Caretaking for Loved Ones: A Health and Medical Blog

4 Steps You Need to Take to Prevent a Child with Chicken Pox from Scratching

Chicken pox, known medically as varicella, is a virus that often affects people during their childhood years. It's actually good to catch it early since having chicken pox in later life can be more serious, but the fact that the virus produces itchy blisters across the body can make it very hard for children not to start scratching all over.

Scratching the blisters caused by chicken pox should be avoided since it can cause scars. Additionally, you'll allow germs to get in, which could lead to an infection. Since the body's immune system will already be working hard to fight the virus, an infection is the last thing your child's body needs, and developing a skin infection will necessitate a speedy trip to your local family doctor or medical centre.

Of course, it can be hard to get kids to stop scratching. They might not understand why they shouldn't, and they typically have a little less self-control than adults. Here are just four steps to you can take to prevent them scratching.

1. Keep Things Cool

When your child has chicken pox, you need to make sure they are kept nice and cool. If it's hot inside, turn down the heating. If they heat up thanks to a fever, you can cool them off by using a cold compress across parts of their body. Sweating will irritate the skin even more when it is covered with chicken pox blisters, so you need to keep them cool.

2. Use Calamine Lotion

There are several lotions you can use to prevent itchiness, but calamine lotion is probably the best. Cool and comforting, it numbs the skin and quells any itches. It's best to apply any lotion yourself since your kids might use to opportunity to scratching or rub at their blisters as they apply it.

3. Provide the Right Clothing

Many parents will dress their children in long-sleeved tops and full pants to make sure most of the body is covered. This can be a good idea since it makes it harder for children to scratch their legs and arms, but opting for clothing that is too tight will simply place more pressure against those blisters and make the itching even worse. Additionally, the child might become too hot. Use lightweight, loose-fitting clothing to prevent this from happening.

4. Trim the Nails

Finally, take the time to trim your child's fingernails. It's much more satisfying to scratch an itchy area when the nails are long, particularly if they're also a little jagged, while a newly-trimmed nail is far less effective. Additionally, trimming the nail will make it a lot less likely for the child to break the skin if they do start scratching.