Managing chickenpox in children – 101

Hi all.

So sorry for not being able to write sooner. Unfortunately, life AND PANDEMIC getting in the way . Heh.

Last month, Adam was infected with chicken pox. And truly, it’s a blessing in disguise. More so due to the fact that in Malaysia, parents may take quarantine leave to take care of the sick children (5 working days) and Adam has been a wonderful patient — taking his medication easily and we were able to keep the itchiness away (safely). I got to spend more time with Adam at home while at the same time, taking a much needed rest too. Wonderful isn’t it? ^-^.

<how the rashes may look like>

And so, let us talk about chicken pox. We all know chicken pox is a highly contagious disease that is caused by virus. Any children that are vaccinated can STILL be infected.

Thereby comes the BIG question:

  1. what’s the purpose of vaccination then? Vaccinated children are presented with a MUCH MILDER SYMPTOM. Easy on the eye (less rashes, a.k.a less scar), and much easier to manage the symptom. So go for vaccination people! Don’t skip your child’s vaccination routine.

Any child who are diagnosed with chikenpox, they are usually presented with such symptoms:

fever (usually low grade fever)

rashes that are itchy, fluid-filled blisters who later turn to scabs (crusted).

rashes that are typically started to appear firstly from the face, back and chest and later spread downwards to the rest of the body.

some may also showing other symptom such as tiredness, loss of appetite and headache.

So how do we go about? What should we do when our child is infected with chickenpox? The rule is simple.

  1. KEEP THEM AT HOME>>>> we do not want other children to get infected too.
  2. manage the fever — oral paracetamol when needed.
  3. soak in lukewarm water — avoid hot/cold water.
  4. apply topical ointment to the blisters — *ALERT: do not use calamine lotion if your child’s skin is dry. It will further aggravate the itchiness*. Petroleum jelly or other skin lotion is sufficient for use. Basically, keep the skin hydrated.
  5. RELIEVE THE ITCHINESS — you may give your child oral antihistamine. Make sure it is prescribed in the correct dosage (calculated using the child’s body weight). Some of the antihistamine may cause sleepiness.
  6. keep the fingernail short and trimmed. If needed, use mitten or hand socks to prevent them from scratching. Scratching may caused secondary skin infection.. and we absolutely do not want that to happen.
  7. Last but not least, enjoy the extra unguarded time with your kid. I sure enjoy mine (towards the end of the quarantine period).

The children are considered no more infectious once the last blister burst and crusted over.

and there you have it, 101 in managing chicken pox in children.

Here’s to good health and good time with your loved one, wherever you are.

Take care.

Soalan hari ini: Adakah anda mendengar suara hati si anak?

Jumaat lepas, berlaku satu peristiwa yang buat saya banyak berfikir. Muhasabah diri sedalam-dalamnya, lihat ke dalam diri – adakah saya seorang ibu yang baik atau tidak? Alkisahnya, rakan sepejabat saya membawa anak lelakinya ke ofis kami. Lepak-lepak sementara menunggu masa untuk menghantar anaknya ke kelas agama petang itu. Diberinya anaknya ini main Youtube bagi memenuhkan masa rehat yang panjang itu sambil emak sendiri berehat main telefon di sofa berdekatan. Sound so familiar right?

Obviously, the next cliché thing happen. Si kecil (berumur 7 tahun) itu tak jumpa video kegemarannya, merengek pada si ibu, ibu pun tak tahu video apa.. and Kaboom! Things escalated so fast. Tiba-tiba, dari menangis biasa bertukar jadi full blown tantrum, siap dengan ketuk-ketuk kepala dengan botol air. Lagi dipujuk, lagi menjadi. Satu-satu rakan sekerja pergi pada si anak ni, cuba untuk menenangkan dia. Ada yang sua duit kertas, ada yang sua coklat, dan ada juga yang cuba takut-takutkan si anak dengan Ustaz Garang di sekolah agama yang si anak kena pergi sekejap lagi. Dah tentulah si anak ni tambah meraung.

Dalam hati, saya terdetik. Salah apa yang mereka buat ni. Seolah-olah si anak tu sakit kepala, tapi yang disua ubat sakit perut. Takkan hilang sakitnya kalau ubat yang diberi tak menjurus tepat pada punca. Betul tak? Tapi, saya pun dalam dilema. Nak tegur, saya tak rapat sangat dengan kawan sekerja tu (dia pun jauh lebih tua dan anak pun lebih ramai dari saya). Tak tegur, pun salah juga. Takkan nak berterusan dibiarkan si anak tu menangis teresak-esak sampai macam nak putus nyawa?

Mula-mula saya biarkan aje. Dalam hati dok berharap ada orang lain mampu tenangkan si anak. Mungkin rimas dan malu agaknya si anak dok buat bising di kala orang lain nak berehat, si ibu bangun dan marah anaknya. Dipaksa bersiap untuk ke sekolah agama lebih awal. Tersentuh hati saya bila lihat si anak yang pada mulanya dah reda menangis meraung semula. Tangkas saya bangun, terus menghadap si anak. Saya duduk berlipat lutut (supaya saya duduk sama tinggi dengan si anak yang sekarang duduk di atas kerusi) dan saya pegang tangannya. Dia tarik tapi saya pegang lagi. Dengan lembut. Dan saya tengok matanya. Dengan penuh kasih. Saya bisik perlahan pada dia, “kenapa ni? Cuba cerita. Meh Aunty dengar”. Saya tanya juga.. “Aunty peluk boleh?” Dia geleng. Dan saya tak paksa.

Saya dapat rasakan pada mulanya si anak tak selesa. Dua tiga kali dia pusing badan, tak nak tengok, tapi setiap kali juga saya pusing kan badan hadap padanya. Cuma bezanya kali ini, saya pegang tangan, si anak tak tarik semula. Bila dia tengok mata saya, saya ulang lagi ayat yang sama. Fokus hanya pada si anak. Jangan dengar/buat benda lain. Si anak dah berhenti meraung, hanya tersedu-sedu menahan nangis. Saya tanya lagi: “XXX (nama dirahsiakan), marah ke? Dia geleng. Sedih ke? Dia geleng lagi. Frust? Dia angguk. Frust sebab apa? Mulut anak kumat-kamit menyebut sesuatu. Tapi saya tak pasti apa yang dia cuba sampaikan. Saya dekatkan telinga. Tanya lagi. Saya dapat tangkap perkataan komputer – video- tak ada. Saya ulang balik pada nya: XXX frust sebab nak tengok video tapi tak ada? Dia angguk. Dialog seterusnya berkenaan video apa yang dia nak cari.. bersungguh si anak cerita. Saya tak buat apa pun, hanya angguk, dan pegang erat tangan dia. Bila nampak dia dah tenang sket, kami sambung cerita pasal video youtube tu. (dia nak tengok video shooting game character Plant vs Zombies). Kebetulan saya sendiri ada pengalaman main game ni dan memang suka character dalam game tu.. cerita sket saja, tapi anak dah tersenyum dan OK.

Saya balik ke meja sendiri, dan offer si anak main game tu di laptop saya (saya dan anak main game ni). Saya riba dia dan kami main sama-sama. Tak sampai 5 minit pun, tapi si anak dah happy dan sendiri sebut ready nak ke sekolah agama. Apa yang buatkan si anak respons pada saya dan bukan pada yang lain?

Jawapannya mudah:

  1. Approach anak dengan niat untuk memahami bukan untuk menyelesaikan masalah, dan jauh sekali untuk menghukum.
  2. Bila bercakap dengan anak, biar lah anda sama level dengannya. Mata bertemu mata gitu..
  3. Create your own bubble. Kalau dia anak saya, memang saya dah peluk rapat2. Sebab dia bukan keluarga, saya hati-hati sket. Memadai dengan pegang tangan. Saya cakap pun perlahan saja, hanya untuk saya dan dia saja yang dengar.
  4. Validate his/her feeling. Berikan nama pada perasaan yang sedang dia alami. Marah/ sedih/ kecewa/ tak puas hati/ dan sebagainya.
  5. Ulang semula apa yang dia sebut. Supaya anda betul2 pasti memang itu yang si anak cuba sampaikan.
  6. Beri nonverbal clue yang anda mendengar apa yang dia sampaikan. Angguk, usap tangan, pegang hati tanda sakit, dan lain-lain. Tak perlu cakap banyak.

Percayalah, bila si anak rasa yang anda mendengar apa yang dia cuba sampaikan, esak tangis semua akan hilang sendiri. Tak perlu sua jalan penyelesaian pun. Sebab anda dah MENDENGAR SUARA HATINYA, bukan apa yang dia sebut semata-mata.

Kisah ini memang buat saya terfikir-fikir sampai lah ke hari ini. Betapa rupanya teknik yang saya guna dengan anak sendiri juga berhasil dengan si kecil yang lain.

Selamat mencuba dan selamat mendengar isi hati si anak!

All the best!

A word of caution to parents with toddler who’re thinking of adopting a kitten.

One thing for sure, taking care of a kitten feels a lot more like taking care of a new toddler. It has been nearly three month with few ups and down, here and there, and with God’s grace, Koko is still here with the family, thriving and loved from all – even from my husband who doesn’t like cats and furry animal alike.

I have come to realize a few things, that i will not know of before. And so, here’s a word of caution to parents with toddler whenever you’re thinking of having one (kitten/puppy).

love

  1. Its a lot of hard work – integrating a small pet safely into the family. Seriously, if you’re not up for it, don’t do it. The kitten/puppy deserved as much love as you would give to your baby.
  2. They have as much energy as your little one. (i’m not kidding .. both Adam and Koko loves jumping around and running so much, i myself wonder where do they get all that energy storing up)
  3. They lurvved your attention and probably gonna follow you around the house if you let them. Mine even cry to let me know she wants to be out and about whenever she noticed me. Tough luck on that one resisting her sorry meow.
  4. Because they’re still small and new to the area, they gonna need to be watch a lot, just like how you would to a toddler who just learned how to walk. They get curious of all things, putting everything into their mouth (this can make them choke/ eating something dangerous, so keep an eye on it. )
  5. Keep a vet’s number handy ( or at least the location of vet clinic and their operational hours) especially if you move a lot and bringing them with you. Accidents can happen (with highly energetic kid around) and i think you will like to have some expert opinion handy should anything goes wrong somewhere.
  6. They gonna love interrupting you while you’re working on your laptop, anytime of the day. So, make sure do lots of back up or lock the door if you’re doing important reports.

All in all, it’s a wonderful addition to the family, and i am beyond happy that Adam and Koko took to each other so well. Take care of your family and be safe wherever you are.