Posted Nov 29, 2011 12:51 am CST
Thinking to protect their children against a vaccine some are fearful of, parents have put an Internet twist on a longtime custom of intentionally infecting their kids with chicken pox.
But this is a bad idea for a number of reasons, experts warn. Among them, it is a federal offense to send virus-infected items through the mail for so-called pox parties, reports the Palm Beach Post.
Meanwhile, the disease itself, although rarely serious, is statistically more dangerous than the vaccine.
“I tell them I’ve had four cases in 30 years that were really severe. Two had severe scarring. I remember nearly crying,” says Dr. Daniel Kraft, a Boynton Beach, Fla., pediatrician. “I still remember their names. I had one child who had seizures, and one who had meningitis.”
Occasionally, chicken pox can also be fatal.