Chicken Pox infection generally occurs between 10-21 days after your child has been exposed to someone with the virus. Children with the chicken pox virus (varicella) are infectious one to two days before the rash appears, which makes it harder to prevent the spread of the virus. Complications are rare, but can be serious. You can care for your child at home by using pharmacy-bought creams to help with their itching. Make sure they get plenty of fluids, and if they have a fever or are irritable, give them paracetamol or ibuprofen. Some kids who have chicken pox are barely unwell and develop only a few spots, while others endure hundreds of itchy spots and feel very ill.
Signs and symptoms
– A rash that at first appears on the chest, back or face, before spreading to other area of the body and inside the mouth and eyes. The rash starts out looking like small pimples before becoming fluid-filled blisters.
– Mild fever.
when to seek medical advice
-If large, red, sore areas develop around the rash. This can indicate the presence of a secondary bacterial infection.
-If your child is very drowsy, has a very high fever, or if you feel concerned that they are getting sicker.
when to go to hospital –
Chicken pox complications are rare and most children don’t even need to see a GP. If your child has blisters inside their mouth and is refusing to take fluids, you need to take them to hospital to prevent dehydration. If your child has non-blanching bright red or purple spots and bruises, it may indicate meningococcal infection. If you suspect meningococcal infection, you should take your child straight to hospital.
…and how to maintain perspective!!
Chicken Pox is always circulating, and though it can make children utterly miserable, it rarely requires treatment beyond itch-relieving creams, fluids, rest, and pain relief. Vaccination greatly reduces the chance of chicken pox infection, but doesn’t always prevent it. Immunised children generally get a milder form of the virus. Even in the rare instances when complications such as encephalitis develop, most children will make a full recovery. You can increase your child’s protection against the virus by having them receive a booster shot four to six weeks after their initial chicken pox vaccination. The Australian Government currently funds only the first free dose of the chicken pox vaccine. You will need to pay for the second dose yourself.