Parents who get through the whole Chickenpox palaver deserve a medal of achievement. This nasty, itchy little virus – the unwelcome visitor that barges its way in without an invitation – rugby tackles one child over and then moves on to the next. A miserable, skin-scabbing, sofa-dwelling pest, it spreads relentlessly through families, schools and nurseries, creating havoc as it goes.
Young children usually cope very well with Chickenpox, taking great interest in their “icken pops” and half enjoying being allowed to laze about and watch more TV than usual. And the upside of having a child with Chickenpox is that she or he shouldn’t then get it as an adult (which can be a much worse experience).
Parents battle heroically through the whole sorry episode, which typically lasts for a week to 10 days, or longer if more one child passes it on to another. As victorious survivors of the Chickenpox War, parents suddenly become wise old owls, saying to other families things like “oh, it’s best to get it out of the way when they’re young isn’t it” and, in a caring yet practical tone of voice, “have you got plenty of calamine lotion?”
If you are home with a Chickenpox-spotted child / children, you have our sympathy. Here is some useful information from the NHS.