How can I help my child get well?

Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and fluids. Chickenpox will go away on its own in a week or two. To help your child feel less itchy, you can:

  • Press a cool, moist rag on the rash.
  • Keep your child cool.
  • Encourage your child not to scratch. Trim the fingernails so he or she can't scratch.
  • Put a lotion with antihistamines on the rash. These lotions can be bought at the drugstore. If you don't know what to buy, ask the pharmacist for help.
  • Give your child an over-the-counter pill form of antihistamine. Benadryl® is one example.
  • Give your child a cool bath or shower every day. You can also give your child an oatmeal bath.

Don't give your child aspirin. Aspirin can harm children who have fevers. If you must give your child a pain killer, use acetaminophen (such as Tylenol®). If you are not sure what pain killer to use, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

To prevent dehydration, give your child fluids. Cold fluids and a soft bland diet will help if he or she has mouth sores.

What if my baby gets chickenpox?

If your newborn baby (up to age 3 months) gets chickenpox, let your healthcare provider know right away.

What complications are possible with chickenpox?

  • Bacterial infections of the skin, blood, and soft tissues
  • Encephalitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Becoming dehydrated
  • Blood clotting or healing issues
  • Liver problems

Who is more likely to have complications from chickenpox?

Healthy people who get chickenpox do not usually have complications. However, having a severe case of chickenpox could be more dangerous for very young babies, teenagers, pregnant women and people with immunity issues, such as transplant patients. This group also includes people with cancer or HIV or people being treated with chemotherapy or steroids.

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