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Think Your Child Has Chickenpox?

Do you have a child of nursery or school age? If yes, the chances are he or she has already had - or been exposed to - chickenpox. But if not, we wanted to present you with some of the signs and symptoms, so you know what to look out for if you suspect an outbreak.

Mostly affecting kids (although you can get it whatever your age), chickenpox can get better by itself within a week or two -  and there's often no need to book in to see your GP.

What are chickenpox and has your child got them?

Starting with red spots which can appear anywhere on the body, chickenpox can cause distress to your little ones, with them wanting to scratch and poke the already-inflamed but itchy spots.

Filling with fluid, the blisters may burst and they can spread or stay in a small area. Eventually, they may scab over, but much to your relief (and your poor child's) some may disappear on their own.

Still not sure what they look like? The NHS has some helpful imagery to help you determine if chickenpox is responsible for your child's irritability.

But it isn't just spots you should be looking out for. Other symptoms include a high temperature (above 38C), loss of appetite, and aches and pains. You may also find that your child tells you they feel unwell in general, and you'll discover they won't be their usual self.

Not sure it's chickenpox you're dealing with? Keep your child away from nursery or school, until the spots have crusted over. This generally takes around five days.

What can you do to combat chickenpox in children?

First things first, avoid dehydration in your child (if he or she isn't drinking) by getting them to drink plenty of fluid. If that isn't working, try ice lollies - just this once (or twice) won't hurt them!

Paracetamol is also an option if the pain and discomfort is too much - but make sure you read the NHS' guidelines first.

After their evening bath, try the following:

  • Pat, don't scrub their body dry with a soft, clean towel
  • Put socks on your little one's hands to stop the scratching overnight
  • Cut their nails to minimise discomfort if they just can't help the scratching
  • Speak to the team here at Chemist.co.uk, about the cooling creams or gels available
  • Dress them in loose clothing, which will relieve any discomfort
  • Encourage a relaxing bedtime routine to take their mind off the itchiness.

Remember: if you have flights booked, always check with your airline before travel; some airlines do not allow children or adults with chickenpox to board.

And here's a few don'ts:

  • Don't be tempted to use ibuprofen, as it can make someone with chickenpox very ill
  • Don't be around pregnant women, babies or those with a weakened immune system
  • Don't give aspirin to kids under 16 years old.

How do you deal with chickenpox in children? Don't forget to share any tips on our Facebook page.

Disclaimer: If you are allergic to any of the ingredients listed in the products mentioned, do not consume them. Always check with your doctor before trying a new medication or regime, and if irritation or allergy occurs, stop using the product or medication immediately and seek medical advice.

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