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Chickenpox holiday drama - am I being OTT?

(39 Posts)
zippy539 Mon 27-Jun-05 12:24:41

We're due to go on holiday this Thursday and have just found out that DS's best friend at nursery has chickenpox (first spots came on wed/thurs just gone). I've been checking out old cp threads and got loads of useful advice and have just about reconciled myself to the fact that we will have to cancel if ds shows any signs in the next day or two (we're flying).

Anyway - this morning I realised that if ds hasn't been infected already, he stands a fair chance of picking cp up at nursery in the next few days (assuming other kids are incubating it) - which would mean he would be coming out in spots just as we are due to come home - ie we would be stuck and unable to fly. So I decided not to send him in for the next few days - do you think this is reasonable or am I being OTT? (He's gutted he's missing the last few days of term). Also my Mum is on immune suppressing drugs for arthritis and was going to come round tomorrow to watch dd/ds while I pack etc - does anyone think she should steer clear or again am I being OTT.

Sorry to ramble but this is doing my head in - we've been looking forward to this holiday for sooooooo long. Any advice appreciated.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 27-Jun-05 12:26:16

Can't you fly with chickenpox? Why not?

How old is DS? CP seems milder in many reasonably young kids, at least in my experience.

zippy539 Mon 27-Jun-05 12:27:53

NQC - you're not supposed to fly until the spots have scabbed over because of risk to pg women and immune compromised folk. DS is nearly four.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 27-Jun-05 12:31:06

Ah, fair enough. The air recycling systems on planes are presumably the problem?

Keeping him home makes some sense. The incubation period is a week, isn't it?

Has your Mum had CP?

zippy539 Mon 27-Jun-05 12:37:24

As far as I know she's had it - we all had it as kids and she didn't get it them. I'm just a bit paranoid about the chicken-pox/shingles connection - I'm not sure whether you can get shingles from chickenpox or whether it works the other way around?

kcemum Mon 27-Jun-05 12:45:13

You can't get shingles from chickenpox. Shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus lying dormant in your system and comes out as shingles at times of stress etc.

I would keep your son off nursey just to be on the safe side.

zippy539 Mon 27-Jun-05 12:48:51

That's interesting kcemum - I couldn't remember which way round it worked. I wonder would mum be okay to come round then. Gawd. I just wish I knew one way or another whether he had it or not. I'm going demented here running through all the permuations!

zippy539 Mon 27-Jun-05 12:49:34

whatever a permuation is...

Mo2 Mon 27-Jun-05 12:51:58

My mum was having chemotherapy for cancer when DS2 had chickenpox, and was advised not to come near - I wouldn't risk it quite honestly.

WHy not ring NHS DIrect?

handlemecarefully Mon 27-Jun-05 12:52:10

Where are you going? and are there alternative methods of transport back (i.e. in Europe that might be rail then boat?)

How long does it take for the spots to scab over once they appear? - and if only 3 or 4 days would you be able to extend your trip for that long (insurance should surely cover the cost of enforced altered travel arrangements)

My ds developed bilateral ear infections when on holiday in Paris. We had flown there but were forced to take Eurostar back and insurance covered it

kcemum Mon 27-Jun-05 12:55:55

zippy, it is possible though for your mum to catch cp again if she comes into contact with an infected person.

LIZS Mon 27-Jun-05 13:06:09

Incubation is 10 days to 3 weeks so he could yet get it after you come back if he caught it just from his friend. However if it has been going round for a few weeks and he had already come into contact with it he could still go down with it on holiday as he could have contracted it a week or 2 ago, so keeping him off for the next few days won't mean he definitely avoids it, and if he does catch it he may still not be fit to fly back. There are different definitions of when the spots are contagious until, so if you are going abroad be prepared for a potentially longer exclusion period than in UK.

Unfortunately it is just a waiting game but you can't cancel the holiday on a maybe. We had this last year and the 3 weeks expired on the day we were due to fly and dd didn't get it. In fact she's only just caught it after about her 3rd or 4th close exposure. Perhaps your mum could ring her gp to check but sounds like she should be ok.

zippy539 Mon 27-Jun-05 13:08:39

Thanks everyone - I will call NHS direct about Mum - that's a good idea.

HMC - I think it takes about three/four days for the spots to scab over - so I suppose we could extend our stay if necessary. Better go and root out my cheap-skate insurance policy and see what we're covered for. Ho hum.

LIZS Mon 27-Jun-05 13:10:13

hmc, think the UK definiton of the exclusion period is when all scabbed, roughly 5 days after onset, but here others from different backgrounds have argued up to 5 days after the last scab formed. You are also very contagious a day or 2 before the spots appear (dd was unwell 3/4 days beforehand so could it have been related - I don't know ?).

HappyMumof2 Mon 27-Jun-05 13:13:59

Message withdrawn

zippy539 Mon 27-Jun-05 13:15:37

Thanks LIZS - it's a bit of nightmare isn't it? One minute I'm hoping that it doesn't come on until we're away (with the possibility of him being miserable) and the next I'm wishing it would just appear now so that I can cancel the holiday and just get on with dealing with it. Course, I don't have any say in the matter which, for a control freak like me, is torture!!!

zippy539 Mon 27-Jun-05 13:18:54

Thanks HappyMum - I think I will get Mum to steer clear for a bit - I know she could be exposed to it anywhere/anytime but it does seem a bit daft to chance it. See what I mean about dithering - I'm changing my mind from post to post!

Good that there seems to be agreement over keeping him off nursery. From now on I'm just going to let mumsnet make all my decisions for me

Fimbo Mon 27-Jun-05 13:26:00

We took dd to Portugual when she was 10 months and had chickenpox

zippy539 Mon 27-Jun-05 21:12:24

Fimbo - was your dd crusty or just spotty? Just curious as to the regulations for different airlines.

I phoned NHS 24 and they said ds should avoid my Mum just in case - so I'm on my own tomorrow morning with two little blighters who may or may not have chickenpox packing for a holiday which may or may not happen.Mind you, I'd rather that than my Mum get sick.

Grrrr. I'm really pi**ed off now cause I allowed myself to google some kids activities in our holiday city and got all excited for about thirty seconds cause I know they would both have a great time but I'm sooooo convinced that tomorrow or wed ds is going to wake up all spotty... I know there are people starving in the world and a lot of people have much bigger problems than having to cancel a stupid holiday but GRRRRRRRRRR. Sorry, I sound like a spoilt brat but we were all looking forward to it so much.

hoxtonchick Mon 27-Jun-05 21:21:44

ds has chicken pox at the moment, it started last tuesday. he developed it almost exactly 3 weeks after his initial exposure. most of his room at nursery also have it. the gp told me that he's infection for 7 days after the first spots appear. i'm going into hospital tomorrow to be induced with my second baby. i'm immune, so it's not a problem for the baby, but we suspect he won't be allowed to visit in case there are any mothers with newborns who aren't immune.

Tonto Mon 27-Jun-05 21:31:01

My ds had spots which developed on the plane on the way home from Majorca earlier this year. We didn't realise it was cp until we landed and had a good look at them in broad daylight. We then realised why he had been a bit 'off' a few days before!

zippy539 Mon 27-Jun-05 21:43:29

Oh hoxtonchick - what a shame. It puts my dilemma into perspective. Is he going to be okay with not coming in to see you? Good luck with the induction - how exciting that it's tomorrow Hopefully your (expanded) family will all be home together soon!!!

Tonto- that sounds like pretty good timing - how 'off' had he been before (can you tell I'm fishing for symptoms?).

hoxtonchick Mon 27-Jun-05 21:45:49

oh thank you zippy, that's really sweet. hopefully i won't be in too long. he's got all his grandparents dancing attendance so i shouldn't think he'll miss us at all .

really hope your holiday works out.

Fimbo Mon 27-Jun-05 21:50:27

Zippy my dd was sick a few days before the spots appeared. She only had one massive one on her chin when we went on holiday, the rest were on her foot and places which were hidden behind clothing, and by then she was perfectly well within herself. I about it now but nothing was going to stop me going on that holiday as it took a lot of persuasion to get dh to agree to go on holiday abroad with a young baby in the first place. I never told the airline and they never questioned me.

zippy539 Mon 27-Jun-05 21:50:43

Cheers for the good wishes hoxtonchick - but your situation is MUCH more exciting. Have you gone over or are there complications?

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