Your child comes home with a temperature. You pray it’s a mild virus or a dose of the common cold. Of course the magic elixir that is Calpol will fix it. It’s never let you down before. The next morning, up sprout those little telltale blisters and your heart sinks. The day you’ve been dreading. The Chicken Pox.
Here are 5 tips to survive the Chicken Pox:
This is an important one. By all means, administer appropriate doses of Calpol or other paracetamol-based children’s medicines but do not give ibuprofen. Watch out for medicines including ibuprofen such as Nurofen. Always check the label before giving out these medicines. Ibuprofen can cause skin reactions with chicken pox so it’s best to avoid it.
According to the NHS website, chicken pox is contagious until the last spot has scabbed over. If your child still has open or weeping spots, they are still considered contagious and you should avoid exposing them to vulnerable people, such as the elderly.
There are several ways to soothe chicken pox such as an oral antihistamine, which can be recommended by a pharmacist or topical treatments available to apply to the spots. Other options are to fill a pair of old tights with some porridge oats and place it under the running tap for a soothing bath. If your child is unlucky enough to experience lots of spots on his/her bottom, nappy rash cream can provide some relief.
The chances are that by the time the spots look at their worst, your child is actually beginning to feel a bit better and is a bit bored but itchy. Distraction is your best bet here, whether it’s playing a favourite DVD or game or creating a masterpiece with paint, glue or stickers. A new toy or book might help for a while or getting into the kitchen and doing some baking.
When the cabin fever really starts to set it, try going outside but stick to places that are relatively unpopulated. For example, the wooded area in a local country park might be quite empty during term time, which would be perfect for letting off a bit of steam. The toddler swing park is not such a good idea. Empty beaches are good for entertaining poorly children without infecting others. If all else fails, even a few minutes in the garden or a walk along the road can help!