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Diseases DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET Chicken Pox Chicken pox is a rash caused by a virus. The rash forms small bumps that turn into blisters. The sores also can affect internal organs and cause serious complications. Other symptoms of chicken pox include tiredness, fever, and headache. The rash may itch. Cut the child’s fingernails very short to prevent scratching. Scratching the blisters can cause further infection and scarring. Warm baths with oatmeal or baking soda may reduce the itching. Here is how to prepare these treatments: 9 9 Place 1 cup of plain uncooked oatmeal in a stocking or net bag. Swish it through the warm bath water. 9 9 Put ½ cup of baking soda in a tub of warm water. Ask the child’s doctor about medication to reduce fever or itching. 9 9 Do not give aspirin to children! Aspirin has been associated with the development of Reye syndrome, a rare but life-threatening condition. 9 9 Do not use hydrocortisone or antihistamine creams and sprays. Chicken pox spreads easily among children, even before the rash appears. A child with chicken pox should stay away from other children until all the spots have crusted over and dried. This usually takes about one week. Chicken pox can be prevented through immunization. This immunization is usually given when the child is twelve to fifteen months old. This vaccine not only prevents chicken pox; it also helps prevent shingles later in life. Shingles is a skin rash caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. From Hip on Health: Health Information for Caregivers and Families by Charlotte M. Hendricks. Published by Redleaf Press. www.redleafpress.org. 2 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL