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Chicken pox struck M three weeks back.
The first two red spots appeared on a Sunday morning and by the evening they were popping up all over.
Chicken Pox first appear as little red spots, but become blisters around 12 hours later.
Having now Googled Chicken Pox I realised that the pesky virus could well have been the reason for M’s uncharacteristic grouchiness earlier in the week.
My biggest fear about the Chicken Pox virus had been dealing with the itching, something I thought was inevitable. BUT M barely felt the need to itch for the entire duration of the episode…
Chicken Pox without the itching?
I put the lack of itching down to a combination of liquid antihistamine – we used an own-brand chemist one – and a topical cooling gel called ViraSoothe, which a friend had recommended to me.
I shot out and bought both the second the first spots appeared – luckily it was the weekend, so my husband took on nursing duties. My top tip would be to stock up on them in advance, so you have them to hand.
The main spotty / ill phase of the virus lasted seven days for M. In general you can expect it to last between seven and ten days.
The biggest challenge for us was keeping her entertained, as she showed very little sign of being ill – aside from the copious spots.
Three weeks on from the initial spots, M has traces of a few spots lingering, but there’s no scarring.
As Alice’s daughter and M have now had Chicken Pox, we thought we’d put our heads together and compile a list of top tips for coping with Chicken Pox. We’re kicking off with a quick super-list about dealing with the spots themselves…
Dealing with Chicken Pox Spots
- Keep finger nails cut short & clean to prevent scratching & infection
- Loose clothing or allow to go without clothes to avoid irritation
- Bathe daily to keep skin / spots clean – use oatmeal in a sock or a gentle bubble bath for sensitive skin to soften the water
- Apply ViraSoothe (Buy US: Buy UK) after bath and sporadically through day on and around spots
- Avoid Calamine Lotion… once dry it can cause itchiness & is v. messy
- Use liquid antihistamine to relieve itching
- Make use of socks on hands to prevent scratching if there is any itching – particularly useful for v. small children
Tips for Coping with the Chicken Pox
- Children may be grouchy, tearful or off-colour in advance of spots appearing
- Early symptoms may include a fever, lethargy, loss of appetite & headache
- A few spots may come several days in advance of the others
- Children may get anything from 10 to several hundred spots, it’s all ‘normal’
- Ensure they stay hydrated if they have a fever & or have lost their appetite
- If fever isn’t reduced after three or four days contact your doctor
- Use liquid paracetamol to reduce fever and aches and pains.
- Absolutely NEVER give aspirin to a Chicken Pox sufferer, it can lead to a potentially fatal condition called Reyes Syndrome.
- If spots continue to increase & stay inflamed after seven days contact doctor
- Make sure child gets lots of vitamin C & beta-carotene rich food to help recovery
- Offer lots of fruit & veg rich smoothies to increase their self-healing power
- Many kids will be full of beans & get bored stiff in the house for a week or more
- Be prepared for laying on activities every day – you can have fab fun with play dough, experiments, great books and imaginative play without leaving the house
- You could have some cool maths fun playing “The Chicken Pox Sweepstake”
- Friends who have had chicken pox may be happy to have play dates
Disclaimer: We aren’t medical experts at Mums Make Lists, simply mums sharing our experiences. Please do always check with a doctor or pharmacist when buying meds for your child.