View Full Version : Chickenpox and brace

27th July 2005, 08:43 PM
Hi all,
As you know Niamh is currently in a brace for her scoliosis whilst we are in the US. She has just developed chickenpox, we brought her to the paediatrition this morning and he suggested leaving her brace off for a couple of days as a lot of the spots are under the brace and they may get infected. To make matters worse the temperatures here are in the mid 90s so it is also v hot. With the time difference I can't get in contact with the hospital at home to ask their opionion so was wondering what you think? I am inclined to leave it off, particurly as the hospital were not concerned at her being out of her cast for 2 weeks before we came over but don't just want to take the easy way out if it will affect her treatment in any way. Does anyone have any suggestions?

27th July 2005, 08:54 PM

That's a tough one ! Deirdre developed chicken pox last year during the summer AND she was in a cast :-o The whole chicken pox episode lasted about two weeks. The casts she wears are not very snug, I think braces are much tighter ? Nicola, just go with your instincts.


27th July 2005, 08:59 PM
I'm trying to remember back to chicken pox, and thinking that as long as you use calamine - or whatever is used these days, she might be ok at night if you wanted to brace her at least some of the time, but that could depend really on where the worst of the sores are - if there are problematic ones along the brace edges it could be better without it. I think you'll just have to play it by ear, but I'm sure that it won't cause her a problem to be unbraced for a while considering, as you mentioned, the period between cast and brace - this should be much shorter, all being well.

27th July 2005, 09:01 PM
I don't think you have any choice but to take it off.I certainly wouldn't like for her to get any infected spots.managing chickenpox will be hard enough without making the poor child totally miserable.Hopefully she'll only get a few spots and recover in a few days.I guess you could try and contact the scoliosis clinic in Crumlin and ask their advice.

27th July 2005, 09:11 PM
I got chickenpox whilst wearing a bodycast as a child, aged 9. I had my arms and legs smothered in calamine lotion and don't think I had any problems with the spots under the cast - mainly cos I couldnt get at them to scratch and pick at them! The ones I had problems with were on my leg and on my scalp....I still have the scars from those :woe:

27th July 2005, 09:18 PM

I'm really sorry to hear that Niamh has chicken pox - it really is a miserable illness even without a brace and i'm dreading this very situation. I imagine it won't do much harm to take the brace off, although i understand your reluctance to do so. I'd perhaps leave it off until the spots have scabbed over, although i'm not sure how long this takes. Perhaps when this has happened there will be less chance of infection.

To make her more comfortable, bicarbonate of soda in the bath is supposed to help, as is Piriton or another antihistamine to ease the itching. Calamine lotion on the spots (as others have said) will help too.

Good luck. Hang on in there - it can't last for long. :squeeze:

27th July 2005, 09:33 PM
Thanks everyone, gosh that was quick. I had her out of the brace for a while and just put her back into it for her nap and will see how she gets on. This couldn't have happened at a worse time, we are due to fly home to Ireland on Sat but if she is still contagious we won't be able to travel so have to wait and see how things progress for the next day or so. Luckily she does not seem to be suffering too much yet, still eating, drinking and sleeping so hopefully it is not too bad a dose.

Thaleias spirit
27th July 2005, 11:49 PM
I've no advice about leaving braces / casts off ..
but I can imagine with the temperatures being that hot and being in a cast would cause for even more itchness ( I know how my skin feels after one day here in our "hot" weather.)

Andrea mentioned what I was going to suggest - Bicarbonate of Soda.
My brother got Chicken Pox 2 years ago (he was 16) and he used take a bath almost every day with that stuff to relieve the itcing and he said it was great !! He didn't suffer too bad with them as a result !

Somebody correct me on this .. but to the best of my knowledge aren't chicken pox only contagious up to the period where the spots appear? Which is why it's often so hard to contain?

Hope Niamh recovers quickly from it all.


Thaleias spirit
28th July 2005, 12:03 AM
Okay should have thought of this first.

I checked the Irish VHI website and their health information topics. I don't know how much this will help but it sort of reiterates some of the stuff already mentioned. (Its an exact copy of what they have - I just broke it up for easier reading)

Treating a child with chickenpox

* Your child should stay home for a week or more to get some rest and avoid spreading the disease.

* Assume she's contagious until all the sores have crusted over.

* While she's recuperating, she'll appreciate anything you can do to relieve the itching. Give her a cool bath every three to four hours, and mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda with the bathwater. Oatmeal baths are soothing, too.

* After the bath, put calamine lotion on the itchy spots. Oral antihistamine may also be useful, though it can make her sleepy; do not use antihistamine ointment on your child's skin, however.

* It may seem like an impossible task, but try to keep your child from picking and scratching her sores. Sores that aren't allowed to heal can leave scars or lead to skin infections such as impetigo.

* Bring down her fever with paracetamol. Do not give aspirin to your child (or to anyone under the age of 20) while she has chicken pox or any other viral infection. If you do, she faces a small but real risk of Reye's syndrome.
(I wasn't too sure about the above but thought it might be very important)

28th July 2005, 01:10 AM
My baby bible

What to expect the first year

on the subject of chicken pox says

Transmission - Person to person via droplets , and airborne; very contagious from 1 to 2 days before onset until all lesions are scabbed

Incubation - Usually 14 to 16 days, but can be as short as 11 or as long as 20

Duration - First vesticles crust in 6 to 8 hours, scab in 24 to 48, scabs last 5 to 20 days

I really hope Niamh's not suffering too much and you can catch your flight out to Ireland


28th July 2005, 05:34 AM
Thanks again everone,
Unfortunately Chele chickenpox is still very infectious until at least 5 days after onset or until the last spot scabs over depending on which site you read. She has had a bicarbonate soda bath and is in bed fast asleep.
The trial with the brace during her nap didn't go too well, when she got up a lot of teh spots had gone very pussy looking so i took it off, I think I will leave her without it tonight and check with Temple st in the morning.
We have more or less decided to postpone flying until Monday, it would be too risky to try for Sat and I would be so worried that a pregnant woman or immunocompromised person on the flight would pick it up from her, particularly as it is airborne.
Thanks again for all your help,

28th July 2005, 09:20 AM

When is Niamh due to be casted? I don't know what the period of time is, but docs won't give a child a GA if they have had chicken pox or been in contact with a child with chicken pox recently as there is a danger of encephalitis (this is what I was told when Erin was casted the first time). As I said, I can't remember when that risk has passed, but it might be worth checking with your hospital.


29th July 2005, 03:42 AM
Thanks Andrea for that, it would never have occurred to me. We have appointment on Aug 8th and I was anticipating been casted either on the 11th or the 18th. However from my reading up on it now I think it will have to be later as there has to be at least 3 weeks from exposure and I presume this would include while the virus is still active in her. I will discuss it with them anyway on Aug 8th. The only upside to all this is that if she does not have the cast we may be able to go the SSO meetup in Cork :spin:
Every cloud and all that.

29th July 2005, 12:00 PM
That would be brilliant Nicola, we'd love to meet you both.I'll pm you with the details later and if you can make it we'd be so thrilled.
How's Niamh coping with the chicken pox, I've had both extremes, Liam got about six spots and it didn't bother him whereas Orla was coated in spots from head to toe and was a real primadonna patient and had to be nursed and pampered for 10 days.
Hope you were able to rearrange your flights without too much trouble and Niamh will probably get the shock of her life when she hits the Irish summer. 15 deg, wind and rain.Some things never change.

29th July 2005, 10:02 PM
Thanks Sins,
She is coping really well the poor little thing, her torso and face are covered but not too many on her arms and legs. We were a little bit concerned last night as she had a very high fever which took 2 baths and 2 doses of calpol to bring down only to spike up again at 2am. Thankfully she is much better today, fever is gone and she is playing and running around like a mad thing. Will contact you after Niamh's appointment to let you know for definite if we can make it. (hubbie wants to come too)

4th August 2005, 08:48 AM
Hey Nicola, how's Niamh? How was your flight?

I'm sure you're all enjoying the cool temperatures on this side of the pond :D

Good luck with your appointment on Monday. Let us know how it goes. Hopefully you'll all be over the jetlag by then!

4th August 2005, 02:03 PM
Hi, yes we all got home in one piece, Niamh seems to be getting over her jetlag quicker than anyone, I am a mess. Back in work now and back to reality :-)
Will keep you posted after appointment on Mon