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.

Kids and pets. Nightmare or is it blessing in disguise?

One thing for sure, it never cross my mind that there’ll come a time where our little home is graced by not one but few pets at the same time. Granted, it’s actually one little furry animal (a grey local cat we call Koko) and two classes of fish (goldfish and tiger fish to be exact) in two cozy aquarium. Taking care of the fishes is one little hobby of my dear husband whereas the cat — that’s all Adam’s doing. The last time my cat died (it was my family’s, long before i get married), it crushed our heart so much that my parents decided enough is enough. No more cats. And lo and behold! Who would have thought that their first grandson a.k.a Adam takes after them and love cats so much that he’s keep on asking for cat to be his own. It takes a solid month of mental preparation before we finally decided to adopt Koko into our humble home, and its a decision that i have never regretted. Bless her little paws and snuggly fur.

Once in a while, comes a thought — does bringing home pets (furry alike or not) a nightmare or is it blessing in disguise? Particularly if there is kids/ toddler at home. Well, thats depends. Lets dive in to the many benefits of taking care of pets to the kids shall we? Firstly, the obvious — feeding and caring for a pet encourages responsibility. Its a good practice to involve your little one (step by step and under direct observation of course) in taking care of the pet.

This is also the best time for parent to look for social red flag with your children (i.e him/her being abusive/consistently cruel with animal). This may point to a few conditions that have to be investigated, look in depth and treated by professional if found to be true; condition like conduct disorder, psychopathy, or indication of the child being abused at home or bullied at school. This can be illicit in children as young as 5 or 6 year old.

Next, children with pets display improved impulse control, social skills and self-esteem. Kids with pets also gets outside/ play more. What better way to let children learn that letting them play right? A child may also feel more comfortable reading aloud to pets than friends/family members. No pressure just good listening ear which frankly, who doesn’t want that?

IMG_8555

So, just a few tips to go by for parents with small children, if ever you decided to have a pet at home:

  1. Never let the kids be alone with your pet unsupervised. Especially if your children is younger than 4 years old. The younger the children, the less control they have. Children under the age of three aren’t mature enough to care for a pet. Their impulsive action and high energy may scared/injured the pet, which in turn may harm them in the process. A frightened animal may scratch or bite your children.
  2. Let your pet have their own room or space where they can be free from the children, at least for a few hours per day. This is important to ensure that your pet feel comfortable in the house and stressed free. (animal can get stressed too).
  3. Teach your child to practice hygiene habit when dealing with pet and their droppings. Wash hands regularly especially after playing with the pet.
  4. Introduce your children to the pet slowly. Show your children how to pet an animal (if they can be pet of course), and tell them when not to interact with the animal. Best rule of thumb, teach your children to be kind and loving to the animal.
  5. Do not allow the pet to sleep with your children.
  6. Bring the pet to the vet for annual check up/if they’re sick and for vaccinations.

All in all, i wish you all the best with your pet and the kids. May your home be blessed with lots of love and happiness.

 

Asma di kalangan kanak-kanak: 6 mitos yang anda perlu tahu.

Sesekali tengok anak kena ‘sedut gas’ di hospital, memang sedih. Anak meraung satu hal, nak mengepong si kecik pun satu hal juga. Pendek kata, yang menyedut gas tu penat, yang memegang si kecik yang ‘sedut gas’ pun penat.. Kali ni saya tergerak hati nak ulas berkenaan mitos-mitos yang selalu saya dengar apabila perkataan asma kanak-kanak (childhood asthma) disebut. Tambah pula, musim jerubu beransur tiba (selalunya ke penghujung tahun). Jom kita sama-sama update tentang mitos-mitos berkenaan asma di kalangan kanak-kanak:

 

MITOS 1: Kanak-kanak yang menghidap asma ni mesti disebabkan penyakit keturunan. 

Jawapannya: TIDAK. 

Seseorang kanak-kanak boleh menghidap asma tidak kira sama ada dia mempunyai sejarah asma di kalangan keluarga atau tidak.

MITOS 2: Kanak-kanak yang terdedah kepada asap rokok mempunyai risiko yang lebih tinggi untuk menghidap asma. 

Jawapannya: YA.  

Asma ini adalah sejenis penyakit radang salur pernafasan yang kronik,  di mana ia menyebabkan salur pernafasan menjadi merah, bengkak, mengeluarkan lendir berlebihan dan mudah teransang (hypersensitive).

asthma2

Analogi mudah: 

Terowong jalan yang kita lalu hari-hari. Jika tiada apa yang menghalang laluan, mudah je kita lalu. Tapi bila ada pasir, batu-batu selongok kiri kanan, air banjir melimpah masuk terowong ke.. tentulah laluan kita jadi terhalang. Nak masuk tak boleh. Nak keluar pun tersangkut. Macam tu la dengan saluran pernafasan. Cumanya saluran pernafasan ni fungsinya lebih kritikal. Jika laluan jalan terhalang, kita boleh guna laluan alternatif. Tapi jika laluan udara (a.k.a saluran pernafasan) terhalang, apa lah daya kita kan?

Sebab itu, sebarang elemen yang telah TERBUKTI menyebabkan kerengsaan pada saluran pernafasan khasnya bagi yang menghidap asma, cubalah elakkan. Dalam erti kata lain, dia adalah faktor risiko/ trigger kepada serangan asma.

Contohnya: asap rokok, debu-debu kotoran, bau cat, alahan kepada bulu binatang peliharaan, dan lain-lain.

MITOS 3. Anak yang selalu batuk-batuk adalah besar kemungkinan menghidap asma. 

Jawapannya: YA. 

Tapi! Dapatkan pengesahan doktor terlebih dahulu ya. Gejala batuk juga boleh disebabkan oleh penyakit seperti influenza, radang paru-paru, batuk kokol, dan penyakit tibi. Pastikan anak anda bebas dari penyakit berjangkit sebelum si manja dicop ada asma.

Antara gejala lain asma kanak-kanak adalah: batuk pada waktu malam (waktu tidur), susah bernafas, rasa ketat di dada dan adakalanya sehingga nafas jadi berbunyi seperti wisel.

MITOS 4: Anak-anak yang menghidap asma ni tak boleh dibiarkan bermain lasak/bersukan. 

Jawapannya: TIDAK. 

Anak-anak yang menghidap asma boleh saja dibiarkan bermain seperti biasa, malah bersukan pun boleh.. asal saja pastikan rawatan asma diambil dengan betul dan mengikut dos yang dipreskrib doktor & pastikan pam pelega (kebiasaannya berwarna biru) sentiasa ada dengan anak-anak hatta di tadika/sekolah sekalipun.. dan anak2/cikgu tahu cara menggunakannya. Dengan rawatan yang betul, anak-anak yang menghidap asma boleh menjalani kehidupan yang aktif seperti kanak-kanak biasa.

MITOS 5: Dah dapat pam + aerochamber & bagi anak sedut dah mencukupi. 

aerchamber-child

Jawapannya: TIDAK.

Apa yang saya maksudkan di sini.. tak cukup untuk ibu bapa bagi sahaja anak sedut pam tanpa memahami cara penggunaan yang betul terutamanya cara penjagaan aerochamber. Pengalaman saya di klinik asma dulu, ada banyak kanak-kanak yang berulang kali masuk ke wad biarpun dah menggunakan pam pencegah (warna coklat/ungu bergantung kepada jenis ubat).. bila disiasat (untuk cari punca serangan asma berlaku).. sebilangan besar rupanya disebabkan penjagaan aerochamber yang tidak betul..

MITOS 6: Asma kanak-kanak ni adalah untuk seumur hidup. 

Jawapannya: TIDAK

Asma di kalangan kanak-kanak ni unik. Sebab tu ia dinamakan childhood asthma. Bermaksud, akan sampai satu tahap (meningkat usia remaja), sebahagian kanak-kanak ini akan pulih dan tidak lagi memerlukan rawatan asma. Walau bagaimana pun, ada juga yang serangan asma mereka akan berterusan sehingga umur dewasa.

Ingat ya! Asma kanak-kanak bukanlah bermakna anak perlu digari duduk sahaja di tepi melihat yang lain bermain. Dengan kefahaman yang betul, anak-anak yang menghidap asma boleh saja menikmati dunia kanak-kanak dengan riang dan aktif.

Mendidik dengan ilmu, menjaga dengan penuh kasih-sayang!

Semoga perkongsian kali ini membawa manfaat.