Chicken pox is a usually mild illness that is most common during childhood. Most people catch it at some point or the other, but still fret when their little ones catch it. And why not!
As a parent, you are responsible for your child’s well-being, this being one of them. Understanding the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention methods will help you take better care of your toddler in case of chicken pox.
What Causes Chicken Pox?
Chicken pox roots its origin or occurrence from a virus known as Varicella-Zoster. It is also referred to as VZV.
Is Chicken Pox In Toddler Contagious?
Chicken pox is contagious from about 2 days before the rash appears and up to the time they develop a crust over. This virus can be passed on from one person to other with remarkable ease. Here is how:
- If an infected person touches other person after touching his own blisters.
- If an infected person coughs or sneezes and touches other person with same hand.
- The virus can also be released into the air when infected person sneezes or coughs and non-infected person breathes it in.
- The fluid from the blister when it comes in direct contact with other person.
As it is highly contagious, it is advised to keep your affected toddler from school and from siblings too (especially if the sibling and other fellow students are unvaccinated.)
[ Read: Eczema In Toddlers ]
Symptoms Of Chickenpox In Toddlers:
If your toddler has been exposed to the VZV, it can take around 14 to 16 days for the blisters to become visible. It can take anything between 10 to 21 days for these pustules to actually show up.
Here are few first signs of chickenpox in toddlers:
- Generally starts with mild fever that can range anywhere between 101 degrees F to 102 degrees F.
- Your toddler may even experience some headache.
- He can also complain of stomach ache.
- Sore throat is another symptom.
- Small red rashes are the first sign to show up.
- These rashes are very itchy.
- Soon these rashes get filled with fluid and turn into blisters.
- These rashes first appear on stomach and slowly spread onto back and face.
- These rashes can spread anywhere including scalp, mouth, arms, legs and even genitals.
- Not all toddlers have it all over the body.
- The blisters soon get a crust, covering them like a scab, which eventually fall off.
All stages, right from red spots, rashes, blisters and scabs, can appear together at the same time.
[ Read: Scarlet Fever In Toddlers ]
Treatment For Chickenpox In Toddlers:
If your toddler is suffering from chicken pox, here are the ways in which it can be treated:
- Chicken pox is a result of a virus, so often, doctors prescribe antiviral course of medicines.
- Chicken pox is very itchy, which makes toddlers itch or pick on them. This causes the blisters to get infected by bacteria. Under such circumstances, doctors prescribe a course of antibiotics.
Usually, chicken pox does not call for serious medical treatment per se. However, you may want to contact your doctor:
- If your toddler suffers from fever for more than 4 days.
- If fever peaks above 102 degrees F.
- If any of the rash area starts leaking out pus or if the rash becomes swollen, sore, warm and red.
- If your toddler finds walking difficult.
- If your toddler faces trouble in breathing.
- If he vomits and seems really ill.
- If he finds it difficult to look at bright lights.
- If he finds it difficult to wake up.
- If he experiences severe headache.
How To Comfort?
Chicken pox can make your toddler feel extremely uncomfortable, especially due to itching. Here is what you can do to comfort him a little:
- Comfort your toddler by giving compresses. This should be done at an interval of 3-4 hours.
- Always give him a lukewarm bath. Baths never spread the rashes.
- Never rub the body, pat dry it.
- Calamine lotion can actually relieve the itchiness on the body but never use it on face.
- If your toddler has chicken pox in mouth too, always serve him cold, soft and bland food.
- Never feed your toddler anything that is highly acidic in nature.
- You should consult your doctor and give pain relievers to your toddler if he has blisters in his mouth.
- Doctor can also prescribe medicines for relieving itching to some extent.
- Cover your toddler’s hands and feet with mittens and socks to avoid them from scratching.
- Encourage your toddler to wash hands frequently; you too must do the same.
- Trim his nails regularly.
Important To Remember:
It is highly advised that you always inform the doctor’s chamber or hospital before visiting.
- This will help keep other young kids and those who might be at a risk of getting infected away for the time being.
- One of the best ways of preventing chicken pox is getting your toddler vaccinated twice between 12-15 months of age. Your toddler’s doctor will inform about the same once you ask.
- You must also get your child a booster shot between 4 to 6 years of age.
- Chicken pox virus can later cause shingles. This can be prevented by vaccination.
- Consult your doctor well and prevent every kind of reoccurrence in future.
We hope this post helped you know almost everything you need to understand about chicken pox in toddlers. Please drop in your comments in the box below.
Reference : 1
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