New parents cannot stop bubbling with excitement at the arrival of their little one. However, the initial joy is cut short when more serious concerns over health and hygiene take over your mind, leaving you jittery for a while. The road to parenthood is laid with challenges. And one of the toughest things that you face as parents is to battle against those malefic germs and diseases that pose a constant threat to your little one. As parents, your concern over the health of your baby is natural. Babies are more vulnerable to germs and your baby will have to deal with common but dangerous diseases like typhoid, chicken pox, tetanus, polio and chicken pox, if not cared for. Chicken Pox is one of the most common occurrences among children. Though it is a rare thing among infants, who are generally defended by the antibodies generated in their mother’s wombs until their first year, there may be some exceptional cases. Even if an infant is infected, it is likely to be mild and will be off in 5 to 10 days. Chicken pox is contagious and you should take utmost care of your babies when infected. Read on to know more about this disease and ways to tackle it.
Chicken Pox is caused by varicella zoster virus, which spreads easily from one person to another. Any kind of direct contact with the infected person like touching, coughing or sneezing onto their hands or coming in contact with the infected air can expose your child to the risk of chicken pox.
Signs & Symptoms
Chicken Pox or varicella initially pops up as tiny, red, prickly bumps that quickly changes into fluid-filled pink blisters before crusting into dry brown flakes. The most common symptoms are fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, mild cough and running nose. It usually takes around 14 to 16 days for the pustules to appear, although they may show up anytime between 10 and 21 days. The bumps normally appear on the face, scalp, back and abdomen, but can show up on the entire body at times. A child can get as many as 200 to 250 blisters, although it is possible to have fewer bumps too.
Although chicken pox itself isn’t any serious threat to your baby, it may, at times, lead to serious complications like pneumonia, encephalitis, and bacterial skin infection and even swelling of the brain.
You can prevent your baby from developing chicken pox by keeping him/her away from infected people. Also vaccinating your child against this disease is an absolute must. Vaccination doesn’t immunize your child against the threat of chicken pox. Rather, it makes the disease a lot milder. However, it is not advisable for children below 1 year of age.
It is medically advised that your child should receive the vaccination at 12 to 15 months of age, followed by a second dose at the age of 4. Vaccination has few side effects. It is not advisable if your child has severe allergic reaction to gelatin. Again if your child has any kind of respiratory disorder or has undergone a blood transfusion, consult your pediatrician before taking your baby for vaccination.
Prickly chicken pox can bring a lot of discomfort to your child. You can ease you baby’s irritation with a cool bath after every three to four hours. You can add baking soda or colloidal oatmeal to the water for a cooling effect. Apply lacto calamine lotion to the itchy areas after bath to provide further relief. Also, keep your baby from picking and scratching his/her sores. You can help by trimming his/her nails. Unhealed sores can leave scars and even trigger skin infections such as impetigo.
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