Well that’s an interesting title if i do say so myself. But don’t worry, it’s not as sensational as it may sound. This post is all about my 23 month old catching Chicken Pox and simple advice for any parents, if their kids have never contracted the virus. It’s a tough time for all involved, so please read on if you want to know more about the (almost) inevitable condition.
While my wife was changing Toddler E for bedtime, she spotted a small, grouped up rash over the back of her teeny tiny trunk.
“Ut oh, come look at this!” she said in a concerned voice.
You see, having kids, we accept Chicken Pox is inevitable. It’s like a time bomb that you know is going to go off eventually. You will have to deal with it sooner or later, we thought. Having a professional medical background, you’d think might help in these situations.
“Oh that’s just a rash” I said. “We’ll keep an eye on it though!”.
So here’s the thing. We’ve got two young kids in the house. The temperature needs to be just above comfortable, when considering the central heating over the height of winter. Except the weather’s been really wonky recently with variable temperatures. It’s been warmer outside and it’s led to increased temperatures inside the house, particularly at night. This is the main reason why I thought it was just a superficial rash. She’s had one before you see and they had disappeared in around 24 hours.
Anyway, it wasn’t! The rash persisted, and grew. It spread around her lower back and from her tummy (almost in a line) up to her chest, then appeared on her neck, legs and arms. The rash had converted to spots and then to blisters.
We had identified it was Chicken Pox pretty quickly, although it wasn’t quite clear how she had contracted it. One of Toddler E’s friends had it recently, but we hadn’t, to my knowledge, been in contact with them during his infectious stage.
I reached out on the Daddycated Facebook page for any advice from experienced parents, and we got a really good response. It seemed different things worked for different people.
To cut to the chase, something you will really need is support. We were lucky to have the help of a close family friend. It’s very difficult to get out the house to go buy things that may help, so relying on someone else is vitally important.
Here’s the list of things that we did to help out Toddler E with the condition, to help her feel a little more comfortable, plus a little extra advice:
- Identify it as soon as possible. Check out online resources like the NHS Choices, Chicken Pox Page
- You will require Calpol. Chicken Pox is a very contagious Virus (Varicella-Zoster) and your little one will get a temperature at some point. Also, Calpol helps reduce the itch.
- I had a water bottle in the fridge to help cool down her back (she kept rubbing her back against the bed and the sofa. It just helped calm her a little, but she didn’t particularly like it that much.
- We started using Calamine Aqueous Cream and Antihistamine medicine straight away. We quickly converted to the excellent and highly recommended Virasoothe Gel. I can’t speak any more highly of this, as it definitely made her so much more comfortable.
- Treating the spots promptly and consistently will help reduce the itch. The less they itch the lower the chances of scarring.
- Spots will appear in the most irritating of places, like eye lids. Extra gentle care required here! They may even appear on hands, sole of the foot and in the mouth.
- Although we didn’t do it, we had advice regarding a bag of oats in the bath amongst other things. When the kids are as distraught as they are with this illness, pretty much anything is worth a try.
- Note when the rash first appears. You’re looking at 5 – 7 days of itchy torture from that moment on. The condition is no longer infectious after the spots/blisters are all scabbed over, but watch out for any late healers!
- You can get an immunisation if you require it. Ask your GP. It’s worth noting that this is standard practise in the USA.
- Keep up the fluid intake – drinks and ice lollies go down an absolute treat and can help them feel cooler.
- Make sure those finger nails are short and smooth. You can’t stop the itch but this trick may help reduce the chance of infected spots/blisters.
If you are wondering what the ‘death’ part of the title of this post is all about; we unfortunately lost one of our pet tropical fish at the same time as all this chaos was going off. It was one of our female Dwarf Gourami, so as you can imagine how much fun that was! The timing of the chest infection I got, couldn’t have been more hilarious too!