Chicken pox is a highly communicable disease which occurs to most babies. But once it sets in, the body produce antibodies which prevent the illness from recurring. It is known to spread through close proximity to someone who is already infected. It spreads through coughing, sneezing, or by coming in contact with objects on which the viruses thrive.
Once infected, the symptoms tend to show up within ten to 21 days. The fever starts well before the first rash appears and continues till the time all the rashes become crusty and dry up. Sometimes, fever may not precede the rashes.
Chicken pox is nowadays seen as more of a nuisance than a threat to the baby’s health. However, in extreme cases, serious complications from chicken pox like bacterial skin infections, pneumonia, or encephalitis can occur.
The common symptoms of chicken pox are as follows:
- Aches and pains
- Loss of appetite
- The appearance of red spots which then develop into blisters. They typically first start from the face or hands and then extend to the body, legs, and even to the genital areas
The symptoms of chicken pox are quite tell-tale, and one must visit the doctor immediately. The doctor will recommend medicines based on the infant’s age. Antibiotics do not help as chicken pox is caused by viruses. Paracetamol (prescribed for infants) is advised to lower the body temperature and reduce body aches and pain.
Other ways in which the baby’s suffering can be lessened are:
- Administering plenty of fluids to prevent the baby from getting dehydrated
- Using calamine lotion on the baby’s itchy blisters or sore spots
- Keeping your baby’s nails and body clean at all times. Also cutting their nails short to prevent them from scratching the blisters reduces chances of scarring
- Dressing your baby in loose, cotton clothing to keep their skin cool and reduce itching
Parents or caregivers who haven’t themselves caught chicken pox before also run a risk of contracting the disease from the infected infant. It is hence essential to constrain your baby’s movements and let people who have had the infection before tending to the baby.
One should also administer the chicken pox vaccination to their babies. The first dose is given generally when the infant is between 12 and 15 months. A second dose is recommended between the ages of four and six.
There are a lot of home remedies for the management of chicken pox. But their effectiveness can vary from child to child and the environment in which the child lives.