Five things parents should know when caring for children with chicken pox

14 Sep 2023 01:02pm
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Chickenpox is caused by the Varicella Zoster virus and is highly contagious.

It usually occurs in children, but can also affect people of all ages.

When small children are infected with chicken pox, they will easily whine due to discomfort.

If not done right, it can quickly spread across one whole body will quickly spread to the deck because of scratching which will make it slower to heal afterward.

The symptoms begin with a rash on the skin. The rash will turn into a red spot filled with itchy fluid that will then dry, become crusty, and peel off within seven to 14 days.

According to the Sultanah Fatimah Muar Specialist Hospital Pediatric Medical Officer, Johor, Dr Redza Zainol, these are the five main things that parents can do if their child is dealing with chicken pox.

1) Keep the child at home

As chicken pox is a highly contagious disease, even family members in the house have the risk of being exposed to it.

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Wait until all the rashes have dried up and no new rashes appear.

It will usually take a week for the rash to dry and turn into scabs.

Remember to separate clothes, towels, and utensils so as not to mix with other family members.

2) Reduce the disease with paracetamol.

Be careful to not give aspirin to a child with chicken pox as it can cause Reye's Syndrome which damages the child's heart and brain.

3) Apply calamine lotion after every shower.

The lotion will provide moisture and relief to the child's skin.

4) Help reduce skin itchiness.

Give children an antihistamine solution.

However, remember to give only when necessary according to the suggested dosage.

5) Keep the child's nails short.

This is because when a child scratches his or her skin, germs from under the nails will enter the rash area and cause a bacterial infection (secondary infection) on the skin.

For babies, parents can give them gloves (mittens) to prevent them from scratching their itchy skin.

A tip to reduce scarring on the skin is to never let children peel off the scabs from chicken pox.