Girl under bedsheets feeling sick

Does your child have Chickenpox? Fret not, here’s a quick all-you-need-to-know guide to help you through!

  1. What is Chickenpox?
  2. Signs and Symptoms
  3. Treatment

1. What Is Chickenpox?

Varicella, also known as chickenpox, is a highly contagious infection that is common among young children. If one of your kids has chickenpox, it will likely spread to other members of the same household who have not already been infected before or have yet to take the chickenpox vaccine.

Although most cases of chickenpox are mild and children generally recover in five to ten days, the infection can bring about immense discomfort because of the rash and blisters that come with it. In rare cases, chickenpox can also be very serious and may cause complications in vulnerable groups – including children with a compromised immune system and pregnant women.

The good news is that chickenpox is preventable! It is advisable for young children who have not been exposed to the virus to get the varicella vaccine. It’ll be good to check with your doctor to find out if the vaccine is suitable for your child.

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2. Signs and Symptoms

Parents need to be aware of the symptoms of chickenpox to ensure timely medical treatment for their children.

Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Fever (high temperature)
  • Rash / red bumps / blisters on skin (itchy & red)
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach ache

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3. Treatment

Even though most chickenpox infections do not require special medical treatments, parents can ask their doctors for pain-relieving creams to reduce the irritability of sores.

Common home remedies and relief methods include:

  • Using calamine lotion on itchy areas.
  • Soft, bland diets if your child has sores in their mouth.
  • Wearing mittens or trimming the nails to prevent scratching of blisters (it could cause infections!).

NOTE: You should never give medications that contain aspirin to children who have chickenpox as this could lead to a serious illness called Reye Syndrome.

However, if you notice that your child’s fever or symptoms are not subsiding after 5 days or that severe discomfort persists, you may want to consult your doctor.

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References

  1. Brennan, Dann. “Chicken Pox (Varicella): Symptoms, Treatment, & Prevention.” WebMD, 23 Mar. 2019, www.webmd.com/children/what-is-chickenpox.
  2. “Chickenpox.” Caring for Kids, Information for Parents from Canada’s Paediatricians, www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/chickenpox.
  3. “Chickenpox (For Parents) – Nemours Kidshealth.” KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, Feb. 2020, kidshealth.org/en/parents/chicken-pox.html.
  4. Shroff, Amita. “Chickenpox (Varicella) Vaccine: Schedule and Side Effects.” WebMD, 18 Jun. 2018, www.webmd.com/children/vaccines/chickenpox-varicella-vaccine.