Chickenpox is a common infection that typically affects children. Prior to the introduction of the varicella vaccine in 1995, it was considerably more prevalent. However, some parents may consider exposing their children to the virus at “pox parties” with the belief that they can build their immunity this way. Here’s why family doctors advise against this practice.
Why Pox Parties Are a Bad Idea
Attempting to increase a child’s immunity to chickenpox through natural exposure is a controversial tactic. Many opt to do this because they don’t want their children to receive the vaccination. However, the risks of getting vaccinated are slim compared to the many potential dangers associated with exposing kids to chickenpox. At its most basic, putting a child in such an environment puts them in a dangerous situation that will likely make them fall ill.
But beyond this are the complications that might arise, many of which are unbeknownst to people who have the best of intentions for their children. These include pneumonia, Reye’s syndrome, and hepatitis. These conditions can occur especially amongst kids whose immune systems are already compromised, or who visit their family doctor for other serious medical conditions already. While chickenpox itself is unpleasant, it is manageable with the assistance of a pediatric professional and some quality care at home. Complications, however, can be far more serious and, in some cases, even life-threatening.
How to Help a Child With Chickenpox
Chickenpox is a contagious infection, so if you have multiple children then it’s likely one will also catch it at some point unless they are vaccinated. The most obvious sign of the problem is a significant rash and considerable itchiness. You can help ease your child’s discomfort by applying damp, cool compresses to the affected areas. Bathing in a colloidal oatmeal bath can also alleviate uncomfortable skin symptoms.
Avoid rubbing, and cover your little one’s hands with mittens if necessary to discourage them from scratching while they sleep. Family doctors recommend applying calamine lotion to affected spots to diminish itchiness, too. If your child has a fever, a serious cough, or displays unusual symptoms, it’s best to consult your pediatric professional right away.
Parents throughout the Bronx, NY, trust in the qualified staff at HDR Healthcare Network for all of their family medicine needs. Whether you require a pediatric professional to tend to a little one with chickenpox or are seeking a caring family doctor, you can trust them to provide you with the assistance and compassionate attention you deserve. Visit them online for information, or call (929) 256-5005.