Is it Chicken Pox?
Identifying the signs of chicken pox
Chicken pox, like Rubella, is relatively uncommon among babies younger than a year old, and are most prevalent among children aged four to ten years. This does not mean that they cannot contract the virus from someone that carries the virus, from a sibling, for example. A newborn may contract this virus through their mother during the late stages of pregnancy if the mother is not immune.
In babies and children, chicken pox starts with numerous itchy red bumps forming over the scalp, face, or torso area, and spread to the other parts. The lower legs are generally spared. These bumps may change over time into fluid filled blisters, and eventually, into a brownish scab as the disease runs its course. There may be up to 500 blisters formed during a chicken pox infection, and can be itchy, causing your baby to have trouble sleeping. Though symptoms are generally mild compared to chicken pox in adults, your baby may have a slight fever.
What to do if your baby has chickenpox
We recommended that your baby get a chicken pox vaccine at 12 months if they are healthy and have not had chicken pox yet. If your baby does contract chicken pox, try to minimize the scratching by soothing the itchy spots gently and applying a cold cloth. If you have other siblings who are not immune, they will probably also contract chicken pox as this virus is highly infectious.
Generally, chicken pox is mild in children, and should not pose a serious health risk, however, it is important to know when to call a doctor for help. In any of these cases, call a doctor to ensure that your baby is not at risk:
- Do not use aspirin: This medication increases the risk of developing a serious condition called Reye´s Syndrome in children.
- Your baby develops a severe fever or the fever does not subside within two days.
- Your child develops a skin infection.
- Your child has an immune system disorder.