I'm not sure who is more traumatised in our house by the Chickenpox, Grace with her dot-to-dot scabs which she "wants them off mummy" or me with the sudden projection back into the newborn days of night time waking, tears (from me too) and wondering at that moment if anyone else has their child in the bath at 3am in a bid to sooth the itching! (it would appear all my neighbours are fast asleep). Chicken pox2 The worse thing....  the 21 day incubation period means we are watching our 4 year old for the emergence of spots, as yet none to report.   Chickenpox (known medically as varicella) is caused by a virus called the varicella-zoster virus. It's spread quickly and easily from someone who is infected. Chickenpox is most common in children under the age of 10. Children usually catch chickenpox in winter and spring. Chickenpox is infectious from one or two days before the rash starts, until all the blisters have crusted over which is usually 5-6 days after the start of the rash. Chickenpox causes a rash of red itchy spots that turn into fluid filled blisters. They then crust over to form scabs which eventually drop off.  Some children have only a few spots, but other children have spots that cover their entire body. (like Grace) chicken pox3 Spots are most likely to appear on the face, ears and scalp, under the arms, chest, stomach, arms and legs. Although Chickenpox is considered a mild illness, Grace felt miserable with it and very irritable,  She had a fever for the first few days which we controlled with paracetamol (following the dosage on the pack). Calamine cream relieved the itching and the 3am baths had 2 big tablespoons of Bicarbonate of Soda added to further soothe the itching. Keeping Grace cool also helped, in fact she spent most of the time with no clothes on at all (not helped by our central heating being jammed on!!!). We had a very timely house visit with our Health Visitor who was reassuring, she had a look at Grace's spottiest areas and advised to keep her fluids up as she was a bit dehydrated. Your GP will always offer advice, if you ring the surgery, ask for an end of surgery appointment so you don't risk infecting others. Avoid contact with those who are pregnant, newborn babies and those who have a weakened immune system. Children should stay off nursery/child care until the spots have crusted over. I should mention, that during this week of spots, we've had a trip to A&E with a deep knife cut (hubby with Parma Ham) more details in the next blog, my beloved baked camembert ended up on the living room carpet and the heating was on overdrive! The NHS, Astonish carpet cleaner and British Gas need to be thanked for their help in this challenging week, now I want some peace and quiet!  Grace is also well on the mend :) Information source: www.nhs.uk Mini First Aid classes cover serious medical emergencies as well as information on baby and childhood illness. www.minifirstaid.co.uk">