So chicken pox seems to be going around where I live at the moment, and it basically means you have to stay at home and try not to climb the walls for days on end. With that in mind, I’ve put together a few tips to help you survive when your child inevitably catches the virus.
Calamine cream and antihistamine
First off, you have probably heard that calamine lotion is the go-to remedy to stop the scratching, but did you know that it comes in a cream form too? I didn’t. It’s waaay less messy, and lasts a lot longer too since you can use it exactly where it is needed. When I went to buy it, my local Boots had stopped selling it, so you may need to find an alternative chemist. Also, make sure you buy some liquid antihistamine for kids, and remember to give it to them every day regardless of whether they itch or not. Prevention is better than the cure, and scratching can cause the spots to scar.
Gloves for night-time
I found it easier to have Olivia sleep in my bed for the duration of ‘the pox’, which meant I could also stop her scratching in her sleep. She did actually ask to wear gloves at night as she was conscious of developing scars, so you could try this too. Also, whilst late night googling, I found that you can actually purchase anti-scratch mitts that are worn a bit like a cropped cardigan.
Because I was conscious of chicken pox being highly contagious, I decided to give Olivia a clean pair of pyjamas each night. Pyjamas are preferable so there is no exposed skin they can scratch. Whether or not this contributed, I’m not 100% sure, but she didn’t seem to suffer too much and recovered quite well.
Get some board games in
Know that once you notice the first blister, you are going to have to keep your child off school for at least five days. This also means time off work and no going out the house. I chose to stay in because the risk of passing chicken pox to someone old or very young is not something I wanted on my conscience. So, with that in mind, you are going to need some activities to keep you and your child entertained. Board games are a good choice, and this might also be the time to give in and let them get the paints out. We found some old cardboard boxes in the shed and made a car, a puppet show, and a Barbie house out of them. If you have a printer, you can also have your child choose some colouring in pages and take part in the ‘3 marker challenge’. Just get inventive.
Take some me time
Staying at home entertaining a child without the luxury of being able to go out and about can drive you stir crazy. That is why it is important to make sure you get plenty of ‘me time’ in the evenings. Stick to the normal school day bedtime routine so you have a couple of hours to yourself to relax and unwind. You will be needing the extra energy for another day of entertaining!
Try to enjoy it (as strange as that may sound!)
If your child is not suffering too badly (in some cases they can be covered head to toe – Olivia was one of the lucky ones), then try to enjoy the extra bonding time you will have with your child. Sometimes when we are working 9-5, the only time we get to spend with our kids is the hour or two before bed. A week at home with your child doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds.
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