Published: Monday 31 January 2022

Pretty much all of us have chicken pox at some point in our childhood but chances are you may not know how to spot it in your own child or one in your care! Luckily, chicken pox is usually mild and can be treated at home. Most people feel better within a week or so.

Early symptoms can be present for up to 10 days before any spots appear and can include:

  • feeling tired and generally unwell
  • a high temperature (fever) of + 38C
  • a headache
  • aching, painful muscles
  • loss of appetite or feeling sick

The rash
The rash starts off as small, raised red spots. There may be lots or just a few and can appear anywhere on the body. They then blister and scab over.

Chicken pox is contagious until every blister has scabbed over, which usually occurs by around five or six days after the rash started.

Reduce pain and fever: with paracetamol. Ibruprofen should not be used with children with chicken pox as it can be dangerous.

Prevent itching and scratching: to reduce the risk of infection and scarring.

Keep hydrated with plenty of water.

Chicken pox is highly contagious and can make some people very ill, so it's important to try to avoid spreading it to others. Stay away
from school or nursery and avoid contact with people at risk such as pregnant women and those with low immunity.

Contact your GP or medical serivces if worried about your child.

If you're a childcare professional looking to gain or renew your Paediatric First Aid qualification, take a look at our courses in Brighton and Angmering.

If you're a parent or carer, and you'd like to improve your Baby & Child First Aid skills, check out our online course that can be completed from home in your own time.

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