Signs and Symptoms
1. An itchy rash that usually appears on the face and torso.
2. In the beginning small, red spots; then turn into clear, fluid-filled blisters. In the final stage of the rash, the blisters burst and scab over. The rash typically lasts seven to ten days.
3. Occasionally – painful blisters in the mouth or vagina, or around the eyes.
4. A low fever.
What to do now
1. Give acetaminophen for pain. (Never give aspirin to a child under 12 who has chicken pox, flu, or any other illness your suspect of being caused by a virus).
2. If your child wears diapers, leave them off as much as possible to let blisters dry.
3. Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and lots to drink.
4. To relieve itching apply calamine lotion to the rash, and try adding a handful of oatmeal, baking soda, or an over-the-counter anti-itch bath powder to your child’s bath water.
5. Keep your child’s skin, clothes, and bed linens clean.
6. To prevent scratching, trim your child’s fingernails and or cover her hands with socks or mittens.
When to call a doctor
1. If chicken pox is accompanied by persistent drowsiness, double vision, extreme sensitivity to light, eye pain, loss of hearing, speech impairment, a stiff neck or back, or a severe cough; these may be symptoms of acute encephalitis, a inflammation of the brain.
2. If breathing becomes difficult; this may be a symptom of pneumonia, a possible complication (sometimes in adults, rarely in children).
3. If areas of your child’s rash look increasingly red, swollen, or tender, or produce a yellow discharge.
4. If chicken pox is accompanied by a fever over 102 for three to four days, a symptom of possible strep infection.
How to prevent it
1. A Chicken pox vaccine is available for all children over 13 months, and it can be combined with other routine immunizations. For children under 13 years old, a single injection should provide immunity to the disease. Anyone
over 13 needs two shots, four to eight weeks apart.
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