Table of contents:
- Chickenpox symptoms in baby
- How the transmission happens
- How the treatment is done
- When to return to the pediatrician
Chickenpox in babies, also called chickenpox, is an infectious disease caused by a virus that leads to the appearance of red bumps on the skin that are very itchy. This disease is most common in infants and children up to 10 years of age and can be easily transmitted through contact with fluids released by blisters that appear on the skin or through inhalation of respiratory secretions that are suspended in the air when the person with chickenpox cough or sneeze.
The treatment of chickenpox is done with the aim of relieving the symptoms, and the pediatrician may recommend the use of medication to lower fever and relieve itching. It is important that the child with chickenpox does not burst the blisters and avoid contact with other children for about 7 days, as this will prevent transmission of the virus.
Chickenpox symptoms in baby
Symptoms of chickenpox in babies appear about 10 to 21 days after contact with the virus responsible for the disease, varicella-zoster, with mainly the appearance of blisters on the skin, initially on the chest and then spreading. through the arms and legs, which are filled with liquid and, after breaking, give rise to small wounds on the skin. Other symptoms of chickenpox in babies are:
- Itchy skin;
- Easy cry;
- Decreased desire to eat;
- Discomfort and irritation.
It is important that the child is taken to the pediatrician as soon as the first symptoms appear, in addition to being recommended not to go to day care or school for about 7 days or until indicated by the pediatrician.
How the transmission happens
The transmission of chickenpox can happen through saliva, sneezing, coughing or contact with objects or surfaces contaminated by the virus. In addition, the virus can be transmitted through contact with the liquid released from the blisters when they burst.
When the child is already infected, the transmission time of the virus lasts, on average, 5 to 7 days and, during this period, the child should not have contact with other children. In addition, children who have already been vaccinated for chickenpox can also have the disease again, but in a milder form, with fewer blisters and low-grade fever.
How the treatment is done
The treatment of chickenpox in the baby should be done according to the pediatrician's guidance and aims to relieve the symptoms and reduce the baby's discomfort, being recommended:
- Cut the baby's nails, to prevent it from scratching and bursting the blisters, avoiding not only the wounds but also the risk of transmission;
- Apply a wet towel in cold water to the most itchy areas;
- Avoid sun exposure and heat;
- Wear light clothing, as sweat can make itching worse;
- Measure the baby's temperature with a thermometer, to see if he has a fever every 2 hours and give fever-reducing medication, such as Paracetamol, as indicated by the pediatrician;
- Apply ointments on the skin as directed by the doctor, such as Povidine.
In addition, it is recommended that the baby does not have contact with other children to avoid transmitting the virus to other children. In addition, one of the most effective ways to prevent chickenpox is through vaccination, which is offered free of charge by the SUS and is recommended for babies from 12 months of age. See more about treating chickenpox.
When to return to the pediatrician
It is important to go back to the pediatrician in case the baby has a fever above 39ºC, even using the already recommended medications, and the skin is all red, in addition to consulting a pediatrician when the itching is intense and prevents the baby from sleeping or when infected and/or pus-filled sores appear.
In these cases, it may be necessary to take medication to relieve the itching and treat the infection of the wounds, so it is important to go to the doctor so that he can prescribe antiviral medication, for example.