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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Children's Health Chicken pox

Chicken pox

It is the common illness among kids, particularly under the age 12. It is highly contagious illness caused by primary infection with varicella zoster virus.

Symptoms of chicken pox

  • Red, itchy rash on the skin that usually appears first on the abdomen or back and face. It then spreads to almost everywhere in the body including scalp, mouth, nose, ears and genitals.
  • The rash begins as multiple small, red bumps like that look like pimples. They develop in to thin-walled blisters filled with clear fluid, which becomes cloudy. The blisters break away leaving open sores which finally crust, become dry forming brown scabs.
  • Other symptoms: Fever, abdominal pain, sore throat, headache before 2 days the rash appears.
  • Sometimes it can cause serious bacterial infections involving the skin, lungs, bones, joints and brain.

Chicken pox is contagious from about 2 days before the rash appears and lasts until the blisters are crusted over. A child with chicken pox should be kept out of school until blisters have dried.

Preventing chicken pox:

Chicken pox vaccine: It should be given at 12-15 months old and a booster shot at 4 to 6 years old. The vaccine is 70% to 85% effective at preventing mild infections and more than 95% effective in preventing moderate to severe forms of the infection.

Treating chicken pox:

  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics are given if the sores get infected. Infection often occurs due to scratching by children.

Caring children during chicken pox:

  • Use cool wet compresses or giving baths in cool or lukewarm water every 3 to 4 hours. Taking ba5th does not spread chicken pox.
  • Pat dry the body.
  • Avopid rubbing of skin.
  • Apply calamine lotion on itchy areas or apply sandal wood paste.
  • Give foods which are cold, soft and bland. Avoid feeding highly acidic, salty or spicy foods.
  • Give acetaminophen (crocin) syrup to relieve pain and fever.
  • Use anti-histamines for the relive of itching.
  • Use pain relieving creams for the sores.
  • Never use aspirin in children with chicken pox, since it may causes serious disease called Reye syndrome leading to liver failure and death.
  • Prevent children from scratching, cut the finger nails.

Call the doctor if your child:

  • Has fever that lasts for more than 4 days or rises above 102° Fahrenheit (38.8° Celsius)
  • Severe cough or trouble breathing
  • Infected rashes charecterized by discharge of pus, redness, warmness, swelling, soreness.
  • If the child has severe headache
  • If the child has unusually drowsy or has trouble waking up
  • Has trouble in looking at bright lights
  • Has difficulty walking
  • If the child seems to be confused.
  • Sever vomiting.
  • If the child is severly looking ill.
  • If the child has stiffness of neck.