View Full Version : Chickenpox

16-05-2008, 01:35 PM

One of my mindee has chickenpox (hope my baby won't catch it, she just came out of hospital!) so was wondering how long till he can come back to me. I know you have to wait till all the spots have crusted over but not sure how long it takes.


Elodie XX

16-05-2008, 01:37 PM
Its whenever the spots crust over, so they are not open/sore - I think its 5 days roughly. Generally the infectious period of chickenpox is the incubation period before hand as well which is about 7 days I think

16-05-2008, 01:40 PM
hope your baby doesnt catch it i was under the idea tha it was 10 days

16-05-2008, 01:49 PM
Takes different time for different children - depends how much they scratch and if they get infected...

My dd was fine in about 5 days ... took my ds 2 weeks for them all to dry up :(

Hope mindee is feeling better soon, at least it's a little cooler now :D

16-05-2008, 01:50 PM
I discovered E45 Calamine - not a lotion but a cream. It doesn't dry out and make you itch more (I use it on my allergy):D

16-05-2008, 01:52 PM
One of my mindees had chickenpox in January and it took almost 2 weeks for all of her spots to scab over.
Fingers crossed none of your family catch it

Emler x

16-05-2008, 03:58 PM
Chicken pox was doing the rounds here in April - I sent a child home with it and the following week mum tried to send him to me but I refused.

Mum claimed the GP had told her it didn't matter whether the spots had crusted over or not as the infectious period was before the spots come out.

I stood my ground and refused to have him - was almost tempted to tell her to get the GP to look after him!

Another mindee had 2 weeks off with it because his spots just took such a long time to come out.

miffy xx

16-05-2008, 06:14 PM
thanks for your replies, it's more or less what I thought.

Elodie X

16-05-2008, 08:23 PM
I have a mindee thats just come out with them too.....

16-05-2008, 08:53 PM
I had chickenpox in April, then my 7 year old son caught it, then the baby I mind got it too!

The doctor told me you're contagious until the last spot has popped & crusted over. My son was off school for a full week. He returned looking very spotty but wasn't contagious.

Hope this helps.

16-05-2008, 09:18 PM
Eurax is an excellent cream for Chickenpox and dries the spots up really quickly and takes away the itch better than calamine lotion and doesnt leave you all pink coloured.

Hope your baby doesnt get it.

16-05-2008, 10:17 PM
My doc said 9 out of 10 people will catch it if they haven't had it previously & come into contact with someone who has it.

Trouble is, you've usually passed it on before you realise you've got it. I thought I'd shared my bed with a vicious bunch of fleas & been bitten to death. It was 2 days later I was diagnosed & I'd done the school run & everything :panic:

16-05-2008, 10:18 PM
Eurax is the cream we used in November and it is fantastic. We also gave the children baths in bicarbonate of soda which helped stop the itch. I minded throughout as my mindees had either caught it or had already had it.

17-05-2008, 06:26 AM
Chicken pox is aweful as an adult, Bubbly where you very poorly?? I had it at age 25 and have never felt so ill in all my life! It was 3 times as bad as the flu, I couldnt walk, was so weak...........I truly hope nobody ever gets it as an adult!!!

Hope all poorly children are feeling better xx

17-05-2008, 07:12 PM
Chicken pox is aweful as an adult, Bubbly where you very poorly?? I had it at age 25 and have never felt so ill in all my life! It was 3 times as bad as the flu, I couldnt walk, was so weak...........I truly hope nobody ever gets it as an adult!!!

Hope all poorly children are feeling better xx

Yes, I was in a great deal of pain. My scalp literally felt like it was on fire. It was agony. I had hundreds of spots on my scalp and couldn't wash or brush my hair for days. The past year hasn't been good - I had glandular fever too.

28-05-2008, 08:53 PM
Hi all i had a mindee that came with chicken poxs the mindee went home that day and now my son has come out in the them my question is what do i do about work??
Should i close for two weeks or what is the protacall for this?????????

Im really worried as i am the only one bring in in any money and my parents need and rely on me..

Any one with any advice please....

28-05-2008, 08:56 PM
^ My doctor told me there's no reason why the children couldn't come to me as it's best they caught it whilst young. That's the message I passed on to the parents and I let them decide if they wanted to send their kids or not.

28-05-2008, 09:00 PM
oh thank you for replying im panicing as this is the first time ive come across it and its happening to my only son so feeling a little worried scared and sad and all the other feelings that come with it i am taking him to the docs in the morning to make sure but i shall text all my mums to inform them..

28-05-2008, 09:03 PM
I agree with Bubbly - leave the decision up to each parent

Hope your son is OK

miffy xx

28-05-2008, 09:07 PM
One of my mindees came out with it at the weekend. He is a twin. Mum was really worried she had passed it on but everyone here that day had had it. But then Mum said she will be sending him this friday :panic: Even if he is ok, I am worried the other twin maybe about to come out in it and therefore infectious.

ALl my kids have had it but my 7 year old has had it 3 times and has no immunity to it and it is worse each time. As it is half term, they will be with each other all day :panic:

I am hoping I wont have to tackle this one :(

28-05-2008, 09:10 PM
Oh my gosh thats terrible surely you shouldnt be having the twin if he has it and your own child is prone to getting it...
I would say to besafe leave it a week if he has it or not...

I feel for you on that one..

29-05-2008, 06:25 AM
hi all,
I agree chicken pox is worse if caught as a adult.
I caught it off my daughter 6 weeks before my wedding.
I was so ill i also had larangitus too & ended up in bed for over 3 weeks.
i have so many scabes you could hardly see i had any skin.
each one felt like i was beening pricked with a needle as they came out.
definalty not nice.

29-05-2008, 07:02 AM
Did you all know you can get vaccinated again Chicken Pox?

Vaccination against varicella provides 70%–90% protection against infection, and more than 95% protection against severe disease 7–10 years after immunization.


Currently in the UK only children and adults who are at-risk receive this vaccine (for example those with chronic liver disease). But you can pay privately to receive the vaccine (approx £125).

List of GP's in 2005 offering single dose vaccines including Rotavirus and Chicken Pox, prices have gone up considerably since 2005.

29-05-2008, 07:40 AM
Well, his brother still has no signs of chickenpox and my little one has not caught it either. Fingers crossed it stays that way. Still one week to go though....
Good luck to all of you who are going through it.
I had to close on tuesday as my eldest had caught conjunctivitis! It seems to be one thing after another in my house!!

Elodie X

29-05-2008, 10:50 AM
ive spoke to parents and they are all gonna come thank goodness...

my friend has just phoned her little girl has it too..

29-05-2008, 10:55 AM
Chicken pox is aweful as an adult, Bubbly where you very poorly?? I had it at age 25 and have never felt so ill in all my life! It was 3 times as bad as the flu, I couldnt walk, was so weak...........I truly hope nobody ever gets it as an adult!!!

Hope all poorly children are feeling better xx

I had chicken pox at 15 it was awful, better to catch it when your young i say, can anyone tell me if you can catch them twice? x:thumbsup:

29-05-2008, 11:04 AM
Bubbly, I had the same on my head, sounds horrid but was covered in boils, my head hurt so so so much, I was constantly in tears, I do have a high pain theshold but this took my breath away......I really feel for you and anyone who gets it as an adult

Lisa, sorry you had it when you were older too, so much better to get it as a child, when I had it, my hubby had a very mild case as he'd had it as a child, as far as Im aware if you get it bad as a child or adult you dont get it again, however the virus lays dormant in your nerves, and you can later get shingles if exposed to someone with chicken pox/shingles In a nut shell if you've never had chicken pox you cant get shingles.........I've probably got that all wrong so going to do some research XX

29-05-2008, 11:10 AM
Chickenpox is caused by a virus called the varicella-zoster virus (varicella is the medical name for chickenpox).

Chickenpox is a mild, but highly infectious disease that most children catch at some point. It is most common to catch the disease between March and May. It takes 10-21 days for the symptoms to show after you have come into contact with the virus. This is called the 'incubation period'.

Chickenpox is most common in children who are between 2-8 years of age, although you can develop chickenpox at any age. You are infectious from about two days before the rash appears until roughly five days after. Therefore, you, or your child, should stay at home until all of the blisters have fully crusted over, and this usually happens 5-7 days after the first blister appears. After the last blister has burst and crusted over, you are no longer infectious.

Chickenpox spreads in tiny droplets of saliva and nasal mucus, by sneezes and coughs from an infected person. The virus is already in these droplets, which is why it spreads so fast.

Once you have had chickenpox, you will very rarely catch chickenpox for a second time. This is because your body develops immunity to the chickenpox virus, which stops you from becoming re-infected.


After a chickenpox infection, the virus stays in the body's nerve tissues (remains dormant). It does not do any harm because it is kept under control by the immune system; the part of the body that fights infection. At any time later in life, but usually when you are an adult, the virus can be reactivated (come back), causing a different form of the virus, known as shingles. The first sign of shingles is usually a pain in the area of the affected nerve. Seven days later a rash will usually appear, followed by blisters, that tend to only affect one side of your body. If you have shingles you are contagious to anyone who has not had chickenpox. However, it is not possible to catch shingles from someone who has chickenpox.


More than 90% of pregnant women are immune to the chickenpox virus (as a result of having it earlier on in life), so most women need not worry about developing the disease. Even if you develop shingles during pregnancy, it should not affect your baby in any way.

Chickenpox occurs in approximately three in every 1,000 pregnancies, and can cause serious complications for both you and your child. Your GP will be able to advise you on any necessary tests or treatment you may require (see diagnosis and complications sections for further information).

SymptomsThe most commonly recognised symptom of chickenpox is a red rash, which covers the body. However, before developing a rash, you or your child may experience some mild flu-like symptoms. These symptoms may include:

aching, painful muscles,
generally feeling unwell, and
loss of appetite.
These flu-like symptoms (especially fever) tend to be worse in adults than in children.


Shortly after these initial symptoms, a rash starts to develop. The rash normally appears in crops, and can usually be found:

behind the ears,
on the face,
over the scalp,
under the arms,
on the chest and stomach, and
on the arms and legs.
The rash starts as small, itchy, red spots. After approximately 12-14 hours, these spots develop into fluid-filled blisters, which are intensely itchy. These blisters can also form on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. After one to four days, these blisters will dry out and begin to crust over. After one to two weeks, the crusting skin will fall off naturally.

When to contact your GP

It is very important, if you are pregnant, or have a weakened immune system, that you contact your GP straight away if you have been in contact with someone who has chickenpox, regardless of whether you have any symptoms. You should also contact your GP if your baby has been in contact with the chickenpox virus and is less than four weeks old. Chickenpox in these people can cause serious complications if left untreated. It is therefore essential that you seek medical advice so that any necessary precautions or treatment can be provided.

You should also contact your GP straight away if you, or you child develops any abnormal symptoms. For example, if the blisters on the skin become infected, or if you, or your child start to experience pain in the chest, or difficulty breathing

DiagnosisTests are not normally needed to diagnose chickenpox, because an initial mild fever followed by a rash, blisters and scabs are very characteristic.

Chickenpox is usually easy to distinguish from other rashes. Occasionally it can be confused with other conditions which affect the skin, such as insect bites or scabies. If there is any uncertainty as to what is causing your or your child's symptoms, a simple blood test can be carried out to identify the virus.


If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have a weakened immune system you are more at risk of developing complications. Babies less than four weeks of age are also at risk. If you fall into one of these groups and have been in contact with someone with chickenpox, or you suspect you, or your child may have developed the condition, then you should visit your GP straight away. You may require some tests to establish your immunity to the condition.

If you have had chickenpox in the past, then it is extremely unlikely that you will contract chickenpox for a second time. If you know you have never had chickenpox, or you are unsure whether you have, then you may need a blood test to check to see whether you are producing the antibodies which protect the body from the chickenpox virus. If your blood test result shows that you do have the antibodies, then you will naturally be protected from the virus. If you do not have the antibodies, then you will require close monitoring, in case symptoms develop.

There is no cure for chickenpox, and the virus usually clears up by itself, even without any treatment. However, there are some things you can do to help ease the symptoms.


If you or your child is in pain, or has a fever, then you can give them a mild painkiller, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.

Liquid, sugar-free paracetamol should be given to children under the age of 12. Short term use of either paracetamol or ibuprofen will not usually cause any side effects. Paracetamol can be used at any stage during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but ibuprofen should not be used after 30 weeks of pregnancy.

Ibuprofen is also unsuitable if you have asthma, or a history of stomach problems, such as stomach ulcers. If you are unsure as to whether ibuprofen will be suitable for you or your child, check with your GP, nurse or pharmacist. If your child is younger than three months old, always speak to your GP before you provide your child with any kind of pain relief.


If you suspect that your child has chickenpox, or if they have been diagnosed with the condition, it is very important that you do not give them aspirin. Children under 16 years of age should never be given aspirin, but is particularly important that your child does not take aspirin if they have a viral infection like chickenpox.

Medical studies have shown that there is a link between treating children who have chickenpox with aspirin, and the potentially fatal condition, known as Reye's syndrome. This condition almost always affects children and teenagers, and can cause severe brain and liver damage, as well as affecting other parts of the body. If Reye's syndrome is not diagnosed quickly, it can lead to disability and, in some cases, death.

Speak to your GP, or pharmacist, if you are unsure about which medicines you should give your child.


Try to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Sugar-free ice-lollies help to lower temperature and give children fluids, as well as soothing a sore mouth if it has become infected. They may be used in children over the age of four. Avoid food that may make your mouth sore (such as salty foods) and try having soups as they are easy to swallow (just make sure the soup is not too hot).


Keep children's fingernails clean and short to stop deep scratching. You may also consider putting socks over your child's hands at night to stop them scratching the rash as they sleep. This will also prevent any future scarring from the itching of scabs.


If your child has a fever, or if their skin is sore and aggravated, then dress them appropriately to avoid overheating, or shivering. If you or your child has chickenpox, it is best to wear loose-fitting, smooth, cotton fabrics. This will help stop the skin from becoming sore and irritated.

Calamine lotion

If your child's skin is very itchy or sore, you could try using calamine lotion. This lotion is very safe to use, and will have a soothing, cooling effect on the skin.

Tepid sponging

If your child has chickenpox, avoid tepid (lukewarm) sponging.


If you develop chickenpox whilst you are pregnant you may have to take an antiviral medicine, known as aciclovir. This ideally needs to be started within 24 hours of your rash appearing. It does not cure chickenpox, but does make the symptoms less severe.
If you are taking aciclovir, you should make sure you drink plenty of fluids.

You will normally have to take this medicine five times a day (at four hourly intervals) for seven days. This medicine may also be prescribed to newborn babies and, people with a weakened immune system who develop chickenpox, as they too are more at risk of developing complications.

Complications of chickenpox are rare in children. In children under five, the most common complication is when the rash of blisters becomes infected with bacteria. If your child's blisters become infected, they may require a course of antibiotics.

The people most at risk of developing complications are:

pregnant women,
babies less than four weeks old, and
people with a suppressed immune system (the system which fights and protects the body from infection).

Chickenpox can be more serious in adults than in children, and adults with the virus are more likely to be admitted into hospital. Approximately 5-14% of adults with chickenpox develop lung problems, such as pneumonia (inflammation of the lung tissue). If you smoke, the risk of you developing lung problems is much greater. Although more serious in adults, a vast majority of people make a full recovery from the chickenpox virus.
Pregnant women

If you are pregnant, chickenpox can occasionally cause complications for both you and your baby. The risk of you developing pneumonia is slightly higher if you are pregnant. Up to 1 in 10 women with chickenpox develop this condition. The further you are into your pregnancy, the more serious pneumonia tends to be.

If you get chickenpox while you are pregnant, the risk to the developing foetus is small, and it will often have no effect on the baby whatsoever. However, your child may develop shingles during the first few years of life if the varicella infection that occurred while he or she was in the womb is reactivated.

Chickenpox can affect your baby in different ways, depending on what stage of the pregnancy you are in. The effects of these stages are outlined below.

The first 20 weeks

If your baby is infected with chickenpox in the first 20 weeks of your pregnancy, there is a risk that your child could develop a condition known as fetal varicella syndrome. However, this syndrome is rare, and the risk of it occurring in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy is less than 1%. Between 13 and 20 weeks, the risk is 2%. Although rare, this syndrome can cause serious complications including:

scarring of the skin,
eye defects, such as cataracts, which causes the lens in the eye to cloud over,
shortened limbs, and
brain damage.
After 37 weeks

If you contract chickenpox after 37 weeks, your child is at risk of being born with chickenpox. The risk of your baby being born prematurely is also slightly increased.
If you develop chickenpox seven days before, or seven days after giving birth, your newborn baby may develop a more serious type of chickenpox. In a few, severe cases, this form of chickenpox can be fatal.

You are at greater risk of complications if you catch chickenpox when you are pregnant if:

you smoke, or
you have a lung disease such as bronchitis or emphysema, or
you are taking steroids or have done so in the last three months.
See your GP urgently if you are pregnant and think you may have chicken pox. The same advice applies if you think you have chicken pox within seven days of giving birth. This is so that any necessary precautions can be made to prevent you or your baby developing any further complications.

Immune system

The immune system is the body's way of defending itself against disease, bacteria and viruses. If your immune system is weak or does not function normally, it means that you are more susceptible to developing viruses such as chickenpox, because your body produces fewer antibodies to fight off the infection.

You may have a weakened immune system if you:

are undergoing chemotherapy,
have HIV or AIDS, or
take immunosuppressive drugs to protect your organ or bone marrow transplants.
If you have a weakened immune system, you are also more at risk of developing complications from chickenpox. These complications include pneumonia, septicaemia (blood poisoning), and meningitis.

29-05-2008, 11:12 AM
You CAN get it again although I dont think it is very common.

My Son has had it THREE times in 2 years and each time he has been covered!

All my other children have only had it once touch wood.

29-05-2008, 01:29 PM
WOW Louisec,

thanks for that info ive been to the docs with my son and they me feel stupid for bringing him in... if for nothing else but to have it put on his record....

thanks again some great info..

29-05-2008, 05:10 PM
When my ds got it he was 9 months old and i had just started childminding, he caught it off a mindee, the parents were fine to keep coming as long as ds was too poorly. Same happened when my dd got them, the mindees still came cause all parents were ok. It also best to check with them. Hope they all feel better soon xxx

30-05-2008, 10:08 AM
I posted too early, she came down with chicken pox yesterday!! Poor thing she is all spotty...She is so good though, not complaining or wingeing (excuse the spelling). Mindees are still coming as parents want them to catch it!!

Elodie XX

30-05-2008, 10:17 AM
^ My doctor told me there's no reason why the children couldn't come to me as it's best they caught it whilst young. That's the message I passed on to the parents and I let them decide if they wanted to send their kids or not.

When my daughter got them the doctor told me the exact opposite to that he said that it was not be responsible to willingly expose children to a contagious illnesses and by doing so would be negligent. He said that the days of having 'chicken pox' parties were long gone and that chicken pox could lead to the illnesses.

I only checked on this because i advised all the parents that i was going to close for the week but one wanted to send her child 'so she could get it out the way with'. I think we are advised that children cant attend until the last spot crusts over/5 days from onset of rash depending on where you are. so the guidelines also apply to us

30-05-2008, 10:19 AM
I posted too early, she came down with chicken pox yesterday!! Poor thing she is all spotty...She is so good though, not complaining or wingeing (excuse the spelling). Mindees are still coming as parents want them to catch it!!

Elodie XX

I would seriously check this out with ofsted because if the other mindees do get it but it leads to complications you could be in serious trouble. I'm not so sure the parents would then be convinced they wanted there children to come.I was told that all children with contagious illnesses should be excluded until the necessary periods apply.

30-05-2008, 12:11 PM
Ive spoke to all the parents and the children have all had it sso they are happy to send the children do you think i should get them to sign a waver to say if they do catch chickenpox they cant sue me?