Chicken pox for a 12 year old

(5 Posts)
Toastandstrawberryjam Thu 13-Mar-14 10:20:35

Am mildly panicking here. My 12 year old DD has probably never had chicken pox. I say probably because she had some chicken pox like spots when she was a toddler, but only a few so def not a good case of it.

I've promised her for years that if she got to 12 without getting it I would take her and get the jab done. I guess I assumed maybe she was somehow immune as she never got it after repeated exposures at nursery/school.

Unfortunately two days ago my youngest came down with CP (she's 7) and now my 12 year old is freaking out big time about getting it. Everything I've read seems to point to it being pretty awful in older children and she's at the image conscious/ struggling to fit in stage and is mortified by the thought of pox spots! Also she's so far behind at school anyhow that time off won't be helpful at all.

Has anybody's child had it at this age? Is there anything the dr can do? I've read about anti viral drugs but they seem to be for adults and teenagers.

foolonthehill Thu 13-Mar-14 10:30:32

I had it at 11 years. Was unpleasant and i had to have the curtains closed against the light as my eyes hurt but it was not terrible and i had no scarring from the spots. Typically scars are due to scratching(my children had it early and it did seem less severe).

The antiviral drug aciclovir can make the disease shorter if it is given within the first 24 hours of the spots appearing...you could make a case for her to have it if she is behind at school maybe but there are side effects common ones being diarrhoea, itchy rash, headache.

deelite72 Thu 13-Mar-14 10:30:40

My son's mate (both 12), just went back to school this past Monday. He was off from the previous Thursday, so that was 3 sick days total plus the weekend. Not too shabby. I think the first 2-3 days were rough, but by Sunday he was feeling well enough in himself to return to school and most crucially, the spots crusted over so he was able to be around others without risk of infecting them. Both my kids took about 5 days off school until the spots had crusted over. Your DD has now been exposed to her younger sibling. I'd let your 12 year old get chicken pox, get it out of the way now and if she doesn't catch it, this means she may be immune. Even if she doesn't catch chicken pox, I'd talk to the GP about a varicella vaccination. At any rate, it's a mild childhood illness. It's uncomfortable and not pretty, but I wouldn't give her anti-virals. They can be pretty rough on the body. Just wait and see what happens. There's not much to be done at this stage, prevention wise.

deelite72 Thu 13-Mar-14 10:31:13

Sorry 2 sick days (from school) + weekend, I meant to write.

Seeline Thu 13-Mar-14 10:31:28

I had it at 15 and have to say I had it pretty badly and felt very ill for most of the 2 weeks I was off school. It was 30 years ago so hopefully there are better treatments available now. At that time it was just paracetamol and calamine lotion - they hadn't even thought of using antihistamines to help with the itching!
I think the plus side is that you are old enough to really try not to scratch - I have very few scars from having it and I was covered in spots, including mouth and throat. My sister had it first (she was 13) and also had it very badly with spots on her palms and soles of a feet which the GP was very surprised at. Needless to say 14 days later I found my first spot.
I had been in contact with it loads of times as a younger child with my mum even sending me to play with others who had it but never caught it then.

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