My 5 year old has chicken pox, what should I do?

Chickenpox is a mild and common childhood illness that most children catch at some point. It causes a rash of red, itchy spots that turn into fluid-filled blisters. They then crust over to form scabs, which eventually drop off. Some children have only a few spots, but in others they can cover the entire body. The spots are itchy and uncomfortable.

Chickenpox is most infectious from one to two days before the rash starts, until all the blisters have crusted over (usually five to six days after the start of the rash). But it may take from 10 to 21 days after contact with an infected person for someone to develop chickenpox.

If your child has chickenpox, keep them away from public areas; avoid contact with people who have not had it, especially people who are at risk of serious problems, such as newborn babies, pregnant women and anyone with a weakened immune system



Chickenpox in children, is generally a mild illness, but expect your child to feel pretty miserable and irritable while they have it. Your child is likely to have a fever at least for the first few days of the illness and the spots are incredibly itchy. There is no specific treatment for chickenpox, but Paracetamol syrup (Calpol) can relieve fever and calamine lotion along with aqueous cream can ease itching. Paediatric Antihistamine syrup such as Piriton can help them to sleep. A tepid bath running the water through a sock filled with porridge oats, can also be incredibly soothing.

In most children, the blisters crust up and fall off naturally within one to two weeks, cut their nails short to prevent them scratching, as this can cause scarring.


For most children, chickenpox is a mild illness that gets better on its own, but occasionally there can be complications. Contact your GP if the blisters on their skin become infected or get urgent medical help if your child has a pain in their chest or has difficulty breathing.


First Aid for life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information

It is strongly advised that parents attend a practical First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.


Emma Hammett

First Aid for Life

0208 675 4036

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