It is a dilemma no one wants to face. You’ve been planning the party for months, everything is booked from venue to entertainer, and what’s more, your child has been looking forward to their big day. Then you notice the spots appearing. Aaarghhh—chickenpox!
Sadly childhood illnesses can strike at any time, and with warmer winters, it seems bugs like chickenpox last the whole year. What if you’ve already planned your child’s birthday party a few months in advance but they suddenly catch chickenpox or a similar contagious disease at the last minute? Should you go ahead with the party?
The simple answer is NO—not unless they are past the contagious stage, which according to the NHS website is not “until the last blister has burst and crusted over. This usually happens five or six days after the rash begins.”
With that in mind, in case the birthday star does contract chickenpox prior their party, you have plenty of time to reschedule the event and let everyone know.
The problem with contagious diseases like chickenpox is that although most children and adults will experience a few days of misery and then recover fully, some people can experience severe complications. There is also a high chance that someone at a child’s party may be pregnant. If they are in the early stages of pregnancy, they may not have told anyone yet or they may not be aware themselves, and this is when the risks can be greatest. It is also not advisable for newborn babies to be exposed to the virus. Again it is not unheard of for parents to turn up with a newborn in tow at a children’s party.
So what should you do?
You know that morally it would be wrong to go ahead but children’s birthday parties can be expensive, right? The best thing you can do is get in touch with your entertainer and venue as soon as possible. Most children’s entertainers that we know will work with you to find a solution that can work. As most good children’s entertainers get booked up well in advance, you may need to postpone the party for a while or look at the possibility of moving the party to a less busy time, a weekday for example.
Although it may be disappointing to have to wait to celebrate your child’s birthday, the fact is your child will most probably feel extra special because of this. They will effectively get two birthdays and you can easily “big” this up if they initially feel disappointed.
But I have ordered a cake too!
Again get in contact with your cake maker as soon as possible. They have almost certainly experienced all this before and will have a process to help you as best they can. If it is too late, then be creative. You could film your child blowing the candles at home and then play the video at their party later on. You can then just have simple cupcakes at the party and maybe send the actual birthday cake to school at the time.
Still tempted to go ahead?
If despite all the above advice you still feel that you may go ahead, then you must let everyone you have invited, including any suppliers and entertainers, know about the situation. They can then decide if they are happy to still attend. By the time you have done this, it is just as easy to postpone the party until your child is feeling a hundred percent well, and you won’t have to put anyone in a difficult position.
One final tip …
We always advise getting parents to text back their RSVP to a party invite. You then will have everyone’s number in your phone. This is especially great for parties where parents are dropping and leaving their child, as you will have a ready-made contact list, but this is great for this situation too. You will be able to contact all parents with just one text message.
A child being ill on their birthday can seem a disaster at the time. But the reality is in the years to come, it will be a great tale for you and your child to regale family and friends with.