Chicken Pox - San Antonio, TX

Updated on November 13, 2008
R.M. asks from San Antonio, TX
10 answers

I have a seven month old baby girl. Last weekend her cousin came to visit and gave her a kiss and played with her. Well - I got a call from his mother telling us that her son has chicken pox. I am worried that she has been exposed! Is she to young to have chicken pox? How long do I have to wait to see if she has chicken pox? What are some of the early signs (besides the spots) ?

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answers from Atlanta on

Chickenpox is highly contagious. I would call your pediatrician and give them a heads-up that she has been exposed. Plus, make sure you and your husband have either had the pox as children or get a new vaccination... Its way worse if adults get it... facial scarring, etc. Most Urgent Care Clinics should be able to do a blood test to confirm whether you or he has immunity. (Side note: My MIL doesn't quite remember if my husband had the chickenpox or measles as a kid...!)

Hope the info on this site helps:
By the way, it says that 1.) Breastfeeding will help provide your baby with some immunity and 2.) infants 2 months and younger comprise the critical age that need to avoid chickenpox. Below are some key details from that link. (Good luck!)

It starts off with a few red spots or bumps (often mistaken for insect bites). Fever is common. The next day many more bumps will appear, and the first bumps will have turned into blisters. On the third day, more new bumps will appear, and the second-day bumps will start to blister. On day 4 the original blisters will start to crust over. Usually by day 5, no new bumps will appear, and more blisters will crust over. By day 7, most or all of the blisters will be crusted over. The fever can last for 5 days. The total number of spots is around 200 on average.

The key to diagnosing chickenpox is to watch the progression of spots from bumps to blisters to crusts, and to have a mix of all three types during the illness. Very important note – it is nearly impossible to diagnose chickenpox on day 1, and still difficult to know for certain on day 2. Therefore, do not bring your child into the doctor on day 1 or 2 and expect a definite diagnosis. If you think its chickenpox, then quarantine your child until day 3. If the spots have progressed as described above, then you probably don't even need a doctor to confirm it.

Dr. Sears suggests: If you suspect your child may have chickenpox draw a circle around a few of your favorite spots. If they all become blisters within a day, they are probably chickenpox. If they don't change dramatically then chickenpox is unlikely.

It is passed through the saliva, coughing secretions, and direct touch. In general, you must either be living in the same house, or play indoors in close face-to-face contact for more than 5 minutes, or have close face-to-face or physical contact outdoors in order to catch the illness.

The incubation period (the time from when your child is exposed to the time he will break out in spots) is generally 14 days. It can be as early as 7 days and as long as 21 days. If three weeks pass from your child's exposure, than he is in the clear.

For children and adults with no history of the illness or vaccine, giving the chickenpox vaccine within 72 hours of exposure (before you even break out with the rash) has been shown to either prevent or decrease the severity of the illness. If more than 3 days have passed since exposure, it is probably best not to get the vaccine then.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Hey, R.,
I, too, would like to find out if it's possible to 'sync up' with any children who currently have chickenpox. I have an office loaded with parents who have decided against vaccinating and would like to expose their children to an actual CASE of chickenpox, but are hard-pressed to find one. The lifetime immunity is a far better option, and it saves them from yet ANOTHER burdensome vaccine. They're always on the lookout for a chickenpox party....or measles, or mumps. Consider yourself and your baby lucky to have the opportunity!



answers from Austin on

I had a severe case of chicken pox when I was 25. I had given birth about a month before. My baby then had chicken pox. He was between 6 weeks and 2 months old at the time. He was broken out a lot. I was told that since I had no immunity I could not pass any on to him. Whatever, babies do get chicken pox at an early age.



answers from Corpus Christi on

I do not know how long or even if she has been exposed to the chicken pox. However I do know that she is not to young to get then it will be hard on both of you but better in the long run. Good luck. Some mothers have been known to have their kids exposed on purpose before they start day care or school remember that.



answers from Waco on

Watch her and see if she develops symptoms over the next two weeks. If she develops a fever, watch for a break-out of spots. Before the spots are scratched and broken they will look like a small red spot with a blister in the center. Doctors say it looks like a dew drop on a rose petal. Look at the nape of her neck as an early break-out location. Once the spots are broken and scratched they will look more swollen and ooze. Since she is only seven months she is too young to get the vaccine but if she does get them and it is documented, she will not have to get the vaccine later. Be cautious about taking her in to see her doctor. Talk over the phone first and find out exactly how they will want to proceed. You don't want to go bringing her into a clinic and exposing other people to the virus. Remember that not all children and older people have been exposed or vaccinated and some people, like those with compromised immune systems could have a very serious situation should they be exposed. My son was exposed to chicken pox just prior to being old enough to receive the vaccination. His sister, who had been vaccinated at 12 months got them at age 6 years. She had a mild case. He never even got one spot on his body or fever. I couldn't really prevent the exposure and it turned out just fine. I hope your daughter is okay and if she does get them that she has a mild case. Comfort her the best you can.



answers from College Station on

When I was little, my mother sent me and my sister to play with the kids across the street who all had chicken pox. Neither my sister or me caught them. We made it all through school...never caught them. When my daughter caught them at the age of 5, I knew I was doomed!! I was 31 at the time. My sister caught them probably from a grocery store or some other public place. She has no children. She had a horrible case of them. Head to feet, and yes...even there, too!!
I on the other hand had warning. The doctor gave me a gamma-globulin shot. It boosts the immune system when it's been exposed to ugly viruses. (They don't give this shot anymore)
Anyway, I only broke out with 7 spots!!
Several years later, they came out with the chicken pox vaccine. Sorry if I offend any of you young mothers out there, but if you don't vaccinate your kids, how will these terrible sicknesses ever go away???
There is a sickness called "shingles". They are in the chicken pox family. Older people get them and they are extremely painful. Once you have been exposed to the chicken pox, you carry a bit of it with you forever! So if you think that giving your kids the chicken pox is a good to your doctor about shingles later in life.
Besides...isn't it a required vaccination now? Kind of like the small pox vaccine that I had as a child.
How many people get small pox nowadays???
Zero !
Your little one will probably run a low grade fever. Aveeno baths work wonders. Keep her fingernails trimmed short so she can't scratch herself. This will leave more scars. The incubation period is usually about 14 days. The good thing is she won't remember a thing. Definately tell your pediatrician so they can make some recommendations for you.
Good luck and remember...this too shall pass !!



answers from Austin on

Pray that your child was exposed. Chicken pox in a child this young is very mild. If she did get it she will have lifelong natural immunity which is so much better than the chick pox vaccine. Does your cousin live close? I have a three year old that I would love to get exposed to chicken pox.




answers from San Antonio on

Ummm...I have to disagree with the previous poster who said that it is more mild in babies. Apparently I had it as a baby...and I was COVERED head to toe in them...and it was bad. My mom tells me about it all the time. The one good thing about it...I don't remember ANY of it. :)

I would call the doc and see what he/she has to say about it.



answers from Houston on

Hi R.,
The incubation period for chicken pox is appx.2 wks. That means if your baby is going to get sick from this exposure it will be within a couple weeks, not immediately. Crankiness, general "feel bad" symptoms-some get stomach upset, not vomiting, just nothing tastes good, fever. Some kids don't feel bad at all until they begin breaking out. (I sent my oldest to Kinder with caladryl for red bug bites since she'd been rolling in the grass the night before. The nurse called at 8:05 to say it was chicken pox, not chiggers! LOL DD fever started later that day. I didn't know it was going around.) Anyway, don't let your nephew's degree of illness scare you into thinking your DD will have the same symptoms as cousin. At the time my oldest got sick, 2 wks later my DS, then 2wks my DD. Each of my children showed symptoms in diff order. DS was irritable and feverish days before he broke out. Fourth child DD, is 22 and has a natural immunity. Go figger.

Many people believe that Tylenol should be given at the first sign of fever. BUT, fever is the sign that the body is working against an infection. Please do not give meds to stop the body's natural response. Some children do not feel all that bad when running a low grade temp. I am NOT suggesting that you let any child's fever run high, simply not to suppress fever if the child does not feel bad. If baby shows fever in 2 wks and no spots, give her a warm bath, sponging her tummy especially, that will ordinarily draw the spots out if she is slow in spotting. Kiss her all you want! This will be harder on you than her.

I recommend Ivarest, by Blistex, which says it is for poison ivy etc in the tube. Aveeno or just plain oatmeal bath is soothing.(Raw oats tied up in a knee high will give same results making the bath water gooky. That is the soothing stuff for her skin.--DON'T let all those oats down your drain or you'll be calling a plumber for the Don't rinse the oatsy water off. Take her out of the tub and pat or air dry. Skin is sensitive and rubbing will make it itch more. Ck w/ pedi on Ivarest since your DD is so young. Might have something better nowadays. My info is 25+ yrs old. ;)



answers from Austin on

I would think your baby should have had a chicken pox vaccine unless you opted out of the vaccine and then I would call the pedi. doctor if you did that. But if you got the vaccine then you should be safe. I would still call your baby's phycian.

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