Is My Kid Contagious?


A viral infection that causes fever and a red, bumpy, itchy rash, chickenpox can lead to skin infections and potentially life-threatening cases of pneumonia, sepsis, or meningitis.

Treatment Rest, rest, and more rest! This is really the only cure. Acetaminophen can relieve discomfort (avoid aspirin, which can cause seizures, coma, and liver failure in babies), as can baths of colloidal oatmeal or applications of calamine lotion to lesions. In extreme cases, an antiviral medication is prescribed. (Always check with your doctor before administering OTC medicines to your child.)

Contagious factor Since babies younger than 12 months haven't yet been vaccinated, they're susceptible. And even after vaccination, children still have a slight risk of catching chickenpox. If you've never had the pox before, and your child does, you'll need to avoid touching her until her lesions are crusted over (this is hard, we know!), especially since the older the patient, the more severe the symptoms and potential complications. How long is your child contagious? For up to five days once she shows symptoms and all lesions are crusted over.

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