Parents with newborns warned over common virus – know the 5 signs

PARENTS have been warned to keep children with chickenpox away from newborn babies.

It comes as cases of the infection have risen in recent weeks, putting kids in danger.

Newborns are more vulnerable to the virus as their immune systems are not yet fully developed.

For most healthy babies, chickenpox will be uncomfortable but it can in some cases, cause complications.

These include dehydration, bacterial infections, pneumonia, inflammation of the brain and inflammation in other parts of the body.

The increase in cases mixed with an uptick in scarlet fever infections puts children at risk as the combination of the two bacterial infections could make treatment more difficult.

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While chickenpox is generally mild in otherwise healthy children, it can be more severe in pregnant women and immunosuppressed individuals, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said.

If signs of the illness are suspected, then parents have been urged to keep their children away from school and nursery until the spots have formed a scab.

In most cases this is usually five days after the spots have appeared.

You should also try and prevent your little one from scratching the spots as this can cause scarring on the skin.

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If you're an adult and you've never had chickenpox then it can be hard to spot the signs.

It's important to note that it can appear anywhere on the body.

Here's the five symptoms you need to know:

  1. small spots
  2. a high temperature
  3. aches, pains and generally feeling unwell
  4. loss of appetite
  5. change in mood

The NHS says that chickenpox spots will look the same on children and adults, but that adults usually have a higher temperature than kids.

In order to relieve symptoms, then you should drink plenty of fluids.

If your child is not drinking then you can give them ice lollies, in order to avoid dehydration.

You can also take paracetamol to help with pain and discomfort.

But it's important to note, you should not give aspirin to children under the age of 16 and you should steer clear of ibuprofen – as this may cause serious skin infections.

Guidance states you should also cut your child's fingernails and put socks on their hands at night to stop them from scratching and use cooling creams or gels from a pharmacy.

To soothe the rash, you can also bathe in cool water, pat the skin dry and also dress in loose clothes in order to prevent skin irritation.

Many people think you should use calamine lotion to soothe the rash, but one doctor previously warned against this.

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Posting to Instagram, Dr Ranj Singh said that as kids start to mix again following Covid lockdowns, it's no surprise that infections like chickenpox are doing the rounds again.

He explained: "Did you know that using calamine lotion can make it feel more itchy? It cools the skin (which feels nice at first), but can then dry it too (eurgh!)!"

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