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MANAGING CHICKENPOX

Chickenpox in children is generally mild, which means most cases can be managed at home without needing the GP.1 It’s important that healthcare professionals equip parents with the right information to ensure they feel confident in managing the condition – thereby helping to keep chickenpox away from the GP waiting room – but also know when to seek medical advice.

If parents come to you seeking chickenpox advice, you can give them three important pieces of advice in under 60 seconds.

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THE 60-SECOND ADVICE ON CHICKENPOX

When a parent comes to you for advice on chickenpox, make sure you give the following advice:

Don’t scratch

Scratching can cause scarring and infection. Keep the child’s nails short and put gloves on their hands at night. To relieve itching, bathe the child in cool water, and ask the pharmacist about cooling gels/creams and antihistamines. Paracetamol may also help with discomfort and fever (avoid using ibuprofen for chickenpox and do not give aspirin to children under 16 years).

Stay hydrated

Make sure the child drinks plenty of fluids. If they’re not drinking, ice lollies, jellies and yoghurt can be good alternatives.

Know when to get advice

Contact the GP if there are signs of infection (red, hot or painful skin around the blisters) or dehydration, or if the child gets worse. Contact the GP straight away if a newborn baby might have chickenpox.