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.