A common and one of the most infectious diseases that affects children, chicken pox is caused by the varicella zoster virus. Most children suffer from chicken pox at some or the other point in their lives.
In babies, however, chicken pox is a bit unusual in the first year as the antibodies needed to fight the virus are often passed on from the mother to the fetus in the womb itself. In some cases however babies do get a mild case of chicken pox.
Symptoms of Chicken Pox in Babies
Chicken pox in babies is characterized by the appearance of red spots on the entire body including the face, hand, scalp, chest, arms and legs. The bumps are extremely itchy and often turn into fluid filled blisters. These blisters later turn dry and crusty.
Once the spots have crusted the scabs fall off. It takes around fifteen days for the blisters to appear after being exposed to the virus. Being in contact with a person having chicken pox or being exposed to the cough and sneezes of the affected person can result in your baby having chicken pox.
Till the blisters start crusting and the scabs fall off chicken pox is extremely contagious. Hence, it is important for a parent to know how to cure chicken pox in babies and deal with the symptoms of this infection.
How To Cure Chicken Pox In Babies
Chicken pox in babies is rarely dangerous. Sometimes the child can suffer from fever, pneumonia and skin infections. In certain severe cases the baby is also known to suffer from brain swelling also known as encephalitis.
If the baby suffers from prolonged fever, has trouble breathing or the skin around the blisters seem swollen and inflamed then it is best to consult a doctor and seek medical treatment. In milder cases, however, you can treat chicken pox in babies easily.
The first thing you need to keep in mind is to keep your baby away from busy public areas and also from the daycare. Since this infection is highly contagious it can easily spread to other people.
Use Cold Compresses
Itching is one of the major problems associated with chicken pox. Give your baby a lukewarm bath or use cold compresses on the itchy blisters. To relieve the itching you can give your child an oatmeal bath. Just tie some oats in a thin piece cloth and place this in the water.
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Apply Calamine Lotion
To soothe the itchiness, you can apply some soothing calamine lotion on the spots.
Clip Baby’s Nails
The itching can lead to the baby scratching the sores which can only aggravate the problem further and lead to skin infections. Trim the baby’s nails and keep it clean to reduce the chances of any further harm due to the scratching.
Over the Counter Medicines
If the child has fever then certain over the counter medicines like paracetamol can help in reducing the fever. Certain anti-histamines can be used to control the itching. It is best to give any medicines to your baby only after consulting a doctor.
Chicken pox vaccines are often given to babies when they are around twelve to fifteen months old and a booster dose when they are around five years old. This will help in preventing chicken pox and its subsequent complications. Before giving your baby any vaccination consult a pediatrician.