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LP and Little Man both had chicken pox last year and although it’s common for siblings to catch chicken pox from each other this wasn’t the case with LP and Little Man. LP had chicken pox at the start of the year and Little Man waited until the Easter holidays to have his turn.
Chicken pox is something the majority of children experience and knowing this, Care, the makers of ViraSoothe – a chicken pox relief cooling gel, asked us to put together some tips and advice to help other families deal with chicken pox.
1 – Be prepared
When LP came home from school with a blister-like spot on her back, which soon multiplied, I had no idea what to do. I remember messaging my best friend saying ‘What do I do?!’ so, in hindsight it would be great to be prepared. If your child hasn’t contracted chicken pox by the time they start school then the chances are that they will catch it fairly soon. LP made it all the way to Year 2 before she had chicken pox – and then it pretty much spread through her year with about 12 children being off school at it’s peak.
Read up as much as you can about chicken pox and know that it’s something children should go through – it’s more dangerous if they get to adulthood before contracting the virus.
2 – Check whether it’s chicken pox
This sounds like common sense but, before LP had chicken pox we thought probably a dozen times she had chicken pox – every time she had a mark on her body. But, when she finally did have pox the spots were so different that she obviously had chicken pox. The Care website has a chickenpox guide to help you diagnose and treat chickenpox, making it easier to tell if your child really does have chicken pox.
3 – Get chickenpox relief products
The worst thing about chicken pox is the itching – which in turn can lead to scarring. All chemists stock chicken pox relief products and that was our first port of call. ViraSoothe Chicken Pox Relief Cooling Gel and Spray Gel can really help to soothe the skin and relieve irritation – and the urge to itch. It can be used from six months onwards and all over the face and body.
4 – Stay in quarantine
When children have chicken pox they should stay away from other people until all of the pox have dried up and scabbed over. This means no school and no extra curricular activities. Chicken pox can be really dangerous for pregnant women, new babies and anyone with a sickness lowering their immune system so it’s best to stay away from other people as much as possible. We pretty much stayed indoors when LP and Little Man had chicken pox.
5 – Relieve boredom
Aside from the itching, the worst thing for the children whilst they had chicken pox was being bored. They didn’t have school to go to, they couldn’t see their friends and they didn’t feel like doing much at all. So, we spent a lot of time having cuddles whilst watching TV, we did a lot of colouring and reading and we even invested in a couple of new Lego sets. We basically did everything we could to take the children’s mind off the chicken pox and help the day pass as quickly as possible.
6 – Avoid Ibruprofen
If your child needs pain relief, Paracetemol is best when it comes to chicken pox as Ibruprofen can cause serious skin infections. If unsure, consult your doctor.
7 – Keep hydrated
It’s really important that children drink enough fluids when they have chicken pox. They probably won’t feel like eating much at all but make sure they drink water regularly. If they’re not up to drinking actual drinks, try an ice lolly instead.
8 – Make sure your child understands what is happening
Chicken pox is a rite of passage for children and it’s something that their parents, siblings and friends will have been through. But, that doesn’t mean that children will understand what is happening to them and why they feel so poorly. Books like Mike has Chicken-Pox can really help a child to understand chickenpox and to know that it won’t last forever.
9 – Do what you need to in order to get through
Chicken pox doesn’t last forever and for us it was a time where we covered their spots in gel, lived in pyjamas – changing into fresh ones regularly – and spent so much time on the sofa with a duvet. They ate whatever they could – often resorting to ice cream, they watched far too much TV and they played with their tablets more than they usually would. Chicken pox is usually over with in two weeks and so two weeks of relaxing all the rules is definitely what’s needed where chicken pox is concerned.
10 – Know when to see the doctor
Most of the time chicken pox can be dealt with at home, without seeing a doctor. But, there will be times when you need to see a doctor about it. If you’re not sure it’s chickenpox, if the skin around the blisters is red, hot or painful, if your child is dehydrated or if you’re concerned about your child or they get worse then it’s best to speak to your GP.
Also, if you’re an adult and have chicken pox, if you’re pregnant and haven’t had chicken pox before and have been near someone with it, if you have a weakened immune system and have been near someone with chicken pox or if you think your newborn baby has chicken pox then you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Chicken pox is something most families dread. It’s a pretty miserable time for children and those two weeks seem like an eternity. But, it really is over before you know it. I hope this helps if you’re going through chicken pox at the moment or if it’s something you’re anticipating in the future.
Care ViraSoothe Chickenpox Relief Gel is available in supermarkets and pharmacies nationwide in 50g (£5.73) and 75g (£8.43) options. Care ViraSoothe Chickenpox Relief Spray Gel is also available for £8.43.