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Chickenpox in Babies, Recognize the Symptoms and How to Overcome Them

Chicken pox in infants is generally harmless, but the symptoms can cause babies to be fussy and lazy to drink milk. With proper care at home, these symptoms can be overcome and the healing of chickenpox in infants can also be better.

Chickenpox in infants occurs when a baby is infected with the Varicella zoster virus. Babies can catch this virus through direct contact with an infected person, either through chickenpox blisters or from splashes of saliva when that person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms of Chicken Pox in Babies

Chickenpox in children or infants is characterized by various symptoms, namely:

  • Fever with a temperature range of 38.3–38.8°C
  • Blisters on the skin filled with fluid, usually appear on the stomach, back, and face
  • Red rash on the blister and around it
  • Ulcer
  • Cough and cold
  • Gag
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite or decreased desire to breastfeed
  • The baby looks limp
  • Fussy

Symptoms of chickenpox usually appear 10–16 days after the baby is infected with the Varicella zoster virus. In addition, babies who have chickenpox are also prone to dehydration or lack of nutrition because they don’t want to eat or drink.

In order to prevent these complications, parents need to be more alert to monitor their child’s condition from time to time and take various steps to overcome them.

How to Overcome Chicken Pox in Babies

Chickenpox in infants usually lasts 7–14 days. This condition is generally harmless and rarely triggers serious complications, except for babies who have a weak immune system, for example:

  • Less than 7 days old
  • New born prematurely
  • Have a lung disease, such as pneumonia
  • Undergoing long-term corticosteroid treatment
  • Suffering from a severe congenital disease

Meanwhile, chickenpox in babies who are healthy or who are not experiencing the above medical conditions can generally heal by itself. However, several treatment steps are still needed to relieve symptoms and prevent the baby from becoming dehydrated or malnourished.

Treatment at home that can be done to treat chickenpox in infants, namely:

1. Adequate fluid intake

If your little one is under 6 months old, give him enough breast milk or formula to prevent dehydration. If your little one is over 6 months old or is already eating solid food, you can give him water, milk and foods that contain lots of water, such as warm soup and watermelon.

2. Apply calamine lotion

To reduce or relieve the itchiness that appears, you can apply a lotion that contains calamine to your little one’s skin. This type of lotion is commonly sold over the counter in pharmacies, but you must use it according to the directions on the package.

3. Make sure the nails are short

Make sure the baby’s nails are short so that the nails don’t injure the skin affected by smallpox. The reason is, the smallpox rash or blisters feel itchy so the baby will scratch them.

To minimize the risk of scarring and infection, you can put your little one on baby gloves. In addition, wear your little one clothes made of cotton and loose fit so they don’t rub against the skin affected by smallpox.

4. Bathe or compress with warm water

To relieve fever, you can compress or bathe your little one in warm water. A warm compress or bath can reduce the fever your little one experiences when he has chickenpox.

When bathing your little one in warm water, you can also add a little oatmeal to the water that will be used for bathing. Oatmeal baths are known to relieve itching complaints that appear.

5. Give food or cold objects to bite

Babies who have chickenpox can also experience thrush, causing pain and discomfort to eat or drink. To overcome this, you can give him cold food or objects to bite.

Babies under 6 months can be given frozen teethers, while babies over that age can be given small amounts of ice cubes or ice cream. However, make sure you always supervise your little one to prevent him from choking.

6. Give fever relievers

To relieve fever that your little one is experiencing, you can give paracetamol at the recommended dose on the medicine package. However, giving medicines to your little one should be in accordance with the doctor’s recommendations so that the dose of medicine given is according to his body weight.

As long as your little one has chickenpox, you are expected to always maintain cleanliness, such as washing your hands every time you touch the smallpox blisters on their skin. Also, don’t take your little one out of the house until the blisters on his skin dry up.

Those are the symptoms and how to deal with chickenpox in babies independently at home. However, you should not delay getting your little one examined by a doctor, especially if he is at risk for serious complications of chickenpox, shows signs of dehydration, or has festering sores on his skin.

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