I used to be one of those people who thought “chicken pox is one of those childhood things, that kids need to get, and deal with”. I have nursed and nannied plenty of kids through it, some mild, some not so mild, and over the years my thoughts have gradually changed.
I think, personally, probably slightly emotionally, because we are currently going through a particularly nasty episode of chicken pox in our house right now, with my poor small boy covered in spots, itchy, sore, not sleeping, not feeling great, that frankly, it’s a rotten illness that we have no choice but to let our kids have, and I think it’s crazy to let them go through misery, for a week, because “it’s part of childhood”.
Really? To be covered in sore, blistered spots that itch, ooze and scab over, and potentially leave scars? To not be able to sleep well, to have spots and itchy bits in your ears, nose, mouth, genitals and scalp that make you feel very uncomfortable? To potentially be at risk of complications like skin infections, ear infections, septicemia, and other things, because “it’s part of childhood?”.
Let’s not mention the risk that the varicella (chickenpox) virus is to those who are immune compromised, or pregnant, and not immune or young babies who haven’t developed a strong immune system yet. Or how nasty it is to get it as an adult, if you are not immune and the complications that it can cause, and if you are male, potential fertility issues.
Why do we keep up the pretence that this nasty virus, that makes life miserable, leaves scars and the potential to go on to be at risk of shingles later in life (which is even more horrible, believe me) is “harmless”?
Because for some children, chickenpox is mild, and they get over it quickly and are fine. My own daughter didn’t struggle too badly with it, but I have seen some children become very unwell, and have complications, infections, bad scarring, from what is regarded is a “harmless” childhood illness.
So, here, for me, chickenpox has lost it’s charm. We have it, we are getting it over and done with, but as I go off to run another cool bath, for my itchy, unhappy son, covered in blistering sores, and I make up yet another tub of lotion to apply onto his skin, as he cries “inside my ears are itchy, Mummy”, I wonder why we still put our kids through this?
Matthew looks worse than this, this image was taken from a medical site. Why is this something kids should have to suffer through?
For more information on Chickenpox you can go here, and tomorrow, we will be sharing our own chickenpox survival tips…