While the headlines have recently been dominated by news of the monkeypox outbreak in various parts of the world, cases of another ‘pox’ are also seemingly on the rise. And while chickenpox is an age-old infection which is more common and treatable, the virus is still bound to cause concern amongst parents and guardians at the school gates.
YorkshireLive reported talk of an outbreak of the virus in the county and some parents are worried that there seem to be more cases than usual in their communities, although doctors have moved quickly to reassure residents that it is no cause for concern. Medics say chickenpox can be safely handled at home and have urged parents to turn to calamine lotion – a trusted tonic over the decades – to help alleviate symptoms for sufferers.
Retired GP, Dr Stuart Oliver, has offered some simple advice to help parents – and their suffering children – through this uncomfortable period. He said: “If they’ve got a temperature, then it’s Calpol, or just something to bring the temperature down. If it’s particularly itchy, then tend to put calamine lotion on it, that’s about it.
“Traditionally it’s just about bringing down the high temperature with liquid paracetamol, Calpol is the best thing for children, and if it’s particularly itchy then calamine lotion, otherwise just leave it.”
This is advice that has been handed down through generations, but still holds true today: don’t let them scratch! It can be so hard to stop your little ones from scratching, particularly when it seems to be the only way to get some relief from the agonising itch. But do try to employ the “cruel to be kind” approach and stop them in their tracks.
Many adults still have one or two scars that they can point to as the result of their childhood chickenpox, and the likelihood of the little spots scarring is greatly increased if a sufferer is permitted to scratch. So, make sure that you are on hand with the calamine lotion to help your kids feel more comfortable.
And Dr Oliver Hart, a GP in Sheffield, has provided some reassurance to parents that there is no need to panic if your kid comes home with the telltale red dots. He said: “I’m not aware of a chickenpox outbreak myself. However, it is a common condition that we see a lot in children.
“I know there is high concern about any ‘poxes’ at the moment. We generally don’t worry about chickenpox too much, it can be unpleasant but rarely dangerous and contracting it in childhood is generally considered useful to build up antibodies for later in life.”