The dreaded chickenpox. It’s a very common childhood illness that we all have to deal with at some point. It’s not nice seeing your child unwell and uncomfortable from all the itchy spots and for the most part we have to just let it run its course. But thankfully there are some things that we can do to help, which I will share with you in this post.
How do I know if my child has chickenpox?
Firstly, how do you even know if your child has chickenpox? What are the first signs and symptoms?
It’s likely that your little one will be feeling under the weather and may have a temperature in the days leading up to the chickenpox rash appearing, but you won’t realise it’s chickenpox until the rash appears. Aside from the rash, the fever may continue for a few days and may be accompanied by headaches and loss of appetite.
Everyone is effected different though and where one child might be really unwell with chickenpox another might seem quite perky. The same goes for the rash, some children only get a few spots and others will be covered from head to toe. The one thing all children will have in common is the red, blister like, itchy rash.
It’s been a few years now since my two had chickenpox. I remember that Evie had them first and as soon as her spots started to scab over Max then came out in spots! It was a testing time, I won’t lie. Being stuck at home for almost a month with two miserable and bored children wasn’t much fun. But I certainly learnt a few things from our experience, so here are my top tips for surviving chickenpox…
Chickenpox usually clears up by itself in one to two weeks, without the need to see a GP but you can give your child over the counter medication to help. Calpol can be given to bring their temperature down but do not give ibuprofen. Using ibuprofen on a child with chicken pox can lead to a serious skin infection, so only use Calpol.
You can also give your child antihistamines to help with the itch. We used Piriton regularly with our two and it definitely helped.
Lots of people swear by oatmeal baths to relieve itching. This can be used for eczema as well as chickenpox and other rashes. Simply sprinkle finely ground oats into the bath, or alternatively put the oats into a sock or stocking and hang it under the running tap. If you don’t have oats, a simple cool bath can also help soothe the chickenpox rash.
Now of course you shouldn’t let your child mix with other children while they have chickenpox as they are likely to pass it on. But getting them outdoors for some fresh air will do them, and you the world of good. You’re pretty limited on where you can take them and avoid other people but even if it’s just the garden, it makes a welcome change from the same four walls.
We took Max and Evie to our local woods to see the bluebells. We knew it would be quiet there as it was a school day so we were unlikely to see any other children and we could make a quick escape if we did. As you can see from the below photos, they loved getting out of the house and it really helped to lift everyone’s spirits.
Wear loose clothing
Tight clothing will only irritate the chickenpox rash, so make sure your child is wearing loose fitting clothes. If they don’t want to wear any clothes at all, go with it! I remember Evie only wearing a nappy most of the time when she had chickenpox, this also helps if they have a high temperature.
Food and drink
Chickenpox can effect appetite so just try to offer bland food and plenty of fluids. Some children may get spots inside their mouth which can make eating and drinking quite painful, ice lollies are a good way to soothe their mouth and get some fluids into them at the same time.
Lotions and creams
Back in the day when I was little and had chickenpox, I remember being covered in chamomile lotion to help relieve the itch. These days there’s lots of lotions and gels out there to help your child feel more comfortable. I tried a few when my two had chickenpox and Virasoothe was the best that we came across, it soothed the children’s itching almost immediately. It’s a clinically proven cooling gel which not only helps to receive the itching but also supports natural healing and helps reduce scarring. Virasoothe contains Osmo Care, a unique patented technology that has been clinically proven to relieve the irritating symptoms of chickenpox by cooling the skin and thereby relieving itching. By protecting the skins environment it allows the skin to heal naturally which can help reduce long-term scarring.
This is easier said that done but it is important that you try to prevent your child scratching as this can lead to scarring. One way to prevent your child from scratching, particularly if they are really young is to put socks or gloves on their hands at night. Also using gels such as Virasoothe mentioned above will help prevent scarring.
Do you have any other tips for surviving chickepox? Leave me a comment and let me know.
Thank you for reading.
*This is a collaborative post*