Did you know… if your child is 12 months or over and has chickenpox, Piriton Syrup can help by relieving the itchy rash.*
Chickenpox is a really common illness among kids, especially those under the age of 10. It can occur any time during the year, but is most common during March and May. Chickenpox is caused by a virus called 'varicella‐zoster' and is spread quickly and easily by person‐to‐person contact, coughing and sneezing, or by touching infected articles such as clothing and bedding. Someone who has chickenpox is contagious and can spread the infection from 2 days before the rash appears until all the blisters have crusted over.
Symptoms of chickenpox take between 10 days to 3 weeks to appear, which is quite a long time. The first signs are cold‐like symptoms and a high temperature, followed by the appearance of groups of red spots on the skin, which can become intensely itchy, fluid‐filled blisters. Some children have very few spots, while others may be covered in them. These blisters can appear anywhere on the skin and also in the mouth, which is painful. After about 5 - 6 days, the blisters go crusty and heal over.
The symptoms usually go away without treatment but it can be very hard to stop a child itching and scratching the blisters. An itchy child can be a fretful child: this is when Piriton can be useful, as it contains an antihistamine called chlorphenamine, which can relieve the itch. Piriton Syrup is suitable for children 12 months and over, while children aged 6 years and over can take Piriton Allergy Tablets. Always read the label to make sure the correct dose is given.
Children with chickenpox should be kept away from school or nursery until all spots have crusted over.
People who are at risk from complications of chickenpox and should speak to a doctor include: pregnant women, infants within the first four weeks of life or people who have a weakened immune system. Also speak to a doctor if symptoms get worse.
Other ways to help make a child with chickenpox more comfortable include:
- ensuring they consume adequate fluids to avoid dehydration
- dressing them appropriately to avoid overheating or shivering
- dressing them in smooth, natural fabrics like cotton
- keeping their nails short and clean
- giving them a children's paracetamol product may also help to reduce a high temperature: read the label to ensure the correct dose is given
If further advice is needed, speak to a pharmacist or doctor.
*Piriton Syrup may be used by children over the age of 12 months to relieve the itchy rash of chickenpox. Adults can also get chickenpox, so may also find Piriton helpful for relief of the itchy rash, however be aware that adults with chickenpox may experience more serious symptoms that should be treated by a doctor.
Additional information: in someone who has previously had chickenpox, the virus may be re‐activated, causing shingles, which is more prevalent in adults. It is not possible to develop shingles (herpes zoster) from exposure to a person with chickenpox, however it is possible to develop chickenpox as a result of exposure to someone with shingles.