Channel Mum Chat

Is it wrong of me to want my child to catch chickenpox?

My little boy is 4 and he hasn’t had chickenpox and I know it’s a serious illness and can have really serious side effects, but I really want him to just catch it, so he is protected, not at risk of catching it when he’s much older, when it can usually do more damage.


My name is Maggie and I am a health visitor and sleep and parenting specialist who works with ChannelMum. Thank you for your question.

No it is not wrong to want your children to have chicken pox as children as it is far better to have it as child then as a adult, It is very common in childhood and lasts about a week and children don’t normally need to see a GP. It is usually a mild illness and complications are rare, however there is always a risk with any illness and dose children may get it more severely than others. There is more information about it here

It is an infectious disease and it is dangerous to be exposed to chicken pox if you are pregnant as it can do serious damage to the unborn child. There is a vaccine for chicken pox but this is not routinely offered in the UK. It is given to vulnerable people who have been exposed to the virus such as pregnant women and those with immune illnesses or chemotherapy see here

All my 3 children had it and I did expose them to children who had it so they could catch it as children and it is such a serious illness to have as an adult.

I hope this helps

Maggie xx

I second all of what Maggie has said, personally I’d probably opt for vaccination rather than exposure intentionally but that’s a personal choice. Superdrug offer the vaccination but it is quite pricey.


I feel exactly the same way as you, Meggy.

I have two little girls and neither of them have caught chickenpox yet. I would rather they picked it up sooner, rather than risk not picking it up (until it is too late). I know you can get children vaccinated, but from reading about it, it doesn’t seem to give them as much protection as picking it up naturally would.

It is a real shame that there aren’t more chickenpox parties.