Chicken Pox In Children

This very infectious illness which produces a rash of itchy spots. Your child may not feel very ill, but if she has a lot of spots, she may itch all over. Symptoms appear two to three weeks after your child has been infected.

In later life the chicken pox virus may be reactivated and because shingles, sop a child, may catch chicken pox after close contact with an adult who has shingles.

Symptoms:

Day 1 to 6: group of small, red, very itchy spots with fluid-filled centers, appearing in batches first on the child’s chest, abdomen and back, later elsewhere on the body. Fluid within the spots becomes white and cloudy, slight temperature.

Day 5 to 9: The spots burst, leaving small craters, scabs form over the spots and drop off after a few days.

Day 10: Your child is back to normal.

Day 11 or 12: Your child is no longer infectious.

What can be done:

Take your child’s temperature, and give her the recommended dose of paracetamol elixir to bring it down if it is raised. Give her plenty to drink if she has fever. Try to discourage your child from scratching the spots, sine it can infect them, and also cause scarring when they heal. Cut your child’s fingernails short and keep them clean, so that the spots are less likely to become infected if she scratches them. Put scratch mitts on her.

Try to relieve your child’s itchiness. Dab the spots gently with cotton dipped in calamine lotion. Give your child warm baths with a handful of bicarbonate of soda dissolved in the water, to help reduce the itching. If your child is very itchy, she will probably find loose cotton clothes the most comfortable.

Call the Doctor, if your child develops any signs of severe itching, redness or swelling around any spots, or pus oozing the spots- this means they have become infected. The doctor will confirm the diagnosis and may prescribe an antihistamine cream or medicine to relieve your child’s itching if it is very severe. If any of the spots have become infected, he may prescribe an antibiotic cream



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