Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Chickenpox - Brief Version
What are chickenpox?
A virus causes chickenpox. Most likely, your child was
around a child with chickenpox about 2 weeks before. Here's
what you can expect:
- At first, you'll see small, red bumps. These bumps may
become thin-walled water blisters.
- After that, you may see cloudy blisters or open sores.
- In about a day, you may see them turn into dry, brown
- More and more red bumps will crop up all over your
child's body for about 4 or 5 days.
The disease can spread to other people until all the sores
have crusted over. Most of the time, all the sores crust
over about 6 to 7 days after the rash starts.
How can I take care of my child?
- Itching. Give your child a cool bath every 3 to
4 hours. Add 4 tablespoons of baking soda to the tub of
water. If the itching is very bad, or keeps your child
from sleeping, give your child Benadryl. You can get
this antihistamine at your drug store. You don't need a
- Fever. If your child has a fever of 102ƒ or
more, give acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Do not give
- Sore mouth. Give soft foods and cold fluids. For
babies, use a cup instead of a bottle. The nipple may
hurt. Stay away from salty foods and citrus fruits.
You can also have your child gargle or swallow
1 teaspoon of an antacid after meals.
- Preventing infected sores. Trim your child's
fingernails short. Also, wash your child's hands with
an antibacterial soap often during the day.
Call your child's doctor right away if:
- Your child has red skin, red streaks, or red rash.
- Your child starts acting very sick.
Call your child's doctor within 24 hours if:
- A scab looks infected (gets larger or drains pus).
- The fever lasts over 4 days.
- The itching is very bad and doesn't get better when
- You have other questions or concerns.