Chickenpox 101 – tips for surviving chickenpox in children


So the pox is upon us. What’s weird is we thought we’d escaped it. There was an outbreak at school before half term, but it took the 5yo a full 10 days to break out. And break out he did (sorry for the generic pic but taking snaps of him when he’s ill for blogging purposes didn’t feel right). He went from one tiny armpit pimple (that we put down to a mozzie bite from Naples last weekend), to smothered in 5 hours – in his ears, hair, mouth…. every nook and cranny.

I have learnt a lot of pox-related dos and don’ts in the last week, so thought it was worth sharing a quick list*:

  • DO NOT give ibuprofen of any sort. It can make those carrying the chickenpox vaccine seriously ill. Stick to Calpol/paracetamol if they’ve got a fever.
  • Do keep them cool. It really reduces the itch factor.
  • Calamine lotion is fab for dabbing topically on the spots. It really helps with the scratching. The Aqueous version is better as it’s not so drying for their skin.
  • Try and teach them to pat rather than scratch if they’re itchy. Easier when they’re older, hard for littlies.
  • Piriton liquid has worked wonders at night to stop him scratching like a flea-riddled dog. However it knocks him straight out! So we’ve been keeping that for nighttime.
  • We have been popping the 5yo in a lukewarm bath a couple of times a day. We’ve been recommended to add the following by a homeopath and we’ve seen a MASSIVE difference in his comfort levels:

1/ Fill a cotton sock with oats (standard porridge type is fine) and hang it off the tap under warm running water. The oats are really soothing to the inflammed skin.

2/ Add a tablespoon of Sodium Bicarbonate and dissolve in the water. This is good for drying up the spots and keeping them clean and clear from infection.

3/ We’ve added 2 drops of tea tree and 2 drops of lavender essential oils to the bath for their antiseptic, healing and soothing qualities.

Now we just need to wait for the 2yo to start breaking out…

* It may seem a ridiculous disclaimer to have to point out, but I’m not a doctor. If you’re worried about your own child’s symptoms, that’s what the glorious NHS is for. Give your doc a call. These tips are working for us and our 5yo. They may do naff all for yours, or they may just save your sanity. Let me know!



CF Health: Colds, Croup and a cup of Pukka tea

This box of Pukka teas was sent to me by their PR back in August and I thought ‘ooh, I’ll stash those for autumn, when ‘cold season’ hits’. Reader – that time has come.

I might as well daub a cross above our front door and be done with it, we are so germ ridden.

Firstly, last week Country Bebe came down with croup (an infant-specific viral infection of the voicebox and windpipe) – which entailed a cough to rival a 60-a-day smoker, fever, aches, sleepiness and culminated in a brief trip to A&E after some rather laboured breathing and a nasty viral rash. All in all, grim. It is CB’s first illness, so at 2yo we are pretty lucky. Just as he started to perk up (i.e. showed an interest in his Duplo box), I was knocked for six by a killer cold.

I’m still knee-deep in snot, with fevers and headaches a plenty, so sorry things are a bit slow on the post front this week.

However I thought I’d post a quick review of the lemon, ginger and manuka honey tea from Pukka, which I’ve been sipping my way through this week:

Imagine a healthy lemsip that is more soothing and gentle, and you’re close. It’s zesty with lemon but fiery with root ginger (great for sinuses) and has a lingering sweetness that is really calming, thanks to the manuka honey. There is liquorice in there, and turmeric too – so it is deliciously spicy. I am *obsessed* with their three ginger tea, and this is a lighter more delicate cuppa.

Definitely one for the store cupboard over the winter months.

*coughs and crawls back under the duvet*

£2.29 for 20 sachets from

CF Gadgets: iDrated app – hydration tracker

So, for the last couple of weeks I’ve been trialling a few health apps for a new project I’m editing (sorry to be mysterious, I will spill the beans shortly) and I wanted to share with you this week a few of my favourites that have made a real difference already.

First up: iDrated water consumption tracker app. (developed by Locassa Ltd, 69p, App Store)

I bought this a month ago as I knew I was waaaayyy off on my daily water consumption. My skin was dry and dull, I was getting more regular headaches and my concentration was a nanosecond long. All red flags to dehydration. I wanted something that not only logged what I was drinking, but that prompted me to drink, too.

I love the fact this handy app requires no data input, just a swipe of the finger to fill or empty a virtual bottle to indicate how much you’ve drunk. So, before I started I did a quick measure of my favourite mug (300ml), one of our water glasses (500ml) and I was ready to go!

You can set your own daily consumption target but I kept it at the recommended 2lt. You get prompted with a little alert when you are due a sip, making sure you hit this target each day.

It has made me soooooo much more aware of keeping hydrated, and made me realise how little I was drinking! Two litres initially felt like a swimming pool’s worth but it’s not at all. Two big glasses of water and four herbal teas throughout the day and I’m there. On that note, it has renewed my obsession with herbal teas – Pukka’s Vanilla Chai, Three Ginger, Three Mint and Night time being my current tipples.

After a month I cannot believe how clear and glowy my skin feels, my skincare regime hasn’t changed radically so I really do think it’s simply the fact that I’m properly hydrated. My headaches are completely gone and, working 8 hours days at a computer, I’ve noticed my concentration improve in leaps and bounds, too.

For 69p I can’t think of a cheaper way to improve my health, skin and mind!

*Note: this is not a sponsored post – I paid the full 69p for it!

Up next: Sleep!



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