Chickenpox Facts

When Should I Worry?

Most healthy children who get chickenpox won't have any complications from the illness. But there are rare cases in which chickenpox leads to more than just itchiness. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), about 9,000 people are hospitalized for chickenpox and about 90 people die from the disease each year. This occurs most often in adults and older children, but your child may be at greater risk if he:

  • Has a weakened immune system
  • Is under 1 year of age
  • Suffers from eczema
  • Takes a medication called salicylate
  • Was born prematurely

Or if you:

  • Came down with chickenpox around the time of delivery
  • Never had chickenpox

If your child fits into one of these categories, contact your pediatrician to discuss more aggressive treatment options. Also call the doctor if your child:

  • Has a fever that lasts longer than four days
  • Has a fever that rises above 102 after the third day
  • Becomes dehydrated
  • Has a rash that gets very red, warm, or tender

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