As the title suggests, we’re a pox filled household right now.
Six days ago I was changing Little London and as I lifted up his top I noticed three spots on his tummy.
You know when you think ‘oh sh*t.. is that…’ and then brush it off, because lets face it kids get rashes and random spots all the time. Well that.
So we continued on with our day and thought nothing more of it. He didn’t seem ill. He had no fever and other than a cold that has plagued him for the past couple of weeks he was totally healthy and his usual self.
But that evening when I changed him into his pyjamas I noticed the spots had multiplied. At that point without a doubt (after some epic google searching) I diagnosed our three-year old with chicken pox.
Now I could have taken him to the doctors, but to be honest once you think it’s chicken pox it’s a pointless trip and it was also the weekend. My son has a habit of getting ill when the surgeries are shut.
Plus there’s nothing they can do as it’s a typical childhood illness, and I certainly didn’t want to bring my infected son into a surgery room full of people who may have reduced immunity where they could end up seriously ill from this rather ‘simple’ childhood illness.
However, as selfish as it sounds my concern wasn’t really for my toddler. Instead because I’m pregnant my concern really was for the unborn baby. On that front I recommend not googling anything about pregnancy and chicken pox.
Because I’d googled though I started to itch. I’m sure looking at back to back pictures of the chicken pox on google will do that to anyone. It’s psychological, but also it had me worrying.
So I was straight onto 111 who passed my details on to an out of hours doctor. With the help of Mr London Mum telling the doctor what the spots on my back looked like we diagnosed that I didn’t have the chicken pox, but rather just hormonal pregnancy acne. Joy. Typical they’d arrive when my son gets the chicken pox- way to scare a pregnant lady!
The next day we bought in all the pharmacy recommended ointments and treatments for our toddler. Which I can not recommend highly enough.
Every time Little London itches we use PoxClin which is a cooling mousse and applied straight to the skin as often as is needed.
We also bought some anti histamine syrup recommended for toddlers just in case the itching became unbearable for him.
Let me just say the products on the market now beat the calamine lotion we used to dot all over ourselves when we were younger!
During the day we tend to use only a small amount of PoxClin. My son hates any type of lotion applied to his skin, but if he becomes frustrated with the itching he will come over and tell me he needs medicine for his ‘itchy bum bum (the current itchy part of his body).’
But other than those moments he’s been happily distracted by his toys and watching The Good Dinosaur on repeat and telling me that he’s now called Arlo.
^^ these pictures are taken from around day 3 of the chicken pox. They get progressively worse and the spots become very painful looking blisters before they scab over.
At night-time however, before we came up with a system the chicken pox disrupted his sleep. He just couldn’t stop scratching and would only settle in bed with us.
Being so close to him, because he likes to sleep face to face with me (god knows why because my morning breath is not something to write home about) did of course again give me cause for concern. So I called up my doctor’s surgery and asked them for advice.
They told me as long as I had had the chicken pox as a child I would be immune to it, and so would the unborn baby. However for peace of mind or if I was unsure whether I’d had the chicken pox I could go in and have a blood test that would check whether I had the antibodies.
I definitely had the chicken pox as a kid. I remember being diagnosed because my mum freaked out over one spot on my back. My sister then caught it off me and there was no doubting I’d brought the pox into the house. So I haven’t had the blood test, but it’s nice to know for peace of mind it’s available. I think if I come down with a cold or any other symptom I’ll get the test done. The chicken pox itself has a two week incubation period, so I’m keeping a close eye on things.
Knowing how difficult night-time was for our son, the system I now use involves giving him a bicarbonate of soda bath in the evenings (one tablespoon in warm water) and then applying PoxClin to his whole body. The mix really helps to stop the itching and soothe the skin.
I think however if you have a child that suffers from eczema the bicarbonate of soda bath isn’t recommended because it dries out the spots/skin, and instead you should try bathing with porridge oats (put into an old pair of tights and dropped into the bath as it runs) and perhaps also look into Aveeno bath products.
I tend to not use the anti histamine syrup unless he’s really bad at night-time. I think I’ve only used the syrup once. But it’s nice having a back up plus it’s a medicine cupboard staple.
And that is how we’re getting through the chicken pox.
^^ Day 6 of the chicken pox. As you can see I’m reluctant to clean up his face thoroughly after food or if his nose is snotty, because I don’t want to aggravate the spots surrounding the area and cause possible scarring.
I’d say we’ve been lucky because we’ve had no problems with temperature in terms of him having a fever. Remember if your child does have a fever with the chicken pox to only administer Calpol to them. NOT Ibuprofen, which reacts badly with the chicken pox virus.
Although having a child with the chicken pox while being pregnant isn’t ideal I’m glad in a way that I’ll only have to deal with one child having the chicken pox at a time. So in that sense it’s blessing he has it now. Just fingers crossed my immunity keeps the virus at bay from the unborn baby.