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Most children will catch it

Chickenpox is a mild disease that most children catch at some point. It takes 10-21 days for the signs to show. If you are sure it is chickenpox you do not need to go to your doctor unless your child is very unwell.

Chickenpox is most common in children who are between two and eight years old. They can pass it on to others from about two days before the rash appears until roughly five days after. The rash usually appears on the chest and back. You and your child should stay away from other people until all of the blisters have fully burst and dried up which usually happens five to seven days after the first blister appears. You can take them out if they are well enough, but be careful to keep away from other people. After the last blister has burst and dried, they are no longer likely to pass the infection on.

Chickenpox spreads from spit, nasal mucus in sneezes and coughs from a
person who has chickenpox.

Doctor says

After having chickenpox, the virus stays in the body. Later in life the virus can come back in a different form known as shingles.

Chickenpox is easy to pass on to someone who has not had it before. If your child has chickenpox keep them away from others.

If you are pregnant and have had chickenpox in the past it is likely that you are immune to chickenpox. However, please contact your midwife for advice.

Health visitor says

It is important to keep babies cool; itching gets worse if they are hot. Try calamine lotion (especially at night) to help stop them itching and scratching the blisters, which could cause scarring.  Your baby may also have a fever (see the fever section).


Do they have an itchy rash (looks like blisters) mainly on the chest and back?


Chickenpox is a common illness among children, particularly those under eight.


Stay away from others until the blisters have dried. Call NHS Direct for advice on how to care for your child.

The above information cannot replace specialist treatment.  Contact NHS Direct if you are worried.