One of the things that I am dreading about my oldest going to school is the inevitability of illness. Obviously, it’s horrible to watch your children sick even if it’s just with a cold or a 24 hour bug, but the one I’m really not looking forward to is chickenpox.
Ridiculously contagious and affecting nine out of ten children before they reach 5 years old, despite chickenpox having swept their preschool a number of times, my two have somehow avoided catching it.
I fear that there’s only so long before chickenpox comes into our home.
With this in mind I reached out to some of my friends and fellow bloggers. They have helped me put together a survival guide of sorts for parents like me who have no idea what to expect and what to do when the chickenpox strikes, with some help from Care ViraSoothe, who sent me a Chickenpox Survival Pack.
Make sure you have something to do!
It’s usually at least 5-6 days between noticing the first telltale red spot and them scabbing over enough for you to go back in to the world. That is a long time to be stuck in with a poorly child, especially an energetic under-5 who needs to be distracted from scratching! Thank goodness for Amazon prime.
Jennie from Rice Cakes and Raisins suggests being prepared if you hear chickenpox is doing the rounds:
Pop into a pound shop for some sticker books, colouring books or plasticine for example. You’ll be stuck in the house for at least a week so it’s a useful to keep a stash of cheap items to keep them from rioting!
Others suggest films in front of the TV and long soothing baths to make the time disappear. If it’s nice and you have a garden then get outside! Emma Reed has a whole week’s worth of tried and tested chickenpox friendly activities here.
Soothe the itching
Itching the spots can lead to infection which makes everything worse and cause scarring. It is important to stop the itch-scratch-infection cycle but but we all know how hard it is to have an itch you can’t scratch. We’ve all seen that episode of friends with the oven gloves right?
Mums who’ve been there suggested an oat bath…
Put some oats in a muslin face clothe and attach over the head of the bath tap and let the water run through. An oat bath stops the itching and soothes the skin. Katrina from Trinimamabebe.
..and cooling gel
ViraSoothe gel is a life saver; it relieves itching and no scarring. Lianne from Ankle Biters Adventures.
Care ViraSoothe is suitable for children over 6 months and it works by relieving the itching caused by chickenpox spots on the body and face. It costs £5.73 for a 50g tube or £8.43 for the spray gel and can be bought in any supermarket or pharmacy, including online pharamcies which are listed on the Care ViraSoothe website.
It also lasts for years so we have some in the cupboard just in case, because once the pox strikes it’s very hard to leave the house!
I love this clever tip from Sarah from Boo Roo and Tigger Too;
Whichever lotion or potion you opt to use, keep it in the fridge so that when you apply it will be cool and soothing.
Keep them comfortable
Loose fitting clothing, nothing clingy. Emma from Fashion Mommy.
Finally you have a use for that t-shirt that is two years too big for them!
Encourage them to drink lots of fluids. Leighanne from Bump and Beyond.
Make sure they have a bottle of water or squash and keep it refilled.
If they get spots inside their mouth, Jen from Just Average Jen suggested ice lollies help, and they also keep them from getting dehydrated if they’re refusing to drink.
And don’t forget to take care of yourself too!
Treat yourself to a much-needed gin and tonic as it’s going to be a long few days. Leighanne from Bump and Beyond.
A few chickenpox don’ts
You should not need to visit your GP but do phone 111 for advice if concerned.
The NHS website advises you NOT to use ibuprofen or aspirin. If your children are suffering with chickenpox then avoid pregnant women, newborn babies and people with a weakened immune system.
Thank you to the bloggers than contributed and to Care ViraSoothe for sending us a chickenpox survival pack full of goodies which will help us through when it hits!
This is a collaborative post with ViraSoothe, however all the words and pictures are my own. And yes, I basically itched the whole time I was writing this.
Note: In the UK, the chickenpox vaccine is not included in routine vaccinations however it is available privately should parents wish to have their children vaccinated against it. Speak to your GP if you want more information.