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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Anyone know anything about Shingles in children??

(21 Posts)
PurveyorOfBaloney Thu 02-Jun-11 22:17:17

My poor DS, he has a nasty blistering rash on his back just under the shoulder blade which has spread slowly under his armpit around to his chest. He is fairly well in himself, but is obviously finding it uncomfortable, he tells me it hurts and doesn't like it being looked at. He is sleeping badly. NHS Direct suggested getting pharmacist to look at it, which we did and he said it does look like shingles and to give Piriton and keep it covered up, don't touch it or bathe it.

Thing is as far as we know DS has not had chickenpox, though I guess he could have had it incredibly mildly. Also DS is only 20 months and I believe it is very rare for kids to have shingles at this age unless they had chickenpox at birth or are immunosupressed. Thing is he had a measles jab exactly a week before the rash appeared, I though it was just a side effect of the jab when we first saw it (common side effect to get a measles like rash), until it started blistering.

Is it possible that the measles jab has messed with his system enough to trigger shingles (assuming he did actually get CP before and we didn't notice?). Just seems like a huge coincidence otherwise. I'm probably just paranoid - just feel sad for my poor little boy.

PurveyorOfBaloney Thu 02-Jun-11 22:55:00

Probably too late to be bumping this sad

skintagain Thu 02-Jun-11 23:07:57

Afaik he can't have shingles unless he's had chicken pox. Is it definitely not cp?

PurveyorOfBaloney Thu 02-Jun-11 23:15:54

It is a possibility, but not presenting like classic CP - the spots are not all over and are not individual. The location and appearance is much more like typical shingles. However nothing is certain with these viruses it seems.

Was wondering if anyone else had experience of shingles in kids and how they weathered it.

mouseanon Thu 02-Jun-11 23:16:55

My Ds had shingles when he was 2. He def had cp as a baby though, quite badly, caught off his big sis. There wasn't anything I could think of that would have triggered shingles. I'd imagine the timing with the jab is coincidence. Ds had his mmr at the usual time and that didn't trigger it.

All Ds really needed when he had shingles was plenty of tlc. Hope your Ds is better soon.

seasickgal Thu 02-Jun-11 23:22:14

It is possible for children to have very mild chicken pox, so that you may not really have noticed.Your description sounds like shingles which follows a dermatome and doesn't cross the midline in the middle of his body.
I would suggest taking him to your GP tomorrow to discuss anti-viral medication.Not sure the relevance of his measles jab.
incidentally he will be infectious to people who have not had chicken-pox before.
He will feel a bit under the weather for a week, just treat as you would other viral illnesses.
Hope this helps.

skintagain Thu 02-Jun-11 23:24:13

We've been given a cream called virasoothe for dd's cp and it's really lovely and soothing. Shed also had pitiful, and calamine lotion in her bath. Good luck.

skintagain Thu 02-Jun-11 23:25:43

Pitiful??? Damn you autocorrect, it was piriton she had, and maybe some sympathy but not PITY!!!!

PurveyorOfBaloney Thu 02-Jun-11 23:27:55

Thanks for your responses.

Seasickgal - I don't know if there is any relevance to his jab, I'm just sad for him and wondered why he would suddenly be showing with shingles now. Obviously I've over-googled and worried my self about why his immune system might be stressed or supressed. Do you really think it is worth taking him to the GP - advice so far has been to keep him comfortable (and isolated) and sit it out.

seasickgal Thu 02-Jun-11 23:33:00

Aciclovir reduces the length of time he will have the rash/pain and reduce the chance of him getting neuralgia,which can cause prolonged pain. Also I think he should have shingles documented in his notes.

seasickgal Thu 02-Jun-11 23:35:19

The aciclovir should be started within 3 days of the rash starting, so the sooner you take him the better. I would prescribe it if you came to my surgerysmile

chipmonkey Fri 03-Jun-11 00:06:57

ds4 had chicken pox so mildly that he only had 2 "pox" and if I hadn't been looking out for it, I doubt I would have spotted it. ( Ds3 had just had it)

Seona1973 Fri 03-Jun-11 08:26:28

ds had CP at 5 1/2 months and shingles at 3years (although was originaly mis-diagnosed as eczema and was given cream to rub onto it shock ). As he was wrongly diagnosed it was too late for anti-virals. He also continued going to nursery but as far as I know he didnt give anyone chicken pox - probably because the rash was on his torso and was covered up). We used piriton and acqueous calamine cream.

largeginandtonic Fri 03-Jun-11 08:37:13

My ds had shingles at age 9 but he had definately had CP. He then gave CP to his 2 younger brothers and Dad!

He has had it again since, when a bit run down. I just gave him piriton and paracetemol as he was quite achy with it. Said his limbs felt heavy. He slept a lot but it passed after about a week.

PurveyorOfBaloney Fri 03-Jun-11 18:24:34

Thanks for more stories smile

Well, I took him to the GP this morning. It is definitely shingles, and as seasickgal predicited we were indeed prescribed Aciclovir. Had to spend the rest of the day tracking some down though, because they don't keep the oral suspension in routinely. Superdrug managed to order some in for me to be delivered same day smile. The GP stopped short of getting bloods taken because although it is very unusual at this age he does seem otherwise OK in himself. We have to go back on Monday.

So hopefully this is just some rare but random event and he'll be feeling better soon. The rash is still red and angry looking with horrid blisters so I don't think we'll be getting much sleep for the next few days sad.

Elibean Fri 03-Jun-11 21:54:59

My friend's ds had shingles aged 2 (he had chicken pox very, very mildly as a 6 month old baby). He had it quite mildly, but was treated similarly to your ds - the GP said children, if they get shingles, tend to get it very mildly.

I had it last September, not fun - then again, I'm definitely not a child wink

Hope your ds is better soon, and that you all get more sleep than you expect.

seasickgal Fri 03-Jun-11 22:14:17

Glad you managed to get some aciclovir.You can give your son paracetamol,ibuprofen and piriton to get him through the next few days. Hope he isn't too uncomfortable.

PurveyorOfBaloney Fri 03-Jun-11 22:19:51


He's finally gone to sleep (2.5 hours later than usual), so fingers crossed!

Buddhastic Mon 06-Jun-11 10:12:25

My DD had shingles at two. I missed her having CP though but she must have had a mild form at some point. She has just had another bout which has been kicked off by a glandular fever relapse. Luckily, it was the itch that bugged her and she had no pain. She is fine now but I have been advised to take her to a 'specialist' as it's unusual for a child to have shingles once let alone twice! Hope your DS is feeling better now.

Buddhastic Mon 06-Jun-11 10:13:49

Sorry my DD is 12 now. So a big gap between bouts.

PurveyorOfBaloney Mon 06-Jun-11 12:12:43

Thanks for your story Buddha, at least we are not the only ones (small consolation to you though). Sorry for your DD though sad I'm glad that kids don't get the pain response that adults do for shingles, just the itch seems to have been bad enough.

We took DS back to docs this morning, the spots are scabbing over and the inflammation dying down, still looks nasty though. They have now decided to do a blood test after all, just because it is so unusual to get shingles without any underlying trigger. Hopefully that will set all our minds at rest.

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