The appearance of chickenpox in babies can be a concern for parents. Although it is one of the most common infectious diseases of early childhood, its presence can be alarming, especially when the impact on the child is unknown.
The infection causes small rashes on the skin that are often mistaken for a simple rash. However, these are too contagious and are evolving as the disease progresses, acquiring a crust texture.
Most of the time it goes without complications and lasts between 5 and 10 days. Despite this, it is essential to know how to cope, because the symptoms are often exasperating for the baby and its delicate skin can be very affected. What should you know about the disease?
Causes Of Chickenpox In Babies
Chickenpox in babies is caused by the Varicella-zoster virus, a microorganism that spreads and spreads very easily. The infection is transmitted via the area by droplets that are expelled when speaking or sneezing and also by direct contact with the lesions of someone infected.
The incubation period is variable in each case. However, symptoms usually appear 10 to 21 days after exposure to the virus. The risk of infection begins 2 days before the appearance of the eruptions. In addition, it lasts up to 5 days after the formation of small grains.
Babies are at risk of getting chickenpox when exposed to the environment of an infected person. Most cases occur because they have contact with the particles that the patient expels when coughing or sneezing. The risk of getting chickenpox is increased by the following factors:
- You have not received the varicella vaccine
- Attend a daycare or child care center
- Live in the same house as other infected children or adults
Symptoms Of Chickenpox In Babies
The main symptom of chickenpox is small red spots that appear on various parts of the body. However, in the case of babies, the delicacy of their skin causes parents to confuse the disease with a rash and vice versa. How to distinguish it?
- Skin rashes usually start in the head and back. After 3 or 4 days, the granites cover a large part of your body.
- The first marks are small, of a reddish color, and cause itching.
- In a short time, they are transformed into vesicles that, later on, become covered with scabs.
- The infection also spreads through the mouth, chest, and genitals.
- Next to itching, chickenpox in babies can cause a headache, loss of appetite and mild fever.
Complications Of Chickenpox
The baby’s immune system is not developed enough. For this reason, they are part of the population that is at high risk of complications. In healthy babies, the disease is more of a nuisance than a danger. However, it is essential to attend any warning signal. Complications of the disease include:
- Bacterial skin infection
- Pneumonia or pneumonia
- Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
Chickenpox And Pregnancy
Women who get chickenpox early in pregnancy are at high risk for serious complications. The baby can suffer low birth weight and birth defects as abnormalities in his extremities. The risk increases when the mother develops the infection in the week before delivery or later days.
In these cases, medical attention and vigilance are paramount, since the infection is more severe and potentially deadly for a newborn child. If the pregnant woman does not have the varicella vaccine, it is very important that she consult with her doctor about it.
Treatment Of Chickenpox In Babies
Once the baby gets the chickenpox virus, there is no specific treatment to cure it. The doctor can give the diagnosis of the disease based on the remarkable skin rash. Babies and healthy children do not usually require pharmacological treatment. However, in certain cases, the professional may suggest:
- Specific antivirals
- Antihistamines (to reduce itching)
Care And Recommendations
In most cases of chickenpox in infants and children, it is suggested to stop the disease without medication. To minimize the symptoms and make sure that the child is as comfortable as possible, some basic tips are suggested:
- Keep the baby’s skin always clean, bathing it daily with an oatmeal soap or calamine lotion.
- Clean the nails to avoid injuries or more infections.
- Wear it with wide clothes made of cotton fabrics and prevent it from being exposed to the sun.
- Avoid taking the child to the nursery and warn the pediatrician about the presence of the disease.
Chickenpox is a disease that only develops once in a lifetime since the body is immunized. It can be prevented with a vaccine: one for children between 12 months and 12 years and another for adolescents over 13 and adults.
The vaccine does not always provide complete immunity to the disease; In spite of this, it is useful for children to pass the infection in a milder way.