Chickenpox, also known as varicella, is a highly contagious infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It is highly contagious to those who haven't had the disease or been vaccinated against it.
The most characteristic symptom is an itchy, blister-like rash on the skin. Chickenpox can be prevented with a vaccine. Treatment usually involves relieving symptoms, although high-risk groups may receive antiviral medication.
If your child is fit and healthy, by normal standards, then you have nothing to fear. The incubation period for the infection is usually about two to three weeks and can be caught just by being in the same room with an infected person. The usual treatment is to minimise rashes and itchiness by applying calamine lotion or anti-itch medication (antihistamines).
Coming to the point of why it is less risky for your children to get chicken pox now rather than later, chickenpox is very mild in children than in the case of adults. Also, in adults, there can be serious complications. Hence, it is advisable to let your children catch pox at an early age rather than later.
When adults get chicken pox, it isn’t any different, but it is five times worse in terms of the complications. Adults too, get the same spots and are usually recommended the same anti-viral medication. One does not get chicken pox more than once. In exceptional cases, a person whose body has not fully immunised to the disease may catch the infection, but the chances of that happening are relatively lower.
There was a time when parents would make their children get chickenpox on purpose, but this mentality mainly comes from before the year 1995, when the chickenpox vaccine had not yet been discovered and parents thought it better to avoid future complications when their children passed the age of twenty.
Chicken pox does come with the risk of getting infected by other diseases such as pneumonia, bleeding problems, encephalitis (brain swelling), bacterial skin infections, toxic shock syndrome, bone and joint infections, and even death. Even if your child does not end up with any of these complications, living through the infection is not an easy task and can be extremely uncomfortable. It is also inconvenient since it keeps children out of school for more than a week.
If you can do it the easy way by just getting a vaccine shot done, then why would you as a parent want to induce chicken pox in your kids? That question also remains.
As a concluding statement, all in all, getting pox is at an early age is a good thing, but avoiding it altogether by vaccinating your child is always a better option and reduces the risk of any kind of complications that might otherwise occur.
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