Parents, do you remember having chickenpox? The itching, the bumps, the oatmeal baths? It used to be a common illness in the US, especially in kids under the age of 12, but it’s much rarer now thanks to the varicella vaccine. Kids who do get it might have an itchy rash of spots all over the body and flu-like symptoms. An infected child should stay home and rest until the rash is gone. As with any illness, if you are worried about your child’s symptoms, make sure you visit your pediatrician or visit a pediatric urgent care like AllKids Pediatric Urgent Care.
Symptoms of Chickenpox
Chickenpox often starts with a fever, headache, sore throat, or stomachache. The most common symptom, though, is a red, itchy skin rash that usually appears on the abdomen or back first but then spreads almost everywhere else on the body. The rash is usually very itchy – cool baths or calamine lotion may help to manage the itching.
The rash goes through different phases before full recovery. The first phase is developing pink or red bumps all over the body, then the bumps fill with fluid that may leak, and finally, the bumps will scab over and begin to heal. The bumps will not all be in the same phase at the same time and new bumps will appear throughout the infection.
Causes of Chickenpox
The chickenpox virus is very contagious and can be spread both through the air (by coughing or sneezing) and by direct contact with mucus, saliva, or fluid from the rash. Your child will be contagious from about 2 days before the rash appears until all the blisters are crusted over.
Your child should be kept out of school until all blisters have dried, usually about 1 week. If you are unsure whether your child is ready to return to school, see your pediatrician or Urgent Care center to find out. To help keep the virus from spreading, make sure your child washes their hands often, particularly before eating and after using the bathroom.
Since chickenpox are caused by a virus, doctors won’t prescribe antibiotics to treat it. If you have any questions or concerns, call your doctor, they can guide you in watching for complications. You should call them right away though if the rash spreads to the eyes, the rash is tender and warms, or if the rash is accompanied by dizziness or shortness of breath.
Most people will be advised to manage their symptoms at home while waiting for the virus to pass through their system. You can help soothe itchy skin by taking lukewarm baths, applying unscented lotion, wearing lightweight and soft clothing.
Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care and Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care
Children often present different symptoms than adults and may need different prescriptions and treatments. AllKids pediatric providers are trained to know and recognize these differences, so your child receives the best health care available to them in the most urgent of circumstances. Both our Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care and our Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care are open every day from noon to 10 pm. No appointment is necessary, just stop in and start your child on the road back to health.