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Chicken pox exposure - how cautious are you?

(15 Posts)
blushingmare Mon 08-Apr-13 14:08:34

We're due to go and visit a friend and her 2yo tomorrow. She just called me to say her DD has been exposed to chicken pox - she played with a friend last Sunday, who developed chicken pox on Tuesday, so her dd may go on to have it. I've looked online and it says anyone exposed within 2 days of the rash developing is at quite a high risk of developing it themselves, but it's a 21 day incubation period.

I get that children will get it at some point, so do you reckon I'm being over cautious if we cancel our visit to them? My DD is 10mo and I kind of feel that ideally she'd be a bit older when she got it so to risk exposing her would be silly. But on the other hand, our friend's dd may not even have it and we've been looking forward to our visit!


FrustratedSycamoresRocks Mon 08-Apr-13 14:12:37

I think if your friend has had the sence to warn you, then she thinks it is highly likely that her dd has cp. I would avoid until you are both certain she does or doesn't have it.

blushingmare Mon 08-Apr-13 14:17:51

Well she didn't seem to think she would get it. She said they weren't in direct contact, but were in the same room for about an hour and shared toys, which I think is more than enough to make her at risk. I obviously wouldn't knowingly expose dd to someone who definitely has cp, but just wondered how over protective it is to not expose her to someone who might have it iyswim!!

MaebyF Mon 08-Apr-13 14:18:17

It really depends whether you feel ready for your DD to have chicken pox. Personally, I'd rather my (few months old) DD caught chicken pox while she is still young enough not to scratch too much, so I would be merrily going over and encouraging her to lick the toys. But that is entirely your choice and if you don't want her to catch chicken pox yet - within the realm that you have some control over - than I would cancel, I don't think anyone would think that was rude.

XBenedict Mon 08-Apr-13 14:22:16

I think you have to assume that your friend's child is fairly likely to be incubating CP and therefore your DC has a high chance of catching it if you go over tomorrow. If you're ok with this then go, if you would rather your DD is older then cancel.

My DD1 was exposed and exposed and exposed to CP before she got it but DD2 got it after one exposure from a child that had 1 spot!

MaebyF Mon 08-Apr-13 14:27:34

Sorry, that was 'few months older' DD. Not that it really matters to you, I guess grin

blushingmare Mon 08-Apr-13 14:32:13

Maeby - thanks that's a good point. Not really sure when is a "good" age for them to have it. I'd been thinking it would be a nightmare with a baby because you can't tell them not to scratch and she'd get so distressed etc and can't communicate what's wrong, but maybe you're right that they can't scratch very well at this age.

IcouldstillbeJoseph Mon 08-Apr-13 14:33:22

To be aware - if children contract CP before 12 months old it is normally insufficient to develop full immunity and they may well get it again.
My DS had it at 11 mo and I thought that was surely close enough to 12mo. Wrong. At 2.3 he's just had it again.

MaebyF Mon 08-Apr-13 15:03:01

Yes, actually I remember something about immunity under 1 as well, so your DD might be too young at the moment.

Anecdotally, I've always heard that 'younger is better' and when DD had hand, foot and mouth the other week she didn't seem able to scratch or rub herself.

SquidgersMummy Mon 08-Apr-13 15:44:02

I would stay away - high temp can be nasty in a little one. X

lljkk Mon 08-Apr-13 16:02:30

I would get my child exposed & plan for it to come out 2 weeks later when I could plan for it. Only difficult thing about CP I found was it happening suddenly when I couldn't plan for it and the huge quarantine expectation that came with it.

I assume you'll plan to get a jab instead, then, OP?

lottieandmia Mon 08-Apr-13 16:06:39

If you don't want her to have it then don't go imo. Mine were all between 15 months and 2.5 years old when they had it.

blushingmare Mon 08-Apr-13 18:03:11

Not sure exactly what you mean lljkk. Hadn't planned to get her vaccinated. As I said, I'm quite prepared for the fact that she will have it at some point, but just a bit unsure whether exposing her whilst under 1 is a bit foolish (or futile perhaps as I've now learned on this thread!)

littleducks Mon 08-Apr-13 18:08:36

I wouldn't be worried in the scenario you describe. I would keep away from someone who actively had CP if I didn't want kids to catch it but wouldn't go down the exposed route, I would have thought most playgroups have children who have been in contact with others who have had CP.

Some people catch it easily others take multiple exposures. DD had it at 3, ds had two weeks later at 10/11 months. He hasn't caught it again yet (he is 5 now) despite it going round nursery, school and me catching it two years ago (yes you can get it twice!). I am aware that he may get it in future.

lljkk Mon 08-Apr-13 19:10:04

DD had mild CP at 3.5 months and has proven immune in many subsequent outbreaks (now 11.5yo). So I don't think it's futile. And I would get it over with at a time of my choosing if I had the chance. Or a vaccination if that was equally convenient. Either is better than waiting around for it to pounce when probably least convenient.

For my DC, age: severity of CP

3.5 months: quite mild
15 months: few days of high fever and plastered, quite miserable
2y2m: extremely mild, not ill in the least
4y9m: whingy, feverish, miserable

There was no correlation with age of getting CP and how severe it was with my DC; getting younger not better or worse. So I would decide 10 months was old enough to try to get it over with.

If your child was 10yo & you asked this question you'd still get folk saying they wouldn't risk it.

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