Chicken pox is a common affliction that affects people of all ages but is most commonly seen in children. The symptoms of chicken pox are red bumps on the body that turn into blisters and that increase in quantity over several days. The bumps may look like insect bites or a rash and is often difficult to diagnose the first few days. Often, it is accompanied by a fever. Watch the bumps to see if they turn into blisters and if more bumps emerge over a few days. If so, it is likely chicken pox.
Most cases of chicken pox do not even need a consultation with a physician and are easily treatable. However there are times when consulting a doctor is advisable. If after three days you are still unsure of the diagnosis, consult a doctor. If the child is an infant, you should bring the child in for diagnosis. If your childís bumps seem infected or are located on eyelids, it is best to get it checked. Also, if your child seems unusually ill, has severe headaches, a high fever that lasts more than five days, or if the child develops other cold like symptoms such as a cough a doctorís opinion should be sought.
Chicken pox and children
Chicken pox is highly contagious and the child should be quarantined for the duration. Do not allow the child to interact with peers at school or with friends. Once the child starts getting spots, it will take approximately seven days until he or she is no longer contagious. The day after all the spots have scabbed, the child will no longer be contagious and can resume normal activity.
The accompanying fever should only be treated if it is above 101∞ F. Studies indicate a slight fever will help the child heal. Motrin, Advil or Tylenol can be used to treat the fever. Use only acetaminophen and ibuprofen products for fever but do not use aspirin. A child can have a severe reaction to aspirin during this time so it is important not to use it.
The child should try not to scratch the bumps because it may cause infection. Take greater care to keep the fingernails short and clean during this time. Frequent baths will help soothe the itching. Adding oatmeal to the bath will also help. Brands such as Aveeno are ideal for this. Benadryl or other off-brand topical antihistamines can be used as needed and greatly reduce the itching. These are readily available over-the-counter at any pharmacy.
Children who have chicken pox and who have a slight fever but otherwise seem well typically do not need to see a doctor. Ensure they stay isolated until the ailment passes and they are no longer contagious. See a doctor if unusual symptoms occur or if the child seems very ill. Chicken pox is a common ailment, easily treated, and quickly recovered from. Most people only get one case of chicken pox in a lifetime.