Categorized | Health, Toddler Sickness

Chicken Pox In Children

Chicken pox in children is very common. In fact, it has been reported that 4 million children in the United States catch this infection annually. Here is a guide to help you understand this “children’s disease”.

What is chicken pox?

Chicken pox or varicella is a transmittable disease that is caused by VZV (varicella-zoster virus). Children under the age of 10 are the primary target of this infection. Small red bumps can emerge all over the body (some parts of the body are more affected than others) and these bumps will rapidly turn into clear liquid-filled blisters on a pink base which eventually turn into dry brown crusts. Chicken pox is infectious from 1 to 2 days before the rash starts until about 5 days after the rash appears. Your toddler can get chicken pox by direct contact or through the air.

Is chicken pox dangerous?

Generally, chicken pox is more of a nuisance for toddlers. But for toddlers with weak immune systems, the disease can lead to grave complications which can be fatal.

Signs and Symptoms

Aside from developing 250 to 500 rashes (on average), here are other symptoms of chicken pox:

  • Fever (101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Mild headache
  • Sore throat
  • Lack of appetite
  • Abdominal pains
  • Dry cough
  • Uneasiness


Keep your toddler at home until he is no longer contagious to prevent him from spreading the illness and to give him time to recover.

To help alleviate the itchiness, give your toddler a cool compress or a cool bath every 3 to 4 hours. You can add a small amount of baking soda or colloidal oatmeal into the water for extra relief. Afterwards, pat (do not rub) the body dry and apply calamine lotion on the itchy spots.

Give your toddler acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) to help relieve discomfort. Never give your toddler aspirin as this can cause Reye’s syndrome, a rare but lethal condition that affects the brain and liver.

Prevent your little one from scratching and infecting blisters by trimming his finger nails or placing mittens or socks over his hands during sleep.

Serve foods and drinks that are bland, cold and soft so your toddler can still eat easily even if there are blisters in his mouth. Avoid anything acidic and salty.

Engage your toddler in quiet activities such as reading, playing video games and board games, listening to music, assembling jigsaw puzzles and such to keep him entertained and to rid his mind off his discomfort.

Give your child an OTC children’s antihistamine if your toddler is really in pain. Make sure you ask your pediatrician for the proper dosage.


Have your toddler immunized with a chicken pox vaccine. It is 99% effective and only has few side effects. Doctors recommend that children receive this immunization twice - at 12 to 15 months old and a booster shot at 4 to 6 years old.

Chicken pox does not need medical treatment. However, if fever lasts for more than 4 days or your toddler develops a high fever, becomes dehydrated and rashes ooze pus or becomes warm, red and sore, call your doctor at once. Also, if you have questions about chicken pox, ask an expert for further information.

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