Written by Florian Kastl
Many people are afraid of diseases and try not to get infected when it comes to contact with ill persons. Especially the children are to be protected because of their delicateness towards infections. But some parents are doing the exact opposite: As soon as one of the classmates or friends gets ill, they throw a party to get all the other kids infected, too. That is of course not the case with all types of diseases, but mostly for those that you only get once in a lifetime such as chicken pox or the measles, i.e. childhood diseases. But what is it good for?
The Intentions for throwing a Masernparty
Some would say that this is highly irresponsible to expose your kid. But the intentions of the mothers (and fathers) throwing the Masernparty are easy to explain, yet hard to understand. As already mentioned above, some of the diseases can just break out once in a lifetime. If you ever have had the chicken pox, you won’t get them again because your body has become immune to the pathogens. But if you have never had them, you will probably get infected. Because many of those infections are said to be much worse on impact if you are an adult, some people prefer to suffer them at a rather early age. Kids, thus, can’t make this kind of decision – their parents decide for them.
That doesn’t mean that the children won’t suffer at all if they get the chicken pox or the measles in early years: they are just not as dangerous as they would be for older people. Besides, they won’t have the risk to get infected in the future anymore. But is this reason enough to deliberately get your kid infected by a disease?
The Risks of attending a Masernparty
Besides the fact that once you got the chicken pox you will never get them again, there is another reason that is always cited by the supporters: As soon as many kids out of one’s class or one’s circle of friends will get infected, they will be ill one or two weeks all at the same time. Afterward, the risk of infection will decrease after they are healthy again. In the case of the measles, there is another argument cited, mostly by those who are skeptical about vaccinations: They are of the opinion that vaccinating the kids would be more harmful than just letting them become sick in a controlled manner. Besides most respectable medicals and scientists would vehemently disagree, it is also dangerous: Although measles is a childhood disease, this does not mean that they are not able to severely damage the kid’s health forever. Not getting sick at all is just better than becoming infected.
The legal Side of having a Masernparty
In Germany, therefore it is illegal to organize such a party. It can be seen as serious bodily injury. Because after all, you can say that those who think children would benefit by joining a pox party and getting infected by them with childhood diseases should just think about what they are doing: They are deliberately risking the long-term sanity of their child and also its friends or classmates.