Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Chicken Pox?!?!?!

I'm thinking that Wyatt has Chicken Pox. His belly, one butt cheek, back, and one upper arm is full of tiny bumps that itch. He has a few spots on his face.

According to this site, Kidshealth.org, it looks like he does have it:

Chickenpox is a common illness among kids, particularly those under age 12. Anitchy rash of spots that look like blisters can appear all over the body and may be accompanied by flu-like symptoms. Symptoms usually go away without treatment, but because the infection is very contagious, an infected child should stay home and rest until the symptoms are gone.

So, that would explain why I never noticed a fever or flu-like symptoms... because not all get it.

Symptoms of Chickenpox

Chickenpox causes a red, itchy rash on the skin that usually appears first on the abdomen or back and face, and then spreads to almost everywhere else on the body, including the scalp, mouth, nose, ears, and genitals.

The rash begins as multiple small, red bumps that look like pimples or insect bites. They develop into thin-walled blisters filled with clear fluid, which becomes cloudy. The blister wall breaks, leaving open sores, which finally crust over to become dry, brown scabs.

Chickenpox blisters are usually less than a quarter of an inch wide, have a reddish base, and appear in bouts over 2 to 4 days. The rash may be more extensive or severe in kids who have skin disorders such as eczema.

Some kids have a fever, abdominal pain, sore throat, headache, or a vague sick feeling a day or 2 before the rash appears. These symptoms may last for a few days, and fever stays in the range of 100°–102° Fahrenheit (37.7°–38.8° Celsius), though in rare cases may be higher. Younger kids often have milder symptoms and fewer blisters than older children or adults.

Typically, chickenpox is a mild illness, but can affect some infants, teens, adults, and people with weak immune systems more severely. Some people can develop serious bacterial infections involving the skin, lungs, bones, joints, and the brain (encephalitis). Even kids with normal immune systems can occasionally develop complications, most commonly a skin infection near the blisters.

See, it says 'some kids have fever, abdominal pain, sore throat, headache, or vague sick feeling a day or 2 before the rash appears'. Now, I can't say if he had a headache but he was pretty clingy...


Chickenpox is contagious from about 2 days before the rash appears and lasts until all the blisters are crusted over. A child with chickenpox should be kept out of school until all blisters have dried, usually about 1 week. If you're unsure about whether your child is ready to return to school, ask your doctor.

Chickenpox is very contagious — most kids with a sibling who's been infected will get it as well, showing symptoms about 2 weeks after the first child does. To help keep the virus from spreading, make sure your kids wash their hands frequently, particularly before eating and after using the bathroom. And keep a child with chickenpox away from unvaccinated siblings as much as possible.

People who haven't had chickenpox also can catch it from someone with shingles, but they cannot catch shingles itself. That's because shingles can only develop from a reactivation of VZV in someone who has previously had chickenpox.

Hmmm... so, I have to watch the girls too... although, Ursula has some spots on her face which I thought was mosquito bites... I did see some spots on her upper back this evening... That article says blisters come out for 2-4 days, right? So, let's see how it goes. I'll see about getting some pictures of Wyatt's torso tomorrow.

Dealing With the Discomfort of Chickenpox

You can help relieve the itchiness, fever, and discomfort of chickenpox by:

  • Using cool wet compresses or giving baths in cool or lukewarm water every 3 to 4 hours for the first few days.

  • Oatmeal baths, available at the supermarket or pharmacy, can help to relieve itching. (Baths do not spread chickenpox.)

  • Patting (not rubbing) the body dry.

  • Putting calamine lotion on itchy areas (but don't use it on the face, especially near the eyes).

  • Giving your child foods that are cold, soft, and bland because chickenpox in the mouth may make drinking or eating difficult.

  • Avoid feeding your child anything highly acidic or especially salty, like orange juice or pretzels.

  • Asking your doctor or pharmacist about pain-relieving creams to apply to sores in the genital area.

  • Giving your child acetaminophen regularly to help relieve pain if your child has mouth blisters.

  • Asking the doctor about using over-the-counter medication for itching.

  • Never use aspirin to reduce pain or fever in children with chickenpox because aspirin has been associated with the serious disease Reye syndrome, which can lead to liver failure and even death.

    As much as possible, discourage kids from scratching. This can be difficult for them, so consider putting mittens or socks on your child's hands to prevent scratching duringsleep. In addition, trim fingernails and keep them clean to help lessen the effects of scratching, including broken blisters and infection.

    Most chickenpox infections require no special medical treatment. But sometimes, there are problems. Call the doctor if your child:

  • has fever that lasts for more than 4 days or rises above 102° Fahrenheit (38.8° Celsius)

  • has a severe cough or trouble breathing

  • has an area of rash that leaks pus (thick, discolored fluid) or becomes red, warm, swollen, or sore

  • has a severe headache

  • is unusually drowsy or has trouble waking up

  • has trouble looking at bright lights

  • has difficulty walking

  • seems confused

  • seems very ill or is vomiting

  • has a stiff neck

  • Call your doctor if you think your child has chickenpox, if you have a question, or if you're concerned about a possible complication. The doctor can guide you in watching for complications and in choosing medication to relieve itching. When taking your child to the doctor, let the office know in advance that your child might have chickenpox. It's important to ensure that other kids in the office are not exposed — for some of them, a chickenpox infection could cause severe complications.


    Jessica said...

    YEP, looks like chicken pox! "indian fire" or impetigo doesn't really spread like that. Not when I dealt w/it.
    I'm going to go and look at that site next...
    I would say that's it's not a light case either. O'and they CAN scar. I have 2 scars from mine.
    have fun ;) & good luck!

    Anonymous said...

    Looks like chicken pox to me!
    I had it in my mouth, I'll never forget that summer, I was miserable, couldn't go play and it felt like I was quarintined for a month :)


    Jessica said...

    hows he doing? & the girls?

    Anonymous said...

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