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How to manage and treat your child's chickenpox

Chickenpox is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to many uncomfortable symptoms and disproportionately affects school-aged children.
The CDC explains that chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus which leads to the breakout of a blister-like rash across the face, chest, back, and other parts of the body. In addition, it can cause fever, headache, and similar discomfort. While chickenpox is not a deadly disease it can lead to other health complications in patients with chronic disease, older patients with ailing health, and similarly vulnerable individuals.
As a parent, you never want your child to get sick and want to do everything in your power to keep them healthy. At AFC Saugus, we’ve outlined a list of ways to prevent chickenpox for your child.

Get an updated chickenpox vaccine

The chickenpox vaccine is the absolute best way to prevent chickenpox in young children. However, many parents may assume that the vaccine is dangerous or leads to a potential infection.
Even though the vaccine uses a little bit of the varicella virus, a person cannot get an infection from the disease. The only thing the vaccination can do is create a few minimal side effects, but generally the vaccination does not cause any symptoms. In addition, the vaccine provides the following benefits to school children, per the CDC:

  • Protects your child from chickenpox, a potentially serious and even deadly disease.
  • Keeps your child from missing up to one week of school or child care (and keeps you from missing work to care for your sick child).

Use at-home treatments to manage chickenpox

There are several at-home treatments and remedies to ease chickenpox symptoms. Some of these remedies include simple activities such as soothing rashes or skin irritations and some medication treatments. A list of at-home treatments include:

  1. A cool bath with calamine lotion added with baking soda and oatmeal can help reduce scratching and irritation. Make sure to also keep fingernails trimmed to reduce the spread of the virus on exterior surfaces.
  2. Avoid treatment with over-the-counter ibuprofen. Small children with chickenpox that are treated with aspirin may develop Reye’s Syndrome, a fatal disease.
  3. Use antiviral medication at home based on your doctor’s instructions

Managing chickenpox usually requires a visit to a doctor’s office or a local medical provider to ensure that your child is safe from other healthcare complications. Ultimately, getting an updated chickenpox vaccine is the best way to prevent the disease altogether.