
A mom chimes in: “This is a federal offense to intentionally mail a contagion.”
Another woman offers up some advice, “Tuck it inside a zip lock baggy and then put the baggy in the envelope Don’t put anything identifying it as pox.”
Experts have this to say on the subject:
“If you have a young child over to your house specifically to get chicken pox, I don’t think anyone would like to really consider what would happen if that child ended up being hospitalized,” Elizabeth Jacobs from the University of Arizona
College of Public Health said.“This is dangerous,” Dr. A.D. Jacobson, the chief of ambulatory pediatrics at Phoenix Children’s Hospital said. Dr. Jacobson added that chicken pox is extremely contagious and that it’s unwise to send it via mail.
It really is a strange story. I think as a society today we tend to wrap up our children in bubble wrap and shelter them from germs too much. When I was a child I was always playing in the dirt and getting messy. And I’m sure it made me sick from time to time. Heck, I even had chicken pox as a kid and I believe I’m better for it. As a vaccine-trigger-happy society I think we’re opening up problems to today’s young-uns to where they may have weaker immune systems when they grow older. I’m not basing this on any particular medical study, this is just how I see things.
But I have to admit that the idea repulses me. Sending viruses in a jiffy bag? Shoving secondhand lollipops into a child’s mouth that has been slobbered on by a sick kid? No thanks! I think their hearts are in the right place, they’re just a little misguided.