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Chicken pox is generally a disease contracted by children, although adults are susceptible. However, should an adult contract chicken pox, it can be much more dangerous for them. There is now a vaccine for chicken pox which you can talk to your pediatrician about, but the vaccine is not one hundred percent effective.

Children generally show symptoms of chicken pox 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. The first symptom of chicken pox is a fever and/or nausea. Within 24 hours of this, you will begin to see the rash appear, usually on the back and abdomen first. The pox will then spread to other areas of the body, even the face, scalp, and genital area. Some children even get the rash internally, such as down the throat or in the nose.

Contrary to popular belief, do NOT keep your child covered due to the fever. You should dress your child in loose clothing and as little clothing as possible. This will reduce the fever and the spreading of the rash. The fever will run for about 3 to 6 days. During this period, you should quarantine your child as he/she is at their most contagious.

Help your child avoid scratching by giving them plenty of cool baths with oatmeal or other over-the-counter bath aids. You can have your pharmacist recommend the best for your child. Also, place socks over your child’s hands during sleeping times in order to keep them from scratching in their sleep. Dimetapp or other over-the-counter oral medications can also aid in itching relief. Do NOT use calamine lotion or other creams. These products are difficult to wash off completely and attract bacteria which can cause infection.

For fever, use cool baths. Also, children’s Tylenol can be very effective. Be sure to follow the directions for correct dosage. Do NOT give aspirin. Seek medical attention should the fever go over 103 degrees.