To take 2 infectious-poxy children out in public...

(347 Posts)
morecakerequired Wed 16-Jan-13 12:44:35

My DTs have the pox. (spots still appearing so definitely still infectious) Last week my DD1 had it and we spent the whole week indoors as a result. (DS went to and from school by himself) This week I am having to do the school run as DD1 is too young to go with just DS for supervision due to the 2 busy roads to cross. I am taking DTs up to the school in their buggy with the rain cover over them - standing away from other people and leaving as soon as kids are in/out. (we live a 2 min walk from the school)

SO - WIBU to carry on after the school run and take the DTs out for a walk and maybe even go into the small local supermarket to pick up some essentials? WIABU to perhaps take the rain cover off if there were no other people around on the street at that time?

I am so fed up of being stuck in the house and DTs are too - 2 weeks is just too long - and I really think we would all benefit from some fresh air. I can't let them go out into the garden just now as it is under a foot of snow and I don't think getting cold and wet playing in the snow would really help them.

I don't think I'm being unreasonable, but a few of the mums at school have made pointed remarks about how I had better hope there are no pregnant mums/people with low immune systems in the playground so just wondering if taking them for a walk will be bad too? AIBU to think that in a buggy with a rain cover over them and not actually coming into direct contact with anyone they aren't going to infect anyone?

(perfectly happy to accept if IABU - genuinely curious)

libelulle Wed 16-Jan-13 14:11:17

But she is keeping them under the raincover! By what earthly mechanism could they infect someone?! Seriously - viruses are virulent but they can't find their way through a thick sheet of plastic.

Sugarice Wed 16-Jan-13 14:12:21

ruled A walk in the fresh air with a rain cover over the pushchair isn't going to infect anyone with a virus of any sort, that is plain common sense.

ruledbyheart Wed 16-Jan-13 14:14:18

Of course viruses cant guess they aren't breathable well if air can get in it can get out again or do all babies with rain covers just breath in carbon dioxide due to no ventilation?

Hobbitation Wed 16-Jan-13 14:14:22

DH took DD2 to the clinic with suspected chicken pox and had to wait outside until the appointment time.

I think the school run bit is fine really though.

Brandnewbrighttomorrow Wed 16-Jan-13 14:15:36

There were two children with active chicken pox on the school run this morning at our school. I had offered to collect one of the children's sibling so that the contagious child would not need to be taken out of the house and was turned down confused I think too many people view it as a trivial illness which it is not - two of mine have had it and were both very unwell, my DS ended up in hospital with complications after he had it. I know I'm probably over-sensitive about it but why take the risk?

Sleepysand Wed 16-Jan-13 14:16:00

Like libelulle, I have a relative who is having chemo. Slight infections could kill him. He is aware and he takes precautions. Maybe non-immune pregnant women should, too, and should avoid going to places where children might be.

Or maybe all children should be kept at home at this time of year, in case they have the virus, or wrapped in bubbles? It is all over the place - loads of my friends' children have it, and the rest are probably hatching it now while running round supermarkets picking up fruit and veg. Let's lock 'em all up. The OP is taking sensible precautions considering the relatively larger risk that most other kids in the vicinity probably pose.

ruled are you sure you are not angry because you are feeling guilty that you are taking a risk with your baby?

Brandnewbrighttomorrow Wed 16-Jan-13 14:18:50

Btw neither child i mentioned was in a pushchair, one of the mothers even let her dd run into the classroom! I think the precautions you are taking are reasonable for the school run but if it's at all possible I think they should be kept indoors.

ChiefOwl Wed 16-Jan-13 14:19:45

Ruled - out of interest why did you not get vaccinated as an adult if you had not had cp (knowing that there was a possibility you might have dc one day?)

My dc are 7 and 5 and have not had it, I have decided if they get to secondary school age and still not had it, I will get them vaccinated.

ruledbyheart Wed 16-Jan-13 14:30:31

Btw its not just people with immune system issues that are in danger because of it, my nephew (probably going to out myself) caught it not long ago and was in hospital because it caused swelling on the brain, thankfully he is ok now but it could have gone the other way.

Yes children will catch it, some people don't know they have it etc but if you do know why the hell would you put other people at risk?! Idiocy at it's best.

ruledbyheart Wed 16-Jan-13 14:32:56

Chicken pox vaccinations are not available on the NHS and not a routine vaccination, why should I be stuck by a needle just because other people are too selfish to follow medical advice which is to stay away from the public where possible whilst infectious.

frasersmummy Wed 16-Jan-13 14:33:21

ruledbyheart I think your comment re the air getting out from under the rain cover smacks a bit of hysteria...

sometimes you just have to say well its the best that can be done and what will be will be

Doesnt mean we should be cavalier in our attitude to cp.. it can be very dangerous but we need to apply common sense

Sleepysand Wed 16-Jan-13 14:34:20

Coming into contact with CP is sadly just about unavoidable. Some of the consequences are nasty. But most infection is spread by those who have no idea they are infected. The small additional risk at this time of year arising from a quick trip to the supermarket behind a plastic rain cover and a walk in the fresh air is unimportant compared to the unavoidable risk of contact with a symptom-free infected child. That is why the OP INBU and frankly those who say she should behave differently, are.

DontmindifIdo Wed 16-Jan-13 14:35:41

DS came out with spots last night, he was at nursery all day so has potentially infected all those DCs. I'm currently 18 weeks pregnant, but my mum has confirmed I had it as a small child, so i should be ok. However, I've texted all my friends I am supposed to be going out with tonight to check that just in case I'm carrying it they are happy for me to still come out (they are, they've all had it, including my other pregnant friend)

i'm going to have a childcare mare next week, but I'm not taking any silly risks. That said, I've had to do the supermarket run already this morning to get some calamine lotion for DS (the GP did say it was fine in my defense, plus the supermarket was empty). I've got a play date booked with someone who wants her DS to catch it for Friday morning (I'll drive even though it's close to avoid the infecting people in the street fears) - but other than that, it's going to be a very long 10 days... (Might take him to run round in the woods near us, it'll be dead while it's this cold and I think I'll go crazy without some outdoor time)

OP - do you have any friends with similar aged DCs who you know have already had it? You could ask them over for a coffee so at least you'll have some adult company (this is assuming your DTs aren't too sick to cope with company). Think I'm going to go through all my friends I know with DCs who've had it and invite them next week to at least break it up a bit.

splashymcsplash Wed 16-Jan-13 14:37:40

Yabvu for all the reasons already pointed out. Get an online shop.

Sugarice Wed 16-Jan-13 14:39:35

splashy OP has done an online shop, read the thread or at least her responses!

splashymcsplash Wed 16-Jan-13 14:39:52

To the people who think that a rain cover prevents infection you are really rather naive!

DontmindifIdo Wed 16-Jan-13 14:40:35

oh and ruled, DS probably infected his whole nursery class/workers/their parents yesterday, he walked to and from nursery. in himself, he was fine, not ill at all - a little sleepy, but nothing to suggest he was sickening for something. He did the same on Monday. Sunday we went to a birthday party and the supermarket. It was only in the bath last night we noticed the spots. Before that he's been infectious for days and we weren't being reckless.

You have seen first hand the effects of it, I don't understand why you wouldn't have the jab under those circumstances... (And would highly recommend you have it after having this baby, once you have a toddler you are going to at some point be exposed to it unless you make your DC have a dull life and never play with other DCs on the off chance, it's not that expensive and would be worth it so ifyou ended up like me, pregnant with DC2 while DC1 has it, you wouldn't have to worry)

Seabird72 Wed 16-Jan-13 14:41:01

You can't stay stuck in the house - Chickpox is contagious before the spots appear isn't it? So people came into contact before you knew. Yes keep away from anyone pregant etc but where I lived people would happily take their kids to your house if your child had chicken pox because the belief was the sooner they get it the better - I used to get very fed up with my dad ranting on about not wanting to be near the kids before they'd all had the pox because if they had it and we didn't know about it - he could then catch shingles but I have since found out that although you can get chicken pox from shingles you cannot get shingles from chicken pox - it's just once you've had chicken pox you can then get shingles.

DontmindifIdo Wed 16-Jan-13 14:42:40

realistically, the OP has to do the school run if there's noone else to do it for her, so she's going to have to take them out, standing away from the others, keeping the rain cover on etc isn't going to remove all risk of infecting others, but it is going to reduce it and is the best under the circumstances ofher having to do the school run.

Unless OP, do you have access to a car? could you drive for the school run? could your DS walk your DD to the car if you parked relatively close and keep the DTs in the car.

Sleepysand Wed 16-Jan-13 14:47:02

splashy since it is spread by droplets and physical contact, putting your DC behind a plastic shield is very likely going to stop the spread of the virus - it is a physical barrier that stops the sneezy bits flying over your Granny Smiths. What next, they wear ventilators and get positive air pressure devices fitted to their front doors in case the air gets out of the OP's window and infects a passing person? confused

If it comes to that, OP should also disinfect all her clothes, as should all parents of children who haven't yet had the disease, in case they spread it too.

I don't think CP is trivial, but I do think that common sense and a balance of risk and benefit all round needs to be done.

Sleepysand Wed 16-Jan-13 14:48:42

DS and DD's clothes need disinfecting too...

tiggytape Wed 16-Jan-13 14:50:44

You can't stay stuck in the house

Yes you can. And you should. The school run thing is sometimes unavoidable but with a raincover, staying outside and not letting him get near anyone, it is as good as it gets in terms of minimising the risk to others at times when a trip is absolutely essential. If you have someone else to do the school run for you, you should do that.
Trips to the shops aren't essential. Nor is getting fresh air because you're a bit bored at home.

And it isn't enough to keep away from anyone who's obviously pregnant. How do you know? Can you tell that someone is 11 weeks pregant just by looking? And that's not to mention people undergoing chemo or who have lifelong illnesses that make them vulnerable. Again, there is no way of knowing.

It is not possible for vulnerable people in society to never go out due to the risk of a thoughtless person infecting them. The onus is on anyone with a child known to be infectious to keep them away from others even if it is a bit dull and inconvenient. It is only 2 weeks not a whole lifetime of living like that.

In the 2 days before the spots appear, the child is infectious but of course that can't be helped. They continue to be infectious as new spots appear and at that point you absolutely should stay away from others.

TheCatInTheHairnet Wed 16-Jan-13 14:52:20

Btw, the chicken pox jab may not be freely available on the NHS, but its very easy to organise. Both my youngest children have had it. It's not for life though, you have to get boosters but I would think that was a small price to pay compared to getting it as an adult.

Op, I think you're being perfectly sensible. The school run is fine. Why people think immunosuppressed people are gathering in the whirlpool of bacteria that is a school, I don't know!

frasersmummy Wed 16-Jan-13 15:01:49

right see all this what about people going through chemo or who have a suppressed immune system...???

surely these people are not to be found in a school playground/ supermarket??

I mean they are just not going to risk that kind of exposure are they..

battyralphie Wed 16-Jan-13 15:08:23

but surely they are not contagious any more anyway? 5 days after the first spot or until the last ones have crusted over you are contagious, right? After that not, or are they crusting slowly?

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