Monday, October 4, 2010

Chicken Pox Tips

Last week, exactly two weeks from the time Jeremiah got the pox, Alathia and Justus finally broke out with them.  Thankfully a couple of nurses had told us the week before that there would be a 14 day incubation period so in the week we were waiting for the pox to come, we were able to attend Homeschool Swimming every morning and do some playdates without being contagious to other children.  Then we isolated our children again and waited a few days for them to break out and then had another week of isolation as they got over them.
Instead of buying oatmeal bath solutions, just take 2 C. of oatmeal, mix with a couple of cups of water and microwave for 2 minutes.  Then spoon the oatmeal into an old nylon sock or section of pantyhose and throw in the bathwater.  This amount will make 3 or 4 and I kept them in a ziploc in the fridge until we needed them.  I let my kids play with the oatmeal ball because the more they squeezed it in the tub, the more soothing oatmeal mush came out of it into the water!  We also did a lot of baking soda baths too.  I would dump half of a box of Arm and Hammer into the tub of warm water.  A month ago a guy who sells Baking Soda and Laundry Detergent gave my dad a case of the stuff for free and Josiah got to bring home a bunch of those freebies from work so we have tons of baking soda on hand.

Justus got the worst case, and was pretty uncomfortable and needy for a few days, poor guy!  Ali was the itchiest of the three but I found that allowing her to play lots of computer games and to skip school and watch a few movies a day was the way to keep her distracted from the itch.  I used Children's Tylenol for the fevers and Children's Benadryl to help control the worst of the itch so they could sleep.  Justus got 4 baths a day for his worst couple of days.  It wasn't fun to see my little people miserable, but in retrospect, it went by in the blink of an eye and they were feeling great and energetic again in just a few days. 

Other survival tips:

Have your hubby bring home Pizza Hut on your worst day--a blessing for the tired Mama and a blessing for the kids who rarely, if ever, get to eat out and love pizza!

Popsicles, ice cream bars, ice-cream, and icy drinks were a hit with my kiddoes

I bought some snacks we don't usually have on hand, like Jell-O cups, pudding cups, juice boxes and fruit snacks.

Fruits and applesauce were good snacks throughout the day too.

I tried tea tree oil and Calamine Lotion on the spots, and though lots of people say tea tree oil is amazing, it didn't seem to work for us.  Calamine really soothed the itch for them so we applied it a few times a day after baths.  My little girl would writhe and complain that the lotion was too cold so I would heat a little water in a small glass bowl in the microwave, then dump the water out and pour a little Calamine in.  The hot bowl would warm the Calamine and I'd apply their pink "paint" with a cotton ball.

My mom was a sweetheart and brought little things by almost every day for the kids.  Balloons one day, bubbles the next, and supper for us one night.  It was very thoughtful and helpful and the kids enjoyed being spoiled, to the point that whenever she pops by the house now they say, "What did you bring us?"

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