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Chickenpox in Children

    • What is chickenpox?

      Chickenpox in children

      Chickenpox is a viral infection that is caused by the varicella-zoster virus.

      While it is common and usually harmless, it may cause complications in infants as they have an impaired immune system.




      Risk factors for chickenpox

      These factors may increase your child’s risk of contracting the disease:

      • Direct contact with a person infected with chickenpox
      • Shared usage of feeding utensils and personal items with someone infected with chickenpox
      • Your child has not had chickenpox in the past
      • Your child has not been immunised against chickenpox
      • Newborns, especially those born prematurely, under 1 month old, or whose mothers had never contracted chickenpox prior to pregnancy
      • Your child has a weakened immune system
      • Your child has not yet fully recovered from another moderate or severe disease
      • Your child has certain disorders related to the lymphatic system, the blood or bone marrow.

      If your child has not been exposed to chickenpox or been vaccinated before, the best way to protect your child is to keep them away from people who have active chickenpox. You can also have your child vaccinated against the varicella virus from the age of 1 year.

      Once your child has had chickenpox, they are unlikely to get it again. However, on rare occasions, your child may later develop shingles.

    • What are the symptoms of chickenpox?

      If your child gets chickenpox, they may display these early symptoms within 10 – 21 days of being exposed to someone with chickenpox:

      • Mild fevers
      • Increased lethargy
      • Itch
      • Fluid-filled blister rashes

      Generally, healthy children may experience only mild symptoms of chickenpox. If the case is severe, the child may experience lesions in the eyes, mouth, throat, genital and anal openings.

      As days go by, the chickenpox rash will change in terms of appearance.

      • Bumps: The first sign of chickenpox infection are red or pink raised bumps.
      • Blisters: After a few days, you will notice fluid-filled blisters in your child’s skin. These blisters will soon break and leak.
      • Scabs: After a blister breaks, a dry and rough protective crust called scab will develop.

      As new bumps will come out for several days, your child may experience having all 3 chickenpox rash stages (bumps, blisters and scabs) on their body at the same time. Your child can spread the chickenpox virus for up to 48 hours before the rash came out. The virus will remain contagious.

  • How is chickenpox in children treated?

    If your child is healthy, generally no specific treatment is required for chickenpox, although the doctor may prescribe medications like antihistamine to soothe the itching and relieve symptoms.

    However, bring your child to a doctor if they display any of the following symptoms:

    • Presence of pus or swollen, red areas around their rash
    • Drowsiness or increased lethargy
    • Refusal to drink or not passing adequate urine
    • Hard or fast breathing

    Caring for children with chickenpox

    Keep your child at home as chickenpox is highly contagious. It can spread by direct contact, or through infected droplets from an infected person who coughs or sneezes. It can also spread by direct contact with contaminated objects or the fluid from an infected person’s blisters. The infectious period of chickenpox can begin as early as 2 days before the rash develops until one week later, when the blisters have dried out.

    Inform your child’s school of their illness as there may be other children who have been exposed who may need to be treated or get vaccinated. Do not send your child back to school until there are no new blisters and the very last blister has dried out completely.

    Ensure that your child has adequate rest and is kept well hydrated. Do not pop the blister or try to drain any fluid.

    Speak to a paediatrician to learn more about the management of chickenpox.

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  • Our Specialists

    There are 7 SpecialistsView All

    • Cheng Tai Kin

      Specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine - Neonatology

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      Clinic:
      Kinder Clinic Pte Ltd
      Location:
      319 Joo Chiat Place #03-04
      Parkway East Medical Centre
      Singapore 427989
      Contact No:
      6446 7100
    • Goh Han Meng

      Specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine

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      Clinic:
      Kinder Clinic Pte Ltd
      Location:
      319 Joo Chiat Place #03-04
      Parkway East Medical Centre
      Singapore 427989
      Contact No:
      6446 7100
    • I Malathi

      Specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine - Neonatology

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      Clinic:
      Happy Baby & Child Clinic Pte Ltd
      Location:
      319 Joo Chiat Place #03-06
      Parkway East Medical Centre
      Singapore 427989
      Contact No:
      6345 1819
    • Lim Xue Yan

      Specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine

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      Clinic:
      Sog Clinic For Children
      Location:
      319 Joo Chiat Place #04-06
      Parkway East Medical Centre
      Singapore 427989
      Contact No:
      6702 7172
    • Low Eu Hong

      Specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine

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      Clinic:
      E H Low Baby N' Child Clinic Pte Ltd
      Location:
      319 Joo Chiat Place #04-01
      Parkway East Medical Centre
      Singapore 427989
      Contact No:
      6344 0583
    • Mohana D/O Rajakulendran

      Specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine

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      Clinic:
      Parkway East Paediatric Clinic
      Location:
      319 Joo Chiat Place #03-07
      Parkway East Medical Centre
      Singapore 427989
      Contact No:
      62295849
    • S Sivasankaran

      Specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Paediatric Medicine - Neonatology

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      Clinic:
      Kinder Clinic Pte Ltd
      Location:
      319 Joo Chiat Place #03-04
      Parkway East Medical Centre
      Singapore 427989
      Contact No:
      6446 7100

    There are 7 SpecialistsView All