Parent applying cream to spots of small girl with chickenpox


The dos and don’ts of chickenpox

Chickenpox is almost inevitable as children grow up, so being prepared and knowing how to care for your little one through this common illness will help them on the road to recovery….

Chickenpox is a common illness that mainly affects children when they’re growing up and causes flu-like symptoms and an itchy, spotty rash. It can strike at any age, and whilst there is no cure, treatment can help to relieve chickenpox symptoms – a little preparation can make the dreaded pox a little easier to get through for all the family….

1. Dealing with itching and scratching

Oatmeal in ladle and soap

The itchy spotty rash synonymous with chickenpox can drive little ones crazy! By relieving the itchiness, children are less likely to scratch the spots and this in turn reduces the chance of infection and scarring. An oatmeal bath is a gentle way to help relieve itching or ask your pharmacist for itch relief cream suitable for chickenpox spots. Also keep children’s nails short to minimise scratching.

2. Keep hydrated

Girl drinking water with mother in the kitchen

It is important for children to drink lots of fluids when feeling unwell to avoid dehydration. Water is best rather than sugary or fizzy drinks – especially if suffering with chickenpox spots in the mouth. Sugar free ice-lollies are also a great way to sooth sore mouths and take on fluids.

3. Keep your little one away from others

Small girl unwell in bed

Children should be kept out of nursery, school and away from anyone else who could catch chickenpox whist they are contagious – which is until all the blisters have dried and crusted over. Chickenpox can be passed on easily via direct contact or can be passed on through airborne droplets – so contagious little ones are best cared for at home.

4. Pain relief for flu-like symptoms

Small boy taking medicine for illness

Headaches and fever are common symptoms of chickenpox so monitoring temperature and offering suitable pain relief can all help your little one cope with discomfort. However, it is important to avoid anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen as they can sometimes make people with chickenpox very ill.

Chickenpox is not pleasant for your child or you, but knowing ways to manage the symptoms will help your family get through the pox!