Chickenpox is a common childhood illness that most littlies catch at some point in their lives. (More common under the age of 10 years old.)
We haven’t had the delights of Chickenpox yet, so the lovely Jay said we could have pictures of her gorgeous boys covered in chickenpox, (Poor little fella’s!)
Although its considered to be a mild illness, you can expect your child to feel pretty poorly and miserable during their chickenpox days.
There is no need to see your *GP if you recognise the signs and spots of Chickenpox unless you feel your child is very unwell (infected spots, unusually high temperature or difficulty breathing.)
A rash of red, itchy spots that quickly turn into fluid-filled blisters. They look unpleasant and can cause lots of discomfort to little ones.
The original blisters eventually crust over to form scabs, which eventually drop off. (Chickenpox is most infectious from one to two days before the rash starts, until all the blisters have crusted over – usually five to six days after the start of the rash.)
Some children have only a few spots but some unlucky poppets get them all over body and sometimes in not-so-nice places.
Chickenpox spots are most likely to appear on the face, ears and scalp, under the arms, on the chest and stomach and on the arms and legs, but occasionally they can be found inside the ear, genitals and up the nose – ouch.
If your little one has Chickenpox try to:
Prevent spreading the infection by keeping them off nursery or school until ALL the spots have crusted over.
keep them away from public areas to avoid contact with people who have not had it, especially people who are at risk of serious problems, such as newborn babies, pregnant women and anyone with a weakened immune system (for example, people having cancer treatment or taking steroid tablets).
There is no specific treatment for chickenpox, but there are lots of tips and advice available (some of which you’ll get even if you don’t ask for it!)
During my career I’ve been through many bouts of Chickenpox with littlies and have to say above all other treatments I’ve found sudocrem works wonders, combined with (if they are old enough to have it) Piriton to which reduces swelling and irritation.
Top tips for nasty spots
Keep nails short
Dress your littly in soft clothes (cotton p.J’s are great!)
Use non-drying lotions and creams (Sudocrem is fab!)
There are many pharmacy remedies which can alleviate symptoms, such as infant paracetamol to relieve fever and lotions, creams and cooling gels to ease the horrid itching.
Ask other parents what worked best for them!
Some home remedies (an oatmeal bath) work – but all littlies are different, so its really just trying and seeing which makes your little one the most comfortable.
When to see the doctor
*Contact your GP straight away if your child develops any abnormal symptoms, for example:
if the blisters on their skin become infected
if your child has a pain in their chest or has difficulty breathing
Unfortunately as with any illness, routines go out of the window so avoid any sleep training techniques and give lots of love, cuddles and TLC when needed.
Finally, as with the majority of common childhood illnesses, try not to worry – as you can see from the smiley faces in the last pictures, recovery happens and they’ll soon be back to their old selves!