Chickenpox has been doing the rounds at our local schools recently and with so many children we know being struck down it’s only a matter of time before Max catches it. To be honest I’d like him to catch it sooner rather than later, as the older he gets the more aware he will be of what’s happening to him.
I’m sure when your little one comes down with chickenpox, soothing the itching, aches and pains are likely to be at the top of your to-do list, as they are mine. So, how do you ease your kids suffering while the virus runs its course? From shop bought remedies to at home soothing soaks, here’s how I plan to help Max when the dreaded chickenpox strike.
Warm or cool baths can help relieve itching, however be careful not to add any bubble bath or soap to the water as these can just cause unnecessary irritation. You can add 2 cups of ground oatmeal such as Aveeno Oatmeal Bath, which is known for reducing itching. Gently pat the skin dry afterwards, taking care not to rub the skin.
Gels such as Care ViraSoothe help to cool and soothe the symptoms of chickenpox. Unlike calamine lotion or antihistamines, Care ViraSoothe is specifically formulated to break the itch, scratch, infection cycle by rapidly calming the persistent itch. It’s non-messy, can be easily applied all over the body and face whenever relief is needed and is suitable for children over 6 months of age.
Care ViraSoothe, £5.73, 50g Gel (available from pharmacies and supermarkets nationwide or Weldricks Online)
A cool compress applied directly to the itchy areas will provide some immediate relief. Use a soft and absorbent cloth, soak with cool water and gently apply to skin. You can repeat this process as many times as you need.
Keep your childs clothing as loose as possible so it doesn’t rub against the spots. It’s also best to change bedding daily and wash all clothes and bed linen in a mild laundry detergent.
Food and drink
It’s so important to keep hydrated during chickenpox. Avoid fizzy drinks and stick to water wherever possible. Sugar free ice lollies are a great way of getting fluids into children and can help soothe a sore mouth. Avoid sharp, hard, salty or spicy foods that may make the mouth sore. Soft, cool foods are best, such as soup that has been left to cool down.
I know this is easier said than done but there are ways you can help stop your child from scratching when they have chickenpox. Small children can wear mittens or soft cotton socks over their hands. Also try distraction techniques when you see them tempted to scratch by keeping their hands busy with their favourite toys. Scratching the blisters can lead to bacterial infections so be sure to keep your childs nails trimmed.
It’s always best to avoid heat when battling chickenpox. Sunlight causes us to get hot and sweaty which in turn triggers itching. It’s advised you keep your child indoors in a cool environment.
Unfortunately there is no miracle cure for chickenpox, but all of the above should go someway to relieving the irritating symptoms. And don’t forget to have some wine handy………you’ll definitely want to pop the cork and have a glass (or the entire bottle) once the whole horrible ordeal is over with.