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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.

Think 4yo DD has chicken pox - what to expect?

(22 Posts)
TooTiredtoGoogle Fri 15-Jul-11 09:38:30

Do I need to take her to GPs?
Was going to go out on Tuesday night, but will she be ok with babysitter?
And do we need to give her any medicine?

Also, how long will I need to keep her indoors for?

ShowOfHands Fri 15-Jul-11 09:45:34

From the appearance of the first spot, you need to wait 5 days for the incubation period to be over. I waited until they had all crusted over to be on the safe side but this is actually no longer deemed necessary.

You give medicine according to symptoms so if she is unwell with it you can consider things like painkillers or antihistamines to lessen the itch. We found two things helped at the manic itching stage and they were porridge baths (bicarb baths good too) and aqueous calamine cream (NOT lotion).

In terms of the babysitter, depends on two things. One, has the babysitter had the pox and two, are you happy to leave a poorly child? I can't leave dd if she's ill unless it's utterly vital so wouldn't have done it.

No to GP if you're sure it's cp. They don't want an infectious child in the surgery and there's nowt to be done unless the pox itself becomes infected.

mrsfollowill Fri 15-Jul-11 09:51:28

Poor DD- my DS had this at the same age.

You shouldn't need to see your Gp unless there are any complications.
If she has a temp use Calpol. Some people use calamine lotion to help the itching-
I found Eurax cream a godsend- was much better.

You don't need to keep her indoors- if she feels up to it she can go out but you should avoid crowds to stop her infecting others.

I believe the latest advice is children can go back to school five days after the first spots (has recently change as used to be 10).
So long as your babysitter has had CP and DD isn't feeling too bad can't see why you shouldn't go out.

Beware if you haven't had it yourself though- I hadn't and caught it off DS in my mid thirties and was soooo ill! Luckily DS was 'off colour' for only a couple of days. Good luck!

ShowOfHands Fri 15-Jul-11 09:53:33

You absolutely DO need to keep her in I'm afraid. You do NOT want to risk infecting a pregnant or immunocompromised person. It's annoying to be stuck in for a week but the alternative is a terrible thought.

FuzzpigFourFiveSix Fri 15-Jul-11 09:54:12

At my surgery you are allowed to take them in, they put you in a separate room, but they also diagnose by phone if you prefer. It is good to get it confirmed and not just assume it is, because it may be something else and in the future you'll think they are immune when they are not. You need to inform the school if she does have them.

Calamine lotion is good, I also added sodium bicarbonate to their bath and didn't use any soap or shampoo as they've got loads of pox on their scalps. Piriton is good for the itching, and you could give them calpol if they are in pain or feverish.

Around here we are told to wait until they are totally scabbed over. I'd have been a bit dubious about the 5 day rule, as with DD (and seemingly DS who is just coming down with it) the spots appeared gradually over a week.

Keep an eye out to make sure they don't go in any orifices - my DSD got them in her mouth as a baby and was in hospital for a fortnight. DD got them on her labia so we had to put sudocrem on before she went for a wee.

DS (22m) is totally covered in them including about 10 on his genitals sad

ShowOfHands Fri 15-Jul-11 10:01:07

The surgery will of course see you if you have a poorly child and you must always go if you're worried. But here they are clear that if cp is going round and it looks and itches like cp, you don't need any GP intervention and to minimise contact.

Fuzzpig, that sounds awful. DD had it at easter and they were in her labia, bottom, mouth, ears, throat, eyes etc. She had hundreds and hundreds of spots and was thoroughly miserable.

TooTiredtoGoogle Fri 15-Jul-11 10:11:31

Thanks for the advice.
I'm also almost 36 weeks pregnant - have had a blood test which shows I'm immune, but midwife did advise not to touch the infected areas if possible. Can't phone them at the moment as tending to DD, but can anyone throw any light on why I can't touch infected areas?

FuzzpigFourFiveSix Fri 15-Jul-11 10:11:37

Have to admit I wasn't expecting it to be so bad - her best friend had it and got 15 spots which scabbed within a few days. DD was ill for a good fortnight. Have a feeling DS will be too as he's got even more than DD. Gets it all over with though at least!

Must say I am glad I could go to the GP - I had no idea what CP looked like until DD got them. I've taken her twice when she was younger as I was convinced she had them, but it was just a viral rash.

PGTip Fri 15-Jul-11 10:13:38

While there is no need to take her to Drs if she is ok in herself you should still tell them she had CP so that it's on her records for the future.

ShowOfHands Fri 15-Jul-11 10:19:04

No idea about infected areas. Might it have something to do with your immunity levels? I know when they test you they weigh up your antibodies against risk of reinfection. I was told my antibodies were high enough that I should be ok but not as high as they could be. Just ring later, they won't mind.

Fuzzpig, we were almost lucky in that every single child in preschool seemingly had the pox. Class size was decimated within a week and the school warned to look out for red spots on the torso first that blister within hours, appear in clusters, multiply quickly and itch. We were also presented with the temp/cough beforehand so were reasonably sure that she was getting classic cp. Spots were exactly as described, came out in the right time frame and every other child in town had it at the same time. It could only have been cp I think.

FuzzpigFourFiveSix Sat 16-Jul-11 10:20:06

Yes it's been doing the rounds here too - her best friend had it and her mum told me as soon as she was diagnosed so I kept a look out.

DS is really suffering. Really unwell. He was up at night with a fever, thankfully calpol seems to be working and I'm going back to BFing on demand for a few days as he's not eating much (was down to one feed a day)

How's your DD, TTTG?

walesblackbird Sat 16-Jul-11 10:35:32

My 5 year old daughter came out in spots two weeks ago and was covered head to toe. She felt unwell the day before and on the first day but was fine after that. We gave Calpol to keep her temp down and Piriton for when she was feeling really itchy. Cool baths with bicarb (no clue why but my mother and sister told me it worked) and followed with Tesco aqueous calamine which isn't as drying as others. She went back to school after a week because they'd crusted over by then and she wasn't unwell.

My 7 year old's spots started appearing yesterday - with no ill effects at all beforehand.

He will now be getting an extra long summer holiday and I will be having a nervous breakdown shortly

bottleofwineandastrawplease Sun 17-Jul-11 14:38:04

walesblackbird - Can I join in with you re nervous breakdown. My DD's spots appeared on Friday as well, and with no ill effects before hand either.

Thankfully she's not as bad as others and hopefully she has a mild case of CP. However there is not enough wine in the world when my DD is ill and I feel a nervous breakdown is imminent.grin

bottleofwineandastrawplease Sun 17-Jul-11 14:39:23

Gonna go and try the porridge bath right now. Hopefully this will help.

aliceliddell Sun 17-Jul-11 14:47:47

Definitely Piriton, Calpol, whatever the other things without Paracetemol are called because you can use extra of them in between without overdosing. Keep them cool.

FuzzpigFourFiveSix Sun 17-Jul-11 16:07:42

Oh bugger I just realised I totally forgot to get more bicarb in town sad

Been bathing him twice daily (hence using up a whole pot on him and DD!) - I've had to get in with him to calm him down.

walesblackbird Sun 17-Jul-11 16:19:09

My poor little man is absolutely covered in horrible big red spots - much, much worse than little sis had it. It's all over his head, over his bottom and his willie!

And he's not a good patient!

Nurofen, alice ... that's the other one.

FuzzpigFourFiveSix Sun 17-Jul-11 16:51:53

We can't put oats in his bath unfortunately as we think he might be intolerant to them - tried using various oaty things for his eczema but they all made it worse.

bottleofwineandastrawplease Sun 17-Jul-11 18:06:25

Didn't try the porridge (cos I didn't have any) but did have bicarb so tried that. DD seems to be a bit more tolerant and not complaining about the ichyness as much as she was before. She does keep saying that it is hurting her and not sure why.

Could it be because the scabby ones are causing her skin to tighten as they dry out or is it becuase, like shingles, CP erupts at the nerve endings and therefore cuases pain? Does anyone know?

FuzzpigFourFiveSix Sun 17-Jul-11 19:54:46

I don't know really but certainly the skin tightening does hurt. DS has his worst eczema on his ankles, elbows and fingers, and the skin is really tight already, and those spots seem to be causing the most pain. Some other ones though, especially on his back, are massive, they're like craters sad

My parents dropped in on the way back from a day out and they really kindly stopped off at the co-op and bought us two tubs of bicarb. And a box of quality street grin

TooTiredtoGoogle Mon 18-Jul-11 18:37:21

DD definitely has chicken pox - GP said I need to take her in to confirm if I wanted it recorded in her medical records. Will probably do this on Thursday once it's all scabbed up.
Has anyone else's DC got spots in mouth and tongue? Poor DD seems to have lost all appetite and spends all her time lying about on sofa or bed. Mind you, she refuses to take any piriton or calpol.
Have found oats wrapped in old tights and dunked in bath works well. Andd the fact that it's not too warm at the moment.

Dillie Mon 18-Jul-11 18:53:00

My DD had one or two in her mouth that I could see.

It put her off her food for a few days, but my doc said so long as she is drinking then not to worry. Poor love looked really sorry for herself, very quiet for a few days. I also had to have a jug of water to run over her when she had a wee as the poor thing was pretty sore.

But in around 4 days time she was back to her normal self and bored rigid with not being able to go to school!! :D

I kept her off school for almost a fortnight in the end as the schools policy was to wait until the last spot that appeared had scabbed over.

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