Chicken Pox Survival: A Beta Mummy Guide.

Chicken pox is one of those crappy rites of passage we go through as parents – along with weaning, potty training, accidentally ingesting a bit of your child’s puke (no? Just me?), etc.  We have recently been through this particular delight, so I thought I’d write my very own Beta Mummy guide to coping with it.


Them:  Generally being a bit “meh”.  Overly tired and emotional.  Spots – maybe just one or two the first day, then they start appearing before your very eyes.

You:  Fed up with the kids being grumpy and irritable.  Fearful of yet ANOTHER bout of colds on its way.  Slight niggle in the back of your mind about that funny-looking spot under child’s arm but you bury that thought because you have a very important meeting at work that day and you don’t want to have to rearrange for the sake of what may turn out to be just a pimple.


I asked on my Facebook page for advice on best ways to treat chicken pox.  Here are the most frequently-suggested:

  1. Calpol (paracetemol) – DON’T use ibruprofen to treat chicken pox, bad bad bad.
  2. Poxclir mousse – I bought some of this, it cost a bloody tenner but it seemed to work (when I could persuade my screaming kids to let me come near them with it).  I ended up applying it when the kids were asleep…
  3. Virasoothe gel – Haven’t tried it personally, but it was up there with Poxclir in being recommended dozens of times.
  4. Porridge oats in the bath – Put oats in a sock, and let the water run through the sock to make a lovely soothing bath.  Went down a treat in my house, but on the downside you do then have a soggy, slimy, oat-filled sock to deal with.  Mine is still crusting away on the bathroom radiator, three weeks later…I really should just throw it in the bin, shouldn’t I?!
  5. Gin.  I assumed this was for me, not the kids, and I was only too happy to oblige.  Dealing with poorly kids is a tedious and mentally draining affair, and you need to treat yourself.  Gin and chocolate in my case, choose whatever floats your particular boat.

Getting over it.

One of the worst things about chicken pox is that the kids are only actually ill for a few days.  Hear me out – I’m not a complete monster, I promise.  What I mean is, they really do suffer for 2 or 3 days, but after that they bounce right back.  The problem is they can’t go back to school/nursery until they have stopped being contagious, which is when the spots have scabbed over, i.e. not blistered any more.  Usually this takes a good week or so.  Which means that you’re basically stuck indoors with a stir-crazy, itchy, pox-ridden caged animal for several days – unless you happen to have friends who have already had pox, so you’re not at risk of spreading it about.  In my case I had several days of attempting to work from home – that was fun!  It’s much easier to work when they’re properly ill and just want to sleep or quietly watch tv.

The best bit is that my kids managed not to catch the pox at the same time!  I was desperate for them to have it concurrently, in fact I encouraged as much naked wrestling and sharing of drinks as I could, but no.  FC#2 caught it exactly two weeks after FC#1’s first spot.  So we had all just returned to the normal routine and within a few days we were on Round 2.  Ugh.

Apparently this consecutive pox-catching is quite common, so if you are reading this with one pox-y child, be warned if you have others…stock up on the gin and settle down for a whole lot of Netflix-watching.


Apparently in some other countries, children are vaccinated against chicken pox as a matter of course, but here in the UK the vaccine is only available privately, so for the vast majority of us, it’s just one of those childhood illnesses that we get on and deal with – far better to catch it as a child than as an adult.  Incidentally I did consider getting my kids vaxxed against it (there are pros and cons, from what I’ve read, can’t be bothered to go into it now), but I procrastinated so long that they caught the pox in the meantime.  Decision made!



I hope you’ve enjoyed my poxy post, and that it has helped while away a few minutes of house-bound boredom if your household is  currently in the throes of chicken pox.  I raise a fist of solidarity to you because it is not a fun time.  Just be thankful that most people only ever catch it once, so all this will soon be an unpleasant memory…



Please note that I am NOT a medical professional.  This article is purely based on my own experiences as a mum of young children.  If you are concerned about your child, then please please phone 111 (UK) or your doctor.  Don’t rely on dubious internet sources like me….!


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  • Perdita 11/02/2018 at 9:38 pm

    Mine got it a week over 1. Pros: any younger and she’d have got no immunity (lol on some social networks the 5% ‘get it twice’ rate increases to everyone, who all told me she’d get it again regardless). Cons: I’d just gone back off maternity and even with calling in favours almost lost my job. 🙁 Fixed holidays do not account for childhood illness.

    I’m really hoping she’s not one of the 5% who get it twice!!!

    • Beta Mummy 11/02/2018 at 10:53 pm

      Oh no, not good getting it when you’ve just gone back to work! I thought it was bad enough getting it just after the long school holidays! Fingers crossed for not getting it again…


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