Passing Chicken Pox Through Lollipops

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Some parents say it's a strange and growing trend: parents who don't want to give their kids the chicken pox vaccine are getting candy online and through the mail from strangers, hoping it'll naturally immunize them.

11 News talked to doctors and nurses who said this wasn't only a bad idea, but it's also dangerous.

Everyone we talked to said parents do have the right not to have their kids vaccinated for chicken pox. But by hoping kids will obtain a natural immunity from lollipops, licked by other children they may not know, opens them up to a lot more danger than good.

Kids get lollipops for Halloween, for good grades at school, and sometimes even after a doctor's visit. Now, doctors tell 11 News they hope parents will steer clear of these so-called “chicken pox lollipops.”

"Who knows how they'll make them, what they'll put in them, how they'll sell them," one mother said.

Online and even on Facebook, groups like "Find a Pox Party in Your Area" are giving people ideas and way to connect on how they can expose their kids to the disease and naturally create immunity.

The idea is to get a lollipop by mail, licked by another child who has chicken pox, then give it to your kids. Doctors we talked to said when exposed this way, it may not create immunity. In fact it can cause the chicken pox, or even expose your kids to other bacteria and viruses.

"I would never do it through the mail not knowing exactly what it was," another mother said.

Without the vaccine, kids who contract chicken pox will most likely never have it again, but it can resurface as shingles later in life.

"I would not make that suggestion whatsoever," an AFA nurse told us.

Doctors said most complications from chicken pox happen after kids turn 5 years old.

In all 50 states, schools require kids to have proof they've either had the chicken pox or had the vaccine.

There are some exceptions in our state for those parents who don't get the vaccine because of religious beliefs.

It is a federal crime to send diseases, viruses or a contagion through the post office or any mail transport service.