These lollipops sound like less than a treat.
KPHO in Phoenix reports that a Facebook group is offering parents the opportunity to receive lollipops in the mail that have allegedly been infected with chicken pox. The parents seeking these disease-riden sweets want their children to get chicken pox when they're young so they can become immune to the disease and avoid getting it later in life.
KPHO also found parents looking for people to send measles, mumps and rubella.
KJ Dell'Antonia at Slate was dumbfounded:
"Let's try this sentence on for size: 'I just gave my kid a pre-licked lollipop sent to me by a stranger I met on the Internet!'"
HuffPost Parents blogger and author Hayley Krischer wrote that "the stupidity of passing infected chicken pox lollipops through the mail is terrifying."
Dr. Wilbert Mason, a professor of clinical pediatrics at USC's Keck School of Medicine, told the Los Angeles Times that the strategy of sending infected lollipops is unlikely to work. The chicken pox virus requires cells to live in and there probably wouldn't be enough of them on a licked lollipop, Mason explains.
But more dangerous diseases like hepatitis B, group A strep, and staph germs might survive a trip in the mail, Mason speculates.
Jerry Martin, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, confirmed to the AP that sending diseased treats in the mail is illegal.