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Children, chickenpox and summer: precautions to take into account

You’ve already got everything ready to go to the beach when you realize that your son or daughter has developed some suspicious rashes on their skin. A visit to the pediatrician confirms that she has chickenpox. Will you not be able to set foot on the beach and pool again for several days, even weeks? The answer is yes.

Chickenpox is an infectious disease caused by a virus, called varicella-zoster, and quite contagious.mainly about three days before the first rashes appear and until they turn into scabs.

The evolution is as follows: first a red spot appears, which in a few hours turns into a papule, or raised red spot. Few days It then transforms into a fluid-filled vesicle. which changes into pus, and then the vesicle becomes a pustule. In this second phase, the disease is highly contagious and the child has to stay at home.

Also during this stage, the most annoying due to the itching that the rashes can cause and the possibility of fever making an appearance., extreme precautions must be taken to avoid possible infections. According to Malaga pediatrician Pedro Navarro, the use of cristalmina is recommended as an antiseptic and to help the rashes dry up. For pain and fever, ibuprofen or paracetamol is recommended –aspirin should not be given during chickenpox because it can lead to Reye’s syndrome – and, in the event that any of the vesicles become infected, an antibiotic cream can be applied.

As for the itching, if it is very high, Navarro prefers an oral antihistamine., to the detriment of talquistine. “With talquistin, crusts end up forming due to sweat and it is less effective than an oral antihistamine.”

As for hygiene, in the shower you should not abuse the gel and never rub. The skin should be patted dry.

It goes without saying that During this stage of the disease, the beach or pool is totally prohibited, but what happens when the vesicles dry and become scabs?

Pedro Navarro, also an expert in vaccines and vice president of Culture of the College of Physicians of Malaga, advises avoiding these outings until all the scabs fall off. “It may happen that under the scab, the gallbladder is still fresh and can become infected.”

Once they have all disappeared, it is time to take extreme precautions with the sun since, once the scabs disappear, marks remain on the skin, small scars that are very sensitive to the effects of UVA and UVB rays.

If in the case of children you must always use sun protection with SPF 50 or 50+, after having chickenpox you must be even more attentive and apply the protective cream more frequently until those small scars disappear, otherwise they can leave marks on the skin.

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Since 2016, the Health Department of the Government of Andalusia introduced the chickenpox vaccine at an earlier age and in two doses: at 15 months and three years (as long as you have not already suffered from the disease).

The vaccine is also maintained at age twelve for those boys and girls who have not received it previously and have not had the disease., with a vaccination schedule of two doses, separated from each other with a minimum interval of one month. In the case of twelve-year-old boys and girls who have only received one dose, the second is administered.

Previously, the chickenpox vaccine could be purchased over the counter and it was advised to administer a first dose between 12 and 15 months and a second between 4 and 6 years of age. But a few years ago they were withdrawn from pharmacies, so many children were left without the vaccine and this perhaps, according to pediatrician Pedro Navarro, has led to a small uptick in cases of chickenpox.

If my child has received both doses of the vaccine, can he still get infected? Pedro Navarro points out that it is very unlikely and, if so, the disease would be very mild.