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AIBU? - Out with a child with chickenpox

(141 Posts)
fizzers Fri 31-May-19 11:57:35

Went into town to meet up and have a coffee with my sister and BIL. She had one of her grandchildren with her - he had full blown chickenpox - had only been diagnosed with it yesterday. I blew my top and told her it was an irresponsible thing to do, bringing an obviously unwell child out and risking passing it on to people who could be badly affected by it. She said that chickenpox is a mild disease - well not to everyone it's not. Furthermore I don't need to be developing shingles.

I feel somewhat bad about blasting her over it, but surely one of them could've stayed at home with him?

Willow500 Fri 31-May-19 12:03:48

I would have been horrified too - I've not had chickenpox and far from being a mild disease to older people it can be serious and shingles is even worse!

aggie Fri 31-May-19 12:08:08

It is not allowed to send a child to school with chickenpox , so obviously they shouldn't be out in a public place , poor child is unwell and must have been better at home with plenty of soothing Calamine Lotion and drinks

GrandmaJan Fri 31-May-19 12:10:33

Chicken Pox can cause so many complications. I remember working on paediatrics as a newly qualified staff nurse and looked after 2 babies who’d contracted CP and they both died. I know that’s the extreme but it makes you realise just how virulent it can be. Just to add it’s a misconception that you can get shingles from someone with CP, it’s just not the case but you can get CP from someone with shingles.

Auntieflo Fri 31-May-19 12:10:59

Why are people so dismissive of these illnesses?
I know someone whose relative took a child on a flight to Brazil, years ago now, when he had chickenpox.
How can they be so selfish?

EllanVannin Fri 31-May-19 12:13:16

Thoughtless selfish individual. I'd have left her to it, sharpish !
At least my GD has the decency to ring me if any of the children have a bug or " unknown " spots/rash in case I go visiting.

I never had chickenpox as a child even though those around me had it at the time, and I certainly wouldn't want shingles at my time of life, nor would anyone else.

sodapop Fri 31-May-19 12:24:22

Don't feel bad about speaking your mind fizzers. It seems like quite a selfish thing to do on two counts, taking out an unwell child who would rather be comfortable at home and exposing others to infection. Thoughtless to say the least.

Boosgran Fri 31-May-19 12:25:24

No, that’s completely selfish. The poor child must have felt dreadful not mention passing it on to others. Out of order and you were right to tell her. My sister caught chickenpox as an adult and was extremely ill with it. Some people just have no thought for others.

crazyH Fri 31-May-19 12:26:49

That's very irresponsible of your sister 😡

Eglantine21 Fri 31-May-19 12:27:11

My son in law’s mother died from chicken pox. She was having treatment for cancer and her immune system was low.

She caught it when a relative brought her “bit poorly” grandchild along on a visit. She never had the chance to see if the cancer treatment would have worked for her.

Please tell your sister that there are vulnerable people out there.

toscalily Fri 31-May-19 12:42:27

You'll need to stay away from school, nursery or work until all the spots have crusted over.
This is usually 5 days after the spots first appeared."


I would have been horrified and reacted as you did fizzers, suggest you send her the link above.
My eldest son caught Chicken Pox from his younger brother who had a relatively mild case. He being 15 was very, very ill, completely delirious at one stage and I was having to restrain him as he thought he had to go outside, via the window! Quite frightening. Needless to say eldest son has never let his brother forget " it was all your fault"

agnurse Fri 31-May-19 13:35:46

YANBU. AFAIK, though, you won't get shingles from being exposed to chickenpox. Shingles is triggered by the virus reactivating and most commonly occurs when your immune response is low.

Slowcookervegan Fri 31-May-19 13:42:02

Unbelievable. Its half term and that poor child could spread it everywhere. My child had a low immune system and catching chicken pocks would of put her in hospital for months!
People just dont think.

notanan2 Fri 31-May-19 13:45:02

Not unreasonable. I would also have been thoroughly unimpressed!

glammanana Fri 31-May-19 13:53:15

This post is very dajavu to me at the minute,last night I had an emergency appointment at my doctors and was diagnosed with mumps,I had developed a huge swelling under my right ear on to my cheek and slightly less evident on my left side,at first my son thought it was another bout of cellulitis but comfirmed by Doctor as mumps.
I am convinced I have picked the virus up from the airconditioning on my flight back from Majorca last week there where a lot of children on the flight and one little girl had chickenpox.

MawBroonsback Fri 31-May-19 13:59:58

Oh here we go again, bring out the handbell and intone “Unclean, unclean”
1) you don’t get shingles from chickenpox, in fact it’s the other way round
2) unless you are in close contact with the child you won’t catch anything (although I assume you had chickenpox yourself as a child!)
The only group you need to keep a child with chickenpox away from is pregnant women - and I don’t suppose that applies to you? So nurseries and schools where other mums may be pregnant are a clear no-no.
In our parents’ and grandparents’ day of course they used to hold “chickenpox parties” so that children could catch it early (not babes in arms) and get over it before they went to school.
My DGS got chickenpox for his second birthday grin and of course DD had to warn other mums of children invited to his party a few days later.
Fortunately there are also now better and more soothing remedies than the old Calamine lotion - Poxclin for instance. OP’s friend might care to try that.

Grammaretto Fri 31-May-19 14:10:21

As nearly everyone agrees, you ANBU at all. Far from it. I wonder if it's a hangover from being told that if children get it when they are young, it's usually mild and they even boasted of having CP parties to infect the lot.
Very irresponsible IMO to take the child out in public as it's highly infectious and very uncomfortable for the child.

Septimia Fri 31-May-19 14:17:53

The NHS guidelines say that a child should be kept off school for a short while and that "Chickenpox is infectious from 1 to 2 days before the rash starts, until all the blisters have crusted over (usually 5 to 6 days after the start of the rash)."
If the child felt unwell, it was unfair to take him out in public. I can't see a problem with visiting someone's home (or them paying the visit) as long as the other person knows about the illness and is happy to be exposed to it.

Tedber Fri 31-May-19 15:51:12

I would be more worried about the child than passing it on tbh. He may have not felt well enough to be traipsing through town? As chicken pox is infectious prior to the spots appearing there must be hundreds of people unknowingly exposed anyway but I do think it is a tad irresponsible to drag a poorly boy out. Don't fall out with your sister over it though, Oh and as has been said, you won't catch shingles through contact.

HildaW Fri 31-May-19 16:25:57

People who have lower immune systems can become very poorly if in contact with the chicken pox virus. When I ran Pre-Schools the rule was that the child should stay at home until the last pox has scabbed over.

blondenana Fri 31-May-19 16:43:22

glammanana there is an outbreak of mumps at the moment.i have seen a few articles about it in the papers, and a Dr on "This Morning " was talking about it only yesterday,
I didn;t hear why this has happened all of a sudden there is a lot of it about just now
I remember having it as a child, hope you cant get it twice, and if i remember rightly it was said to be dangerous for boys to get as could make them infertile
I hope you feel better soon, not sure how long it lasts

MawBroonsback Fri 31-May-19 16:48:57

Ironically, DGD came out in chickenpox within hours of visiting Paw in hospital on her third birthday.
He was in isolation be cause he had been admitted with sepsis and because he was on immunosuppressants.
DD was very worried about him, but as it turned out he suffered no ill effects from her chickenpox.
What he suffered on account of the cr*p nursing care that BH weekend is, as they say, another story 😡😡

blondenana Fri 31-May-19 16:49:38

Just remembered that Virasoothe is really good for taking the itch out of chickenpox, too, and better than calamine lotion or cream
I had shingles 2 years ago, and was told about this,it is for chickenpox in children and comes in a spray as well as a gel, so no need to touch the spots
I used it for my rash and it was so cooling

MawBroonsback Fri 31-May-19 16:50:58

Blondenana there have been several entirely unnecessary outbreaks of mumps and measles these days because of misguided and pigheaded parents who “think they know better” and fail to have their children immunised.

SueDonim Fri 31-May-19 16:55:38

It's not a great idea to take a child with CP out into the community. Apart from the risks to pregnant women and newborns, CP can be a killer if someone undergoing cancer treatment catches it - and it is a highly infectious disease.

It's also an unpleasant disease in adults. My sister-in-law caught it from her children and she was very poorly for some weeks. It took her a year to truly recover from the after-effects.

Mumps is having a resurgence for two reasons. One is that it is spreading in universities amongst youngsters whose parents didn't get the MMR due to the purported links to autism some 20 years ago. The other reason is that it is not a very effective vaccine anyway so the immunity conferred by the MMR is wearing off and adults are now becoming vulnerable to mumps.