A number of parents in California are now considering holding what they are calling “measles parties,” which are social gatherings where their unvaccinated kids can be in contact with kids who are infected. Reportedly this is an effort to increase their childrens' resistance to this infectious disease.
A mom who has made the decision to keep her two kids unvaccinated, Julie Schiffman, stated that she was recently invited to a measles party. The friend offered the arrangement stating she could schedule a play date with a child currently infected with measles. This offer was declined by Schiffman. She went on to state that this is a decision she will leave to their children down the road, when they are able to access the dangers and risks on their own.
Prior to the use of the chicken pox vaccine, this tactic of natural infections was a popular method for parents who wanted to ensure their child got the disease while they were young, ensuring it would be less severed. Now, even though there is a vaccine available that can prevent the disease, this practice is still used among parents who do not necessarily trust the governments suggested vaccine schedule.
With social media, planning these “pox parties” are easier than ever. This idea is also used for other diseases as well, including swine flu parties, which were hosted back in 2009. This was in an effort to help their kids develop a milder strain of the disease and then be immune to it down the road.