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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.

I think my 6 year old has shingles

(19 Posts)
Mrsfrumble Tue 10-Jan-17 19:00:03

6 year old has been low-level poorly for a few weeks; coughing (especially at night), occasionally complaining of a headache (usually cured by calpol) and a mildly upset stomach over the weekend. Other family members have had similar symptoms.

Last night I noticed a small rash on his chest and back near his armpit. He woke up the in the night with a 40 degree fever, so I gave him Calpol and kept him off school today. He's laid on the sofa all day, barely talking or eating (all very unusual for him), with a mild fever and red, watery eyes. And now he's started complaining of pain in the area where the rash is... Dr Google suggests shingles.

Is there anything I can do for him? If I take him to the GP, will they be able to do anything (I'm not looking forward to trying to get an appointment)? Does anyone have experience of a young child with shingles?

SloanePeterson Tue 10-Jan-17 19:05:33

My dd had shingles when she was 10 or 11. It took three trips to the doctor before it was diagnosed as they just didn't expect it in a child her age. The nurse practitioner who finally did diagnose said it was very obviously a shingles rash. They didn't give anything for it, she just had to ride it out but she was really quite poorly for a long time, she was off school for three weeks and she said the area around the rash really did hurt. It was suggested to us that it can be caused by stress which was awful as it was around the time they were being drilled so hard about their SATS. She mostly spent her time in bed as it wiped her out completely, and are very little as she also had a terrible throat. The rash also took a long time to go after she started to feel better. I hope he's feeling better soon x

GherkinsOnToast Tue 10-Jan-17 19:09:57

DD had it last year at 5. I took her to the pharmacy, they took one look and said 'doctor now!' they gave DD antiviral cream to put on it and did calpol and nurofen regularly. DD still occasionally has phantom pains from it, it took 6 or so weeks until she was on top form again.

GummyGoddess Tue 10-Jan-17 19:12:14

If he does have shingles then he needs to stay off school, classmates could have pregnant mothers who haven't had cp. I would only see a doctor if the school were unreasonable so that I had "proof" that they should stay home.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 10-Jan-17 19:12:57

Has he had chickenpox? You can't have shingles without having chickenpox first.

GummyGoddess Tue 10-Jan-17 19:13:37

Obviously would keep an eye on symptoms and take to doctor if they change.

Mrsfrumble Tue 10-Jan-17 19:16:40

Arghh. So definitely GP then? If I can even get through tomorrow morning sad

Sloane and Gherkins had your DDs definitely had chicken pox? We're not sure about DS; when he was 11 months old he had a mild fever and a few ambiguous looking spots, and the GP noted it as "possible chicken pox".

He's not stressed, but I think he's pretty run down having had back-to-back colds since October. Poor sausage.

dementedpixie Tue 10-Jan-17 19:17:07

My ds had chicken pox at 6 and a half months and shingles age 3. He was misdiagnosed as having eczema at first and it wasn't until a revisit to the gp that it was correctly identified. They couldn't do anything for it really.

If the shingles rash can be covered then they are fine to be at school of they feel well enough as chicken pox can be transmitted only by contact with fluid from the blisters (it is not airborne like chickenpox pox itself)

dementedpixie Tue 10-Jan-17 19:18:16

Having chicken pox under one year puts them at a higher chance of getting childhood shingles btw

SloanePeterson Tue 10-Jan-17 19:20:04

Yes, my dd had had chicken pox, but so ridiculously mildly that I only realised what it was because it wiped out her whole nursery! I remember as she was 3 and I was pregnant with ds1 and freaking our as my mother is insistent I've never had it. She was ill for a couple of days before about 5-6 spots developed literally before my eyes while she was in the bath. All three of my dc have only had very mild chicken pox

Mrsfrumble Tue 10-Jan-17 19:20:41

Sorry, I type very slowly and didn't see your replies Gummy and ItsAll. Chicken pox status is ambiguous, as I explained in my previous post.

4 yo DD has never had it, and they share baths / climb all over each other / drink out of each other's cups. Uh oh.

Mrsfrumble Tue 10-Jan-17 19:25:09

Ahh, good to see it's not airborne. DD might get away with it then.

Jetcatisback Tue 10-Jan-17 19:26:26

My DD also had shingles recently, though only mild thank goodness. As pixie says, so long as spots are covered and feeling well enough, they can go to school. Mine missed swimming and pe for a couple of weeks, but couldn't wait to get back to school!

Hope your DD recovers quickly flowers

lougle Tue 10-Jan-17 19:33:04

"If he does have shingles then he needs to stay off school, classmates could have pregnant mothers who haven't had cp."

No! Not necessary at all. Singles is only capable of giving someone Chicken Pox if they haven't had it, and only if in direct contact with the fluid from the rash. If it's covered, there is no risk.

GummyGoddess Thu 12-Jan-17 11:27:22

As they're only children it's possible the rash would get touched at school (no idea what child is like). My Dr told me to stay off work completely until mine went and it was on my back, was quite enjoyable as not much pain so I had a nice relaxing time.

J3NN1 Thu 12-Jan-17 11:40:25

Dd1 (14) had chicken pox at 6 weeks and had shingles when she was 2. She was really poorly and ended up in hospital with both.

A few weeks ago sil text and told me dn has shingles (he's 5) so I was all worried expecting the horrible illness dd had and pain she had long after, he was a bit ill for a couple of days and then his usual perky self again! So you do get varying degrees of it.

I would def go to the gp so they can diagnose if it is shingles or not, and make sure he hasn't got any further complications from it, if it is.

Do you have a pic of his rash? Could it be chickenpox if you aren't 100% sure he's had it before? Or a viral rash?

If it is shingles and the rash can be covered by his clothes then he doesn't need to stay off school once he's feeling well enough.

Oh and if the rash is itching him, virasoothe is amazing stuff!

Mrsfrumble Thu 12-Jan-17 12:07:02

I think we've got away with it. DS was better yesterday, and seems almost back to normal today. I'll probably send him to school tomorrow unless he relapses overnight. He's missed PE for the week so he has no reason to take his clothes off, and he's super ticklish so I can't imagine he'd let any classmates near his armpit!

Here's the rash; as you can see, it's small and all scabbed over, but does look a little sore (also I know he looks painfully skinny. I do feed him, I promise!)

user1484040234 Fri 13-Jan-17 14:29:24

My son also had extremely mild chicken pox as a baby (fewer than 10 spots). He has shingles confirmed by GP age 6 , so children do definitely get it, but IMO recover faster than adults!

bruffin Fri 13-Jan-17 14:31:55

Chicken pox as a baby increases the chances of shingles in childhood.

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