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)

ProudAS Thu 17-Jan-13 12:16:39

But the contagion chances within a single household is 90%. So should we isolate siblings who are 90% likely to be infectious within 2 weeks after their brother or sister falls ill? If not, why not?

Tricky one - I'm all for keeping siblings away from people who are known to be immune suppressed etc but the risk of an asymptomatic sibling being infectious on a given day are lower than 90% and infection control measures should be proportional to the risk.

CP has an incubation period of between 10 and 20 days and is infectious from a day or so before symptoms appear and for 5-6 days afterwards. Hence a sibling could develop symptoms anywhere from 9-26 days later (becoming infectious at between 8 and 25 days) and keeping them at home all that time would be impractical.

The chances of a child being infectious on the 8th day are quite low as they would have had to have caught it at the earliest 'opportunity' and had the minimum incubation period. A higher number of siblings become infectious round about day 15 but the fact that a child does not have symptoms at this stage puts the odds of them having caught it at below 90%.

ProudAS Thu 17-Jan-13 12:18:14

Interesting article about getting cp more than once here:

http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2562.aspx?CategoryID=200&SubCategoryID=2002

I've heard that very young children don't always develop immunity and a condition called hand, foot and mouth may be mistaken for chicken pox.

5madthings Thu 17-Jan-13 12:22:23

My children never caught chickenpox off each ithet. They have bad it seperately but actually whikst they might hace been incubating it (even tho they werent) i was careful, avoided babies and pregnant ladies and warned people thet may be incubating it. Made sense to me. But no a school wont ket you keep them off so not much you csn do about that, i dud try and minimise risk when i could tho.

tiggytape Thu 17-Jan-13 12:24:42

Proud - that is exactly right and that's where the grey area and being sensible comes into it.
A child exposed to CP but showing no symptoms is not 90% likely to have it on any given day. They carry on as normal but at the first sign of a blister, you assume CP and keep them at home that day to see how it develops.
The only exception would be if that child had regular contact with a vulnerable person. In those cases, they may well stay away for the full 26 days eg you wouldn't take a recently exposed child who had no symptoms to see someone in hospital having cancer treatment.

A child who did not know they'd been exposed to CP might not stay at home at the first blister because it might not be spotted on the day it appears - the parents have no reason to be checking for spots. There's no way to avoid that. The child will be contagious for 2 or 3 days and infecting others but that cannot be helped. That is an acceptable risk because there's no solution to that.

Going out due to boredom with a child who is known to be infectious is not a grey area at all. It is wrong to do this as the risk to others massively outweights any tiny advantage to the child. Going out in an absolute emergency with a child with CP may be necessary but only as a last resort and only with all possible precautions (staying outdoors and well away from others).

goldenlula Thu 17-Jan-13 13:29:50

Proud, funnily enough ds2 developed spots around his ankles when we were on holiday, at first I thought flea bites, then considered chicken pox. It wasn't until I put the sore mouth he had been complaining of (thought he had ulcers) then blisters appearing on his hands that we realised it was hand foot and mouth, I cans ea how that could be mistaken for cp! We haven't had cp here yet, but I have isolated my children on more than one occasion due to a suspect spot!

MrsDeVere Thu 17-Jan-13 14:39:21

various what a lovely post. I hope that your DS doesn't get it and if he does it is quick and not to horrible.

People like you are the reason I can't keep away from these sodding threads, however upsetting and frustrating they get.

Because I think lots of people are generally just ignorant of the facts and NOT selfish and once they understand will take appropriate steps to protect others.

In the scheme of things it is a small thing although inconvenient.

I am not the only one to share my story and I know it takes an awful lot out of parents who do. If it wasn't so important to us we simply wouldn't bother.

So thanks and fingers crossed for you DS smile

floatyjosmum Fri 18-Jan-13 07:37:27

As someone who had a miscarriage after coming into contact with chicken pox and slapped cheek (big coincidence if this want the cause) no you shouldn't be going anywhere public and KNOWINGLY effecting people!

snowybrrr Fri 18-Jan-13 08:06:51

(big coincidence if this want the cause)

1 in 4 pregnancies end in m/c so why would it be a big coincidence?

grobagsforever Fri 18-Jan-13 08:39:19

YANBU. If you keep the raincover up and stay away from people. Don't go into shops though, shop online!

tjah04 Fri 18-Jan-13 09:05:19

My DN has an immnio-syndrome and at the present time she is living in a bubble at home and will do for some time.

It is highly unlikely that you will bump into anyone with such a condition in this weeks conditions.

In addition taking precautions and using rain covers etc are equally unlikely to pass it on.

ruledbyheart Fri 18-Jan-13 09:06:45

Snowybrrr
How fucking insensitive are you?
It is proven that chicken pox exposure can cause mc and if the poster was in contact with it then it isnt going to be thought of as a coincidence is it?!

tjah04 Fri 18-Jan-13 09:21:54

I do not think she was being insensitive ruledbyheart.

It is still extremley rare and the mother would have to catch it in order to pass it on to the unborn baby so it is highly likely you would know if the miscarriage was a result of this.

I caught 5th (slapped cheek) while pregnant with my DS. It is rare that MC happens from this even if you do catch it.

The swearing was a bit of an over-reaction.

tiggytape Fri 18-Jan-13 10:30:33

Actually no the mother wouldn't need to pass it directly to her unborn baby for there to be a risk. If a woman catches it early in her pregnancy and it causes a prolonged fever, it doesn’t have to pass the placenta to do harm.

And, yes it is quite rare to catch it in pregnancy but once a pregnant woman does catch it, the risks aren't small anymore. The risk of abnormality may only increase to 4% but the risk of serious illness is high (10% risk of acute pneumonia and 30% risk to newborn of neonatal varicella so severe that life is endangered as well as numerous other complications to do with secondary infections, brain and lung complications as well as affects on the baby).

And whilst many women contracted CP as a child, about 10% of all pregnant women are estimated not to have immunity (either because they've never had it or because they did not acquire mmunity to it). 10% of all pregnant women is quite a lot. It isn't some unlucky tiny, minority group.

So yes the risks are small if you are talking about pregnant women in general but only because most are unlikely to catch it. If you are talking about pregnant women who are (knowingly or unknowingly) not immune, the individual risks to them are not small at all. And of course the very people most at risk are the ones likely to be unable to avoid young children – women of child bearing age who have other children at school or who work with children.

tiggytape Fri 18-Jan-13 10:32:02

... and even if a woman doesn't m/c, the worry of having caught the illness and then having to wait for scans and examinations at birth to determine if any harm has been caused is obviously very upsetting and worrying.

hopeful92 Fri 18-Jan-13 14:20:53

To be perfectly honest, I don't know why you are all even still discussing it and trying to justify why she should take her infected child out in public. NHS advice is not to. End of. If you are not a medical professional, then who the hell are you to give advice about such sensetive issues such as auto-immune diseases and miscarriages when there are some people on this site who indeed have had miscarriages, who hav children or family members going through chemotherapy or with autoimmune diseases. So stop dishing out ill-advised advice.

OP, if you take your child out purely because you don't want to stay in the house for so long, then I'm sorry, no beating around the bush, you are a selfish prat Like I said before, I completely understand you taking them under the raincover to do school run, however like another poster said you can arrange to drop off late and pick up early.

MrsDeVere Fri 18-Jan-13 14:30:15

tjah04 you have NO idea how many immunosupressed and vulnerable people the OP could meet in a week.

Having a DN with one condition does not qualify to give out advice and tell the OP or anyone else that they are ok to take out their infectious children.

Your poor DN and parents, having to live in a 'bubble' sad

DontmindifIdo Fri 18-Jan-13 14:35:17

Hopeful - not trying to say it's wrong but: DS currently has chicken pox, when I asked our GP about keeping him away from others, she specifically said to keep him off nursery for 10 days, avoid toddler groups or other groups of children who'd not had chicken pox, but stressed I didn't have to keep him indoors away from anyone (she's not an old GP whos training might be rather out of touch, I'd say she was mid-late 30s). After reading this thread, i've asked around other friends who's DCs have had it, none have been told to stay in, just away from pregnant woman and groups of other DCs.

The NHS website might say stay in, but how many people would go and double check after hearing from a GP it's fine to go out and about, just avoid groups of children/pregnant woman?

Who would think to ask for late drop offs/early pick ups unless been told to do it? There's a lot of assumption that people understand how dangerous it can be to a very small minority and are being deliberately selfish, most really don't know.

tiggytape Fri 18-Jan-13 14:41:33

none have been told to stay in, just away from pregnant woman and groups of other DCs

But logically that does mean stay in.
How can you avoid pregnant women if you take him to the shops or to school or to the playground or anywhere else that is a public place? Pregnant women mostly don't look very pregnant especially under winter coats.
How can you avoid children who've not had chicken pox if you allow him to go anywhere except his own home and the homes of people who have had it and don't mind?
You cannot possibly tell which children have had it or which women are pregnant so if you go to any public place then you are risking him coming into contact with people who aren't immune and also people who are very vulnerable to illness.

hopeful92 Fri 18-Jan-13 15:11:45

none have been told to stay in, just away from pregnant woman and groups of other DCs

So this means you can take them to a school playground HOW exactly...? Surely that is the one place you would avoid?!?!?!

I am 5 months pregnant. If you brought a child with chickenpix near me I would probably [can't say what I would do for fear of getting removed] be very pissed off...

hopeful92 Fri 18-Jan-13 15:14:08

And how would you know if you were near a pregnant woman? The shopkeeper at the supermarket could be 8 weeks pregnant for all you know, they might just not have told anyone yet or want to before the 12 week mark. Or they could just not be showing very much - if I'm wearing my coat you can't tell I'm pregnant! We don't hide away for the whole 9 months you know....

ProudAS Fri 18-Jan-13 17:15:46

The doctor doesn't seem to have a problem with taking poxy child to an otherwise deserted area.

As for the pregnant woman thing there is a difference between walking past a pregnant woman with a poxy child in buggy under rain cover and taking the child to visit her.

hopeful92 Fri 18-Jan-13 18:19:32

ProudAs - Either way, to take a poxy child out in public merely because you don't want to stay in for that long is purely selfish. I have already said I have no problem with the under the raincover thing to pick DC up from school - that is unavoidable. However, a supermarker is not an "otherwise deserted area".

I asked DP's mother who is a nurse if you should keep poxy children at home and she said it is utterly ridiculous to do anything else as pox can be very dangerous for certain groups of people.

snowybrrr Sun 20-Jan-13 11:36:19

I would take the view that in that case the onus is on the vulnerable people to keep themselves out of circulation not least because at least 50% of people infected with CP won't have symptoms yet.

snowybrrr Sun 20-Jan-13 11:39:50

Also if you haven't had chicken pox and are considering having a baby, why not get the jab before you conceive, in the same way you are supposed to do with rUBELLA

Gigondas Sun 20-Jan-13 11:44:21

Good idea snowybrr- when I have chemo I will just stay out of circulation and not go to hospital for treatment so someone who is going a bit stir crazy can pop out.hmm

There is a world of difference between taking out kids you know are infectious and unwittingly passing stuff on when you didn't realise.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now