HEALTH

How safe are chicken pox lollipops?

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Lyra has the chicken pox - and her dad is offering to give her virus to other kids by throwing a chicken pox party.

It may sound crazy, but he’s not the only one. Social networking sites like Facebook let parents search for groups like "find a pox party near you."

But now there’s a new twist on the pox party that’s upsetting some doctors.

Some parents have even gone as far as buying mail-order lollipops allegedly licked by kids with the chicken pox. The parents hope their children contract the virus and build natural immunity, rather than opting for vaccination.

“It sounds kind of gross, passing the lollipop from child to child,” said mother Susan Leber. “I think you could pass a lot of other germs that way as well.”

Doctors agree and say chicken pox lollipops are foolish and dangerous.

“Who's to say that these other children really had chicken pox? Maybe they had some other illness,” said pediatrician Dr. David Arkin. “Maybe they had something else that could spread. Maybe they had something more dangerous. It's like asking a stranger to send you personal items, and then you're going to expose your child to them.”

Arkin says you may even be exposing them to deadly infections, such as MRSA, a bacteria that leads to some infections.

It's unclear how many sites are offering chicken pox lollipops or even directing people to the parties. Many sites have been taken down or recently altered.

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