11 June 2018

Coping with Chickenpox

Chickenpox is something that parents dread. But, it’s something that most children get. Even those children that have been vaccinated can suffer from chickenpox during their childhood. It’s a very contagious disease, which spreads quickly and comes in many strains, making it hard to entirely protect against. But, it’s still important to consider the immunization as it can help to protect high-risk children and even if your child does contract the virus, their symptoms are likely to be less server.

But, vaccinated or not, if your child does contract chicken pox, it can be unpleasant. Some children get a few spots that are mildly itches and no other symptoms. Others can be completely covered in large blisters that itch and are uncomfortable or even painful. They can suffer from a high temperature, sore throat and other cold-like symptoms. They can have difficulty sleeping, and their spots can turn into unpleasant scars. This can be especially difficult for younger children who struggle to explain how they are feeling or ask for things that might help them. Here are some tips to help you to cope.

See a Doctor

If your child’s symptoms are severe, and especially if they’ve been vaccinated, it’s a good idea to see a doctor to confirm the diagnosis. They may also be able to prescribe medication to help manage the symptoms.

However, as chickenpox is very contagious and can be dangerous for at-risk groups, you shouldn’t take your child into the doctor’s surgery. Instead use pediatric care online for advice without leaving the house.

Keep them Cool

Whether your child has a fever or not, you should try to keep their skin cool. Overheating will make the blisters itch more and become sore. Especially those in skin rolls and around joints. Dress them in loose, cotton clothing or let them walk around in just a nappy when you can. Use light blankets, keep the windows open and cool their skin by applying a moisturizer you’ve kept in the fridge.

Oat Baths

Oats can be wonderfully soothing for sore and itchy skin. Bath your child in lukewarm water, with oats mixed in. Let your child bathe for as long as they like if it comforts them.

Try Creams

Chamomile lotion used to be recommended to decrease itching, but you may not find it effective. Your pharmacy will have gels, creams and ointments, but whether or not they work will depend on your child. Try a simple E45 cream, cooled in the fridge before buying expensive creams that may not be effective.


Antihistamines can work to reduce itching and redness. Look for a mild child safe medicine that doesn’t cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist for help.

Get Out

You shouldn’t take your child to school or nursery until their blisters have scabbed over and are no longer contagious. But, being trapped in the house for what could be weeks is can make parenting hard and drive everyone crazy. Take your child out for a drive or put them in the pram for a walk around when it’s quiet out. Get out of the house for a bit when you can. Fresh air and a change of scenery can make you both feel better.


  1. Gosh I havent heard that phrase for years 'put them in the pram' ! I remember years ago parents would intentionally have us get chickenpox so we would be over it. I dont know why anyone would want several sick kis at once bu they did in the 60s!

  2. Thankful to never experienced having chicken pox, definitely a huge scar if a baby did


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