While pox parties take place under the assumption that most people who contract the disease once will never contract it again, paediatrician Dr. Natasha Burgert is now warning that the idea is a dangerous “gamble.”
Burgert told INSIDER that while chickenpox will only result in itchy sores for most children, it can be life-threatening for others.
“It’s impossible to predict,” she said. “Some kids will just get a few [chicken pox], some will die. You just don’t know, so we vaccinate everyone [we can].”
“[It is] incorrect that getting the natural disease is going to make your immunity stronger so you don’t need a vaccine, which is a much safer option,” Burgert told INSIDER. “People don’t realize that the reason we made vaccines is because they can’t kill kids.”
PEOPLE’s Health Squad Pediatrician, Dr. Elizabeth Murraythis, seems to agree with Burgert’s assessment.
“There is no way to know if your child will get a mild case of chickenpox, flu, measles or any other vaccine-preventable disease,” she said. “So why take the risk?”
“At best, even if they do get a milder version, they’ll be home sick for days, which means suffering that could’ve been prevented plus missed work for parents and risk of exposure to those who can’t handle the germs so well.”