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Chicken pox and air travel???

(21 Posts)
florenceuk Thu 15-Apr-04 22:06:04

I'm sure there was a thread on this before but can't find it. Basically, my childminder's daughter came out in spots today - chicken pox! But we are meant to be going to Washington in 2wks time - so either DS will have had chicken pox or may be about to come down with it OR he could be completely clear. Can I travel with a chicken poxed toddler (either there or back)? Should I cancel? Will my insurance pay out on the basis that he might have chicken pox or only if he gets it??? Arrghh!!! Also we are meant to be staying with friends who have toddler and baby - not sure if this is now wise....

grumpyzebra Thu 15-Apr-04 22:12:13

I would probably still plan to go... but I expect everyone else will tell you not to. Have you asked your friends with whom you were staying how much they would mind? Presumably their toddler has had the American jab for CP, anyway, but not sure if baby would have.
The other thing is that if your DS comes down with it he may be very surley and horrible for the start of the trip out there.

GeorginaA Thu 15-Apr-04 22:16:56

Insurance is likely only to pay out if he gets it. I would still plan to go, but cancel if he comes out with spots the day before. It really isn't fair to take a contagious child on a flight, you have no idea if there's someone pregnant sat near you (actually, I'm not sure the airline would let you on anyway)

You're going to the US so it's not like medical supplies will be hard to get if he comes down with it while you're out there. How long are you staying for? If 2 weeks then chances are he'll be all nicely scabbed over to come back again. As long as your friends are happy enough, then go

He still might not get it Good luck!

suedonim Thu 15-Apr-04 22:30:59

A local teenager got chicken pox while on holiday in Germany. The airline wouldn't let him on the plane and his dad had to go out and bring him home on the train and ferry.

Slinky Thu 15-Apr-04 22:31:02

I think if your son does come down with chicken pox, most airlines will refuse to fly him.

Found this on Monarch Airlines :

Sorry, it’s not safe for you to fly if you have any of the following conditions:
infectious and/or communicable diseases
open fracture of skull
fractured jaw with dental wiring
mental illnesses - psychosis/psycopathy/schizophrenia
pneumonia, if you need a stretcher
pregnancy over 34 weeks
chicken pox
Spots which have scabbed = fit to fly
Blisters which have not scabbed = unfit to fly


Virgin Airways say you need to obtain medical advice if you have an infectious disease.

HTH

LIZS Fri 16-Apr-04 08:38:59

I flew with ds a week after he started spots for chickenpox. Despite them all being scabbed the paediatrician thought that he could still have passed it on to a couple of other passengers. Fortunately he had no obvious spots on his face and wore long sleeves/trousers so we weren't questioned and our UK doctor had cleared him to fly. I think if it is obviously active chickenpox they could prevent you flying and probably involve the airport medical staff and insurance should cover it.

How long are you going for ? Is it possible he could come out in it and then not be fit to come home ? If your friend is still happy to have you, after all it is not certain your ds will get it, then I'd still plan to go. Don't know how you would stand with insurance if you cancelled now.

Jimjams Fri 16-Apr-04 08:51:02

Nt sure about insurance etc, but if you have active spots you can't fly. You need a drs note to say you are no longer infectious. A student of mine missed her A level because of this.

lucysmum Fri 16-Apr-04 09:22:38

A friend of mine spoke to a consultant paediatrician about this when she was there for something else. This consultant said that recent new advice from the powers that be that will be disseminated to schools, GPs etc is that the exclusion period is 5 days from when the first spot appeared. My DD has just had it and we used child piriton (recommended by the same consultant) which really seemed to ease the itching and made her quite sleepy and therefore less grumpy.

florenceuk Fri 16-Apr-04 09:29:25

Well, we are only going for 10 days, so there is a risk that if he comes down with it while we are there, we won't be able to come back....

pollingfold Fri 16-Apr-04 09:31:00

We had this dilema recently. DS came out in spots 4 days before we were going on holiday. The airline would not take us without a medical certificate to confirm that he was no longer contagious.

In the end we had to cancel, and claim the holiday back on insurance after getting doctor to fill in a form to say that was the reason for not travelling. Until you know that he has or hasn't got it you should continue with your plans. If he gets it then you will need to reasses.

Agree re the point about possible infection of others on the flight, chicken pox is relatively mild in children, but can be quite serious in adults and especially pregnant women (am pregnant myself so had to go through the blood test checks etc). It wouldn't seem fair to impose this risk on people without their knowlegde

LIZS Fri 16-Apr-04 09:37:07

I think that is the dilemma - you don't know they have got it until after the spots appear but they are contagious a day or so prior. Of course you actually run that risk everyday as your child could unwittingly come into contact with it anywhere such as soft play area, nursery, friend's house etc, and be incubating it.

janinlondon Fri 16-Apr-04 11:03:06

A friend and her two children had to stay an extra two weeks in Boston in a hotel while her DH flew back to the UK to work when one of the kids came out in spots. They got to the airport but BA refused to carry them. Of course by the time the first one was clear, the second one came down with it. It can be an expensive gamble.

OldieMum Fri 16-Apr-04 14:15:44

We have just had to cancel our holiday in Cornwall because dd has chickenpox. The spots appeared on Monday. Our GP said that she would have been contagious from two days previously and from two weeks onwards from that day. I really don't think you should fly. Our GP told a medical student present at the examination that if a pregnant woman catches chickenpox in the 1st trimester, it can cause limb deformities. Surely you shouldn't put other passengers at risk?

sar7 Fri 16-Apr-04 16:57:55

If you look at the NHS direct website it does say that it's 5 days after the spots appear - we have it in our house at the moment and that is what I'm working to.

BooMama Sat 17-Apr-04 10:45:32

We are currently waiting to see if our ds and dd have contracted chickenpox - they were exposed 17 days ago but have been told the incubation can take up to 21 days. We are supposed to be flying to Portugal on what will be day 20. Took them to the doctors this morning as dd has had a bad tummy which we thought could be the start of something but doctor thought it was unlikely that they had cp. Does anyone have any experience of catching chickenpox after a long period? All my friends children came out in spots in 14 days or less. Fingers crossed they have missed it this time!

marthamoo Sat 17-Apr-04 11:05:48

BooMama - sorry yes! I had cp when I was little and my brother got his first spot on day 21 after my first spot appeared - my Mum thought he had escaped and then had to spend another week or so stuck in the house. Hope yours are Ok though.

BooMama Sat 17-Apr-04 11:28:18

Thanks, Marthamoo. My mil has just been giving me examples of other children with 21 day incubations. Am now considering changing our hoilday to a break in England as our contingency plan!!

MamaC Sat 17-Apr-04 15:20:40

My DS1 had chicken pox 3 weeks before we were due to go to Mallorca (for 1 week holiday). He was fine. DS2 had 2 spots on his body the day before he went. I rang a friend who works for BA check-in and she told me I shouldn't worry about it (other people are inconsiderate), that might be the total amount of spots he gets and and that if I was prepared for the consequence of a sick child on holiday then it was my decision! We went. By day 2/3 he resembled a hawaiian pizza but was completely fine in himself - I then panicked and thought how would we get home. We checked with the tour operator who said we could stay on an extra week and could change our flights as well but we would need a Dr's note. We were all quite happy to stay an extra week but the Dr said there would be no problem with DS2 flying home at the end of week as the infectious period would be over! (The airline, Britannia, were fine with it as well).

I have to say it was a load of hassle for a week long holiday (and took it over). I don't think I would do it again. We spent most of the holiday at our villa as we felt uncomfortable taking him out to eat. I felt very inconsiderate flying home (he still looked terrible) and, I believe, he was still infectious.

This happened 2 years ago and at the time my insurance would only pay out if he got it, and as they only looked like normal spots the day before we flew I thought we might not get our money back. Our insurers would have paid for me and him to stay in Mallorca though for the extra week and all charges incurred in making the necessary changes.

It's a really tough decision to make especially if you decide not to go and he doesn't get it. I wouldn't worry about it unless I see a spot! Hope this helps. (sorry I've really waffled!)

BooMama Mon 19-Apr-04 09:48:27

My ds came out with one red blister on his lip yesterday (day 18 since exposure to cp). So we decided it must be cp and subsequently (at cost!) changed our holiday dates to next month! However, spot has dried up and almost gone and no more spots have appeared! What's going on?!

florenceuk Mon 17-May-04 18:35:01

Just to report back - we went, and DS was fine! Actually more than fine - he loved going on holiday. I am tempted to go and find a chicken poxed toddler now and expose him, so the next holiday will be stressfree...

Slinky Mon 17-May-04 18:44:09

Florence - glad you were able to go and had a good time

Shall I send some "chicken-pox vibes" - DD2 is currently covered head to foot

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