Please Help Me Calm Down

Updated on September 26, 2015
L.G. asks from Windsor, CT
31 answers

I was hoping to wait until around 3 or 4 to get my son the chickenpox vaccine and now it's apparently going around my area according to SickWeather app. Of course they don't offer details but we've been shopping a lot. Can my son get the virus from shopping or walking by someone that might not know they have it yet? Does it live on surfaces for a long time? The alert came for one town yesterday and for the neighboring town today. Both small towns. My sister is a kindergarten teacher in one of these towns and I'm worried sick. Can she pass chickenpox germs from her clothes or hands? She never washes her hands which drives me nuts. I want to ask her to clean up before camping but she was supposed to meet us here. I feel like a lunatic but I'd like to try and prevent chickenpox at this age. He's become so defiant and hurts himself for attention. I feel like he's not ready for chickenpox but the vaccine scares me a little too. Thanks.... I'm in desperate need of a pep talk. Sickweather puts the top 3 illnesses going around in a given town. Does anyone know how many cases are needed to qualify as a top 3 threat? I thought chickenpox sprouted in fairly small groups but it was alerted for a neighboring town after only one day. I don't know why this app can't provide how many cases and dates if infection.

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answers from New York on

An app for the top three illnesses going around. OMG. Delete it like right now and relax. Chickenpox is not the end of the world.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

As you know, chicken pox vaccines are a new and mostly American thing. No one in my generation had the vaccine and we ALL got the chicken pox. They do not vaccinate for it in France and on a family trip my 18 month old (who DID get the vaccine oddly) got the chicken pox there. She had spots and then they healed and that was that. This is not anything to worry about. Go get the vaccine asap if you're frightened of the chicken pox. But you shouldn't be. Complications of chicken pox are RARE and can happen from vaccines too. AND it's much better to get them at this age than later. Many vaccinated kids are going to risk chicken pox as adults in my personal opinion..

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Even with the vaccine you can still get chicken pox. My daughter's best friend who is part of a set of triplets came down with chicken pox and all three girls were vaccinated. No one else got them...not even my daughter (who was vaxed, too). I was kinda hoping she would have a mild case to guarantee good protection for life.

Stop worrying it will be okay...if he gets them, you deal with it...if he doesn't and you want to get him vaxxed go ahead.

Just take a deep is chicken pox not ebola.

5 moms found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on


You need to breathe. Are you a germaphobe? If so, please seek help from a therapist so you can learn how to deal with your anxiety.

STOP googling. Seriously. Talk with your pediatrician about your anxiety with your son contracting the Chicken Pox and when the best time to vaccinate is.

Your son also sounds like he needs some counseling for his defiant behavior and hurting himself - I'm more concerned about the hurting himself than I am his defiant behavior.

PLEASE disable the app that tracks illnesses. DO NOT "track" any illness or bug. STOP being paranoid about getting sick - seriously - you are NOT helping yourself OR your children.

Don't want to get sick? WASH your hands with soap and water. Get plenty of sleep. Drink a lot of water.

DISABLE ANY APP that tracks sickness...
Get your son help for his behavior
Get yourself help for anxiety.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

wow, you really DO need to take a deep breath, hon.
chickenpox is very contagious, it's true. but while it's no picnic, for almost all kids it's really not the end of the world.
you sound fairly germaphobic. your sister 'never washes her hands'? really?
unless you're planning to cloister your child in your sterilized house for the next 16 years, he's going to encounter germs.
go to your pediatrician and ask her if she thinks it's okay to get the vaccine. it's not 100% effective, nor 100% risk free, but neither is life.
you turning yourself inside out to 'protect' him and being terrified of everything is far, far more damaging to your little fellow than a fairly normal childhood illness.
and delete that stupid app from your phone. it's not helpful when all it causes is hysteria.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I understand that you have health anxiety issues, but if that is the case, I am not sure I understand why your son hasn't had his 1st chicken pox shot at 12 - 18 months per the "normal schedule" and should get his booster before school starts. You can't have it both ways - worry about the vaccine so don't give it timely, but then freak out about potential exposure.

As you found out in your prior post, chicken pox is extremely communicable. If you don't want your son to be exposed then you should really stay home and not put him in situations where he could be infected. If your son has other health concerns that make his getting chicken pox riskier (like self harming for attention) then I would think that you would take vaccinating him on time very seriously.

Obviously, it is your choice to vaccinate or not, or even whether to do it on time, but I guess I don't understand the "freaking out". Get the vaccination or stay home.

Good luck!

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Take a deep breath sweetie. Its the chickenpox. Both my kids had it. Get off the app and stop goggling. Also, please get some help with your anxiety. Your child will have bumps and bruises. If you continue down this path, you will drive yourself crazy! Seriously stop!

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

The chicken pox vaccine has been around for many, many years and is perfectly safe.

If your son gets the chicken pox, it will be a big ol pain in the butt, because having the chicken pox sucks. Ask any parent of kids born in the 60's and 70's, and they will tell you that the chicken pox was a big pain in the butt. But they will also tell you that they got through it, and their kids did, too. It was viewed as something every kid got eventually, and every parent just had to deal with it. I heard many stories of parents trying very hard to make sure their non-sick child would get the chicken pox from their already sick child so that they could just "get it over with." It was seen as inevitable, so you might as well deal with it sooner rather than later.

So if he does get the chicken pox, it will probably be a sucky, sucky week. But you will both survive.

Or, you could save both of you the pain and annoyance and just get him vaccinated. Me? I chose to vaccinate both my kids. No chicken pox for us! I'm a happy momma.

ETA - I've never heard of the "Sickweather" app any similar app. Sorry. We just kind of live our lives. If someone gets sick, they get sick. That's not something you can completely prevent. We wash our hands, we try to eat healthy and we go about our daily lives.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Yes he could be exposed. If he gets it, it wil not be fun for your family for a while. Thankfully chicken pox is not deadly and he'll survive.

I can't fathom why you would not vaccinate him. The vaccine has been around many years so it's not something new on the market. Children who are vaccinated do get a booster a few years later if they don't get the pox.

My daughter was vaccinated and 10 years later she had a very mild case of the pox and no need for the booster.

No sense in worrying yoursef to death.. What's done is done. Be prepared. Be proactive. This is completely preventable and you opted against that prevention so now it's wait and see.

If you have severe issues with remaining calm when illness is going around and excess worry or anxiety, maybe you should speak with your Dr to get help to control your anxiety and worry.

Best wishes that all goes well.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Have you considered seeking a doctor for yourself? Nearly every post you have is a crazy overreaction to harmless things. You seem to think your poor child has everything wrong with them, that harmless things can hurt him. Now you are here with a freak out about chicken pox when kids have had chicken pox the natural way and lived.

It is just not normal to have your level of fear about everything and it is going to cause your child anxiety if you don't get it under control.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Two things stand out to me in your post.

One: you have an app that tracks illnesses, and apparently you check it and are aware of illnesses even in neighboring towns. I'd suggest that you delete that app. From your posts, it doesn't appear as though your son has an immune deficiency or a disease or condition that would require you to be hypervigilant about routine germs. Of course, parents whose kids have certain medical diagnoses that make them extremely susceptible to illnesses, or kids who are recovering from surgery or who are fighting cancer or other diseases, must take every precaution to protect their fragile kids, but it sounds like you have a toddler with a normal health history. Be thankful, and relax. Your post is full of words like "nuts", "worried sick", "desperate", "lunatic". There are germs out there, and bacteria, and viruses, and that's a fact of life on this planet. Your son will get some illnesses. You are not the Centers for Disease Control and or the Department of Public Health and you don't need to know how many cases of chicken pox there are.

Two: You say your son hurts himself for attention. Perhaps he has developed this habit because you react so strongly to the thought of germs, or his getting sick or injured, that you are feeding this action. If you give him attention when he's not hurting himself, and if you relax, you can help him to stop this destructive behavior. This is a serious thing - for a toddler to hurt himself for your attention. Rewarded behavior will increase, ignored behavior will decrease. And as I've said before on this site, the rewards for a small child do not mean toys or money or prizes. Rewards can come in the form of a parent's negative attention, a parent's anger, chaos, crying, fretting, and also loving touches, eye contact, talk, and hugs. You know that annoying game the kid plays when he throws something from his high chair, like Cheerio after Cheerio? And the mother groans and yells "stop throwing stuff", and the kid does it again and again. The kid is loving that attention, even though it's not pleasant attention. The way to stop that "game" is to completely ignore it. No sounds, no reaction, no picking up the Cheerios, no eye contact. Then when the kid is eating properly, finding his mouth with his little fingers and finally putting that Cheerio where it goes, you praise and talk and interact. So if your son is hurting himself, perhaps it's because you are giving him exactly what he wants. He hurts himself, bangs his head, picks at scabs, and you cry, worry, panic, pace, and tend to him like it's a trauma. It's time to address this. You must know it, since you know he hurts himself for attention.

Those two problems seem much more important than chicken pox going around. Get some counseling or parenting classes, please.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

The world is full of bacteria and viruses. Chickenpox incubation period is approximately 1-3 weeks after being exposed (before the rash appears), if I remember correctly, and the virus is most infectious in the days before the rash appears.before the pustules appear.

You can't keep yourself and your child in a bubble. Life is dirty, messy--- I'd be more concerned about your anxiety about your son's health and the fact that he's hurting himself. Those are issues that you CAN do something about (sorry, but you can't do much about chickenpox aside from vaccinating your child). Instead of worrying, take action in ensuring that your child is vaccinated and that your attitude toward life isn't ruled by anxiety. I say this as someone who has struggled with anxiety for years-- take your life back. Don't let it rule you or how you parent; it's apparent that this anxiety has the potential to effect your relationships too, if you are constantly worried about exposure.... it's far worse than chickenpox could ever be. It's possible to do better if you choose to.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Put down the app and get your kid vaccinated.
Chicken pox is miserable - I had it as a kid.
It's very contagious.
I had pox everywhere - scalp, in my mouth and ears, all over my body and arms and legs.
Mom slathered us with calamine lotion but it didn't help the itching at all.
I'm in my 50's now and still have a few scars from it.
Diseases are worse than the vaccines.
While most childhood diseases are a bother - some people die from them every year.
You don't want your kid to become a statistic.
If there's a way you can prevent your child from being sick and miserable - DO IT!.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

Why are you freaking out about a very treatable virus?

I had chicken pox long before the vaccine was created and parents NEVER freaked out like they do now. You treat the symptoms and let the virus run is course. The worst of it usually happens before you even know what you were exposed to.

If you want to wait to get the vaccine that is your choice, but be sure to keep your child healthy so his immune system is strong to fight off anything that he is exposed to.

NO vaccine is 100% effective and people can still get exposed no matter what precautions are taken. Humans get exposed to all kinds of viruses and bacteria's that there are no vaccines for and I don't hear people freaking out about them.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Salinas on

Are you aware that stressing out, over worrying and focusing on the "what if's" in life is really bad for you and your child? Over time you will hurt him emotionally by raising him in an environment of hyper focus on the negatives and constant stress.

I looked over you past posts since this one is so over the top. You need to get some help. You are so worried about your child the worry itself will be harmful to his health and most certainly to yours. It's a self fulfilling prophecy. All children deserve a calm, capable parent who helps them to feel secure. If you can't be that person then get some professional help.

The chicken pox vaccine is relatively new. No one in my generation had it and most of the people I know had chicken pox during childhood. Get him the vaccine so he doesn't have to go through the discomfort but know that if he does get them it's not the end of the world.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Oh you poor thing...delete that app immediately and forget that it exists! If your son is not immunocompromised, repeat after me: "a challenged immune system is a healthy immune system."
He is very young, and younger kids who get chicken pox tend to have lighter cases and get over it quickly. Maybe you will get lucky. Hand washing is great, but one sneeze in the face and all that soap is for naught. Call your pediatrician about the vaccine. Stop panicking, it won't repel germs.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I would put down the app and just live life. Especially if you're not going to vaccinate for this for a long time, no point in knowing when it's going around. He's always going to be at risk for a full run of chickenpox until he's had the vaccine.

I wouldn't sweat chickenpox that much. Every kid I knew in the 70s and 80s had it and we all survived. I got it in junior high and it was miserable, but really something that all kids went through. Not a biggie.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

IMO, you are best not to panic. If he gets them, most of the time they are fairly mild if unpleasant. For what it is worth, my DD and sks have all been vaccinated with no ill effects. My sister did have a harder time with them, but she has much more sensitive skin.

Secondarily and perhaps more importantly, if your son has become abusive to himself to get attention, then that may feed into your over abundance of worry for these health concerns. You should consider help for your health anxieties as well has his self-harming behavior. I'd be more worried about that than your sister's class.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

There's not any logical reason to not vaccinate kids. I seriously think if the scientific world announced they've found a cure for cancer and it's a vaccine there would be people outside protesting it because it's wrong to vaccinate.

Vaccines can have side effects. So can having chicken pox.

If he's not vaccinated then every time you go out into the world or have anyone come into yours you run the risk of getting germs and illnesses. We all lived through chicken pox and yes, some of us have had shingles. Let me tell you, it's like someone took a cheese grater and used the lemon zester part and scraped the skin off where the nerves are exposed and irritated. It hurts and hurts so bad you wish you had a gun to shoot yourself.

Give the kid the vaccine or be prepared to get the illness. If it's going around then yes, anyone who has it but doesn't know they have it can give it to you. Even if they know they have it and go shopping the sores weep fluid and that fluid has the virus in it.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Could your child catch chickenpox? Yes it is very contagious with a fairly long presyptomatic infectious stage. If you don't want that to happen, call your ped to get them vaccinated today to reduce the risk.

Regardless of any app, those are the choices: get the vaccine or risk catching the disease. The choice is yours.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Pressing the panic button, are we?? Yes, having the chicken pox sucks (particularly at age 30 but I digress)...With that said, if he's a reasonably healthy child and he gets it, and yes, it's highly contagious and comes with a 21 day(plus or minus) incubation period , he'll just be kind of miserable but he'll survive. In the meantime, get him vaccinated whenever you are ready and enjoy your munchkin!!!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

back in the day they had "pox parties" so kids would be exposed and get it so they would get immunity from having it. some anti vaxers still hold these "pox parties" so they can skip that vax. seriously its nothing to worry about. my dd (3) has had the first vax, then i got shingles and she got pox. dr said that was common. she got dots all over her torso, never once complained, and then they healed and went away! super simple. nothing to get into a panic over.

i suggest you get controll over your anxiety. then you can relax and be a parent and not a worry wart.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Almost everyone in my generation got chickenpox. For a long while, parents had "pox parties" to try to infect their children at the right time for their families, so they wouldn't have to miss a big trip or get it later in life. It's going to be okay. If he gets it, it will be fine. It just makes you feel sick for a few days, itchy, and then you get better.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

While parental concern for your child's safety is understandable, panic is not helpful, and you are wasting your precious time and emotions on things you cannot control.

Focus on what you can control: PREVENTING your child from getting a horrible, painful disease that has equally, if not more, horrible and painful consequences (shingles) as an adult.

Do you really think an app can accurately track cases of chickenpox in real time? What about those that don't even get reported? Come on….please be logical. How long of a lag time would there be in terms of someone reporting a disease and it showing up on the app? Instead of looking at data that is probably not close to accurate and trying to prevent every germ out there from landing on your child, talk to your pediatrician, get informed, and get your child vaccinated.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I really agree with Elena B. You need to get some help with your anxiety. Take it from someone who knows. I myself have anxiety and there was a time when I had to forbid myself from watching the news b/c every time there was news of a recall, outbreak of salmonella, etc., it would throw me into a frenzy. I grew up with a hypochondriac mom and I don't want to do that to my son so I am forcing myself to address my anxiety. There are always going to be bad things that happen but freaking out over them isn't going to prevent them from happening. It's not easy to face your own fears but our children are worth it, no? :)

PS. Chicken pox is not that big of a deal so if he does get it, it will suck but he will get over it and be healthy soon. Esp. if you freak out over illnesses though, you should vaccinate him. Something like measles, which can be prevented with a vaccine, is much more serious and you don't want to expose him to it just b/c you're worried about potential side effects from vaccinations which are very rare.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My kids both had chicken pox when one was an infant and the other was a toddler, before they had the vaccine. It is not something you should be worried sick over at all. While the vaccine is a good idea, I don't think it is very necessary. The younger the child, the better it is with chicken pox. The less sick they become and the faster they heal.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on


I'm sorry you are feeling so stressed about the chicken pox virus. I had it as a child and it truly isn't the worst virus for a child to have. That being said, if you have a child with some behavioral issues, I can understand why you would be extra concerned about him getting it.

I was looking at your question history and you have a lot of concerns regarding physical health issues. This is the 2nd question you've asked regarding the chicken pox. It sounds like you are very anxious about it. My suggestion is: make an appointment with the pediatrician and discuss your concerns. We aren't doctors here--we are parents who have similar concerns about our own children.

My other suggestion is to stop using the sick weather app. You are already anxious about health issues--why add more worry and anxiety to this issue? As your child gets older, he is going to be exposed to a whole host of viruses. Trust me, you want your child to develop an immune system that can handle illness. If you try and protect him too much, you are not doing what's best for your child.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

The Sickweather app gets its information from social media. It's running programs on Facebook (and other social media) to see how many moms post that their kids are sick. If you got an alert that a nearby town about chicken pox, it means of all the moms in that town posting about their kids getting sick, chicken pox was among the top 3 mentioned. There's no way to know how many kids actually have the chicken pox since this isn't the school or a doctor's office alerting the app. This is random moms posting on facebook. If my kid had the chicken pox, posting it on Facebook would not be at the top of my list of things to do, so my guess would be that this app is highly inaccurate.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Yes - it's a virus, so it's similar to how you catch a cold. It can be passed through coughing or sneezing. The people might have the pox yet - sometimes it takes a couple of days for those to show up, but they are still contagious. And they are contagious until the scabs completely heal up.

So direct contact with the person (like if you touch a blister/pox) or even a scab. Or if the person sneezes, pretty sure the virus can survive in the air for a few hours. Not sure about surfaces. More through air or direct contact I believe.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

FYI kids are getting Shingles from the CP vaccine now. Now it's a side effect of the shot. I'd prefer my kid get the CP. The CP vaccine is not a recommended vaccine in the UK, because they knew it would lead to more cases of Shingles. And as others have said, it's a normal childhood illness. I had it as a kid. 3rd grade. Not a big deal.

Just because it's going around does not mean your child will get it. We were in a small school auditorium and a child had it and nobody else caught it.

You need to get rid of the App if it's making you crazy. Worrying about it will do absolutely nothing.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Go get the vaccine. At least if he gets chicken pox, it won't be as bad a bout with it if he didn't have the shot.

My older son had it before the shot came out. 105 degree fever. Sick as a dog for 5 days, then just plain miserable for the next 3 days. Covered from head to toe, and I mean covered. Awful! I got my younger son the vaccine, and a few years later, he got it but it was so much easier on him - not that many pox comparatively.

It's not so much about not washing hands as it is airborne that you have to worry about. Droplets in the air from coughing and all that.

Just go get the shot now. The best reason to not get chicken pox is to prevent shingles many, many years down the road. We have the chance to do that for our kids now. Before the shot, we didn't. It's a big favor for our kids.

1 mom found this helpful
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