I consider myself to be a pretty groovy mom – “up” on all of the hip trends  and far out crazes of today’s culture.  I can boogie with the best of them and have never passed up a trip to Funky Town. But the other day I ran across a tidbit in the news that had me questioning my conventional coolness:

Parents Warned About Mail Order Chicken Pox Lollipops

Huh?…silly old fashioned me, I was familiar with the standard cherry, grape, orange, and even that chic new pomegranate sucker that Tootsie Pop is now marketing, but chicken pox?  Nope. As it turns out, some mom in Nashville, Tennessee made headlines after investigators discovered that she was peddling the new lolly “flavor” from her house and was hawking them for a premium price.

You see, apparently there is a fairly large population of parents out there who believe the chicken pox vaccine is risky and dangerous and that actually getting sick with the disease is far less worrisome. The new trend is to connect with Facebook groups such as “Find a Pox Party in Your Area,” which offers people a way to expose their wee little ones to chicken pox (and I’m sure an assortment of other trendy germs) via contagious children or their contaminated  “stuff. ”

The enterprising Nashville mom just took it one step further and decided to monetize on little Billy’s drool by having her  kid (or someone else’s, who knows?) slobber all over a sucker before snatching it away from him, packing it up in a box, and sending it  to say, Sally’s mom 500 miles away. Once the sucker had arrived at its destination, Sally would allegedly be able to contract the disease as she watched Smurf reruns and slurped on the sucker.

What’s more is that Nashville Mom was selling them for $50 a pop (no pun intended) before the authorities knocked on the door of her workshop, wagging their fingers at her, informing her that the virus factory she was operating out of her living room was illegal.  Personally, I’m sorta thinking that customers of the microbe-laden lollipops should have considered a free alternative…a convenient trip to Walmart to lick shopping cart handles.

So call me evil because yes…I did indeed have my kids vaccinated for chicken pox. And yes, I know kids who get vaccinated run certain risks. But I also know that the worst part about getting the vaccination is most often the scary, pointy needle and being held in a half nelson by 14 nurses during the process. In reality studies have proven that generally speaking, contracting the disease can be even more hazardous than a shot.

But clearly, I  must have transitioned to the older generation of moms. Back in my day we threw birthday or Halloween parties for our kids. And you weren’t allowed to go if you had the sniffles.

What are your thoughts and experiences regarding vaccinations? Have you or would you ever attend a “pox party?” Please comment! And be sure to check out my photo caption contest in reference to this topic.

13 Responses to “Cherry, Grape, Orange, Chicken Pox…”

  • Kim says:

    Wow–I guess I must be “older” generation too. I’ve never heard of Pox parties and I absolutely believe in vaccinations for my kids. I see in the news a wave or trend of parenting fearing vaccinations. I think FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) is winning more than a few parents over. Sad because vaccinations have come so far in helping the population not hurting them. Good topic for a debate.

  • Kim says:

    And what a way to make money–gotta give the woman credit there.

    • Diane says:

      The whole thing kind of just makes me go “ew….” It blows me away that someone would purchase something questionable like this from someone they don’t know AT ALL and feed it to their kids! I guess those moms are too young to remember the tainted Tylenol of 1982 and why meds and other foods now have safety seals. It wasn’t always like that, folks!

    • Diane says:

      I read somewhere that the money she was making was going into the shipping of the lollipops. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it doesn’t cost $50 to ship a 2 oz. sucker via USPS.

  • Mary says:

    All I can say is WOW! I have never heard of POX parties and certainly do not know anyone who has participated. I do not have human children but if I did I would be about 99% sure to have them vaccinated. I have my fur kids vaccinated, and the only time I do not believe in them is when they have cancer and their immune system is down.

    I loved your Walmart comment. Cheapest way to go especially if you have more than one kid.

  • Margo Dill says:

    This story is absolutely unbelievable. You couldn’t make this up. My baby is one, and I’m 40. And she is getting every vaccination she can–including, yes, I’m going to say it–THE FLU SHOT! At which, it was so fast, she didn’t even cry.

    No pox parties for me!

  • jeanne says:

    Wow–what a great blog. Focused, to the point, and informative–all about an interesting and new topic. Nicely done!

    • Diane says:

      Thank you very much. Your feedback is appreciated! It’s scary to know that there’s more of these kinds of things going on out there, isn’t it?

  • This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of the notion of these ‘pox parties.’ Now, don’t think I’m an immature potty mouth: South Park actually did an episode on this at one point but I never thought it could be based on a true story.

    I’m uneasy about buying food on the internet; the idea of buying “medicine” from an average person is just too frightening to consider!

    Whenever I come across something so unusual as this, I always wonder what the other side of the story is, from the perspective of the accused…

    Regardless, brilliant coverage of a story that will likely be eaten up and destroyed by the press.


  • Lisa says:

    Wow that is one crazy and evil person to come up with somnething like that. Do you think the parents waited for a time when there child was misbehaving and said here have a lick. I feel bad for the children who have parents that are gullible enough to pay for something like that.

Leave a Reply

Heard on NPR
Nationally Syndicated WNYC

Pick the Topic