Chickenpox is quite common in nurseries and schools as it’s very contagious so if one child gets it, chances are the rest of the class won’t be far behind. As a parent, it’s highly likely that one day you will have to deal with it. While I am by no means qualified to offer any medical advice when it comes to treating your child if they get Chickenpox- as a mum who has just been through this with her three year old- I have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve to help make them as comfortable as possible while they endure the worst of the symptoms. 

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Be gentle at bathtime: Their skin, whether blistered or not, will be more sensitive than usual, so make sure the water is cool when they take their bath and try to avoid using body washes and bubbles until it has fully cleared up. Pat them dry rather than rubbing them with their towel when they get out of the bath as this will aggravate their skin and make it even more sore than it already is. 

Keep their fluid levels up: Make sure they drink plenty throughout the day, so stock up on their favourite dilute to encourage them to keep taking sips. If it means investing in a themed/character cup to make it more appealing then do it to keep them hydrated. Ice lollies are also a good way to get some fluids into them if they don’t want to drink.

Be understanding if they get irritable: They will be feeling under the weather with aches and pains or a raised temperature so if they get snappy with you or cry a lot- go easy on them. Younger children especially don’t have the skills to be able to tell you exactly what’s wrong and they might not understand what is happening so if your go-to is the naughty step or time out when they act up- give it a miss until they are feeling better.

Let them rest: Even if you have a strict routine that involves no napping during the day- if they need to rest- let them take a nap to give their body a chance to heal. Chances are it won’t affect their bedtime routine as they will be just as exhausted then.  If they want to curl up on the couch and watch TV that’s ok too, so don’t worry if you normally restrict screen time because it’s only for a few days.

Plan in some activities: Some children will get spots and feel OK otherwise, so make sure you have some things up your sleeve that will keep them occupied while they are home bound. Board games, cards, painting, drawing, baking, reading- whatever they enjoy- have something planned for each day to keep boredom at bay. Children can pass it on until the spots scab over so taking them out to places where there are other children present like a soft play or playground will only encourage the spread, so keep them at home if at all possible. 

Give them a treat meal: It’s nice to have something naughty to eat when you are feeling ill and children will appreciate a cheeky slice of cake or a sweetie here and there to lift their spirits. Obviously don’t feed them unhealthy food the entire time they are poorly but a little of what they like will put a smile on their face. 

Cover their hands and dress them in loose clothing: They will want to scratch their skin so put gloves on them during the day- you could even wear some yourself so they don’t feel left out. Socks work a treat too as they can play sock puppets! If they refuse to keep their hands covered, cut their nails as short as is comfortably possible so they have nothing to scratch with. Loose clothes stop the material rubbing against the blisters which could cause them to burst so sweat pants, baggy rompers and oversized t-shirts will give their skin the most breathing room. 

BONUS: Give them lots of cuddles: There is nothing better than a hug from your mum or dad when you are feeling poorly, so make sure you show them some love while they are struggling, even more so if they don’t know what is happening to their body as they will be feeling very scared and unsure. Cuddles are the best medicine of all! 

MORE: Founders of cloth nappy brand say you can save £750 per child by ditching the disposables

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