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When to get medical help

Chickenpox in babies and children

Contact your GP immediately if you think your child has chickenpox and they:

  • are under 1 month old
  • have heart or lung diseases
  • are on chemotherapy, immunosuppressants or steroids
  • have a disease that affects their immune system - like HIV or a bone marrow disease

Call ahead before going to your GP if you think your child has chickenpox. They may need to take some precautions to prevent the infection spreading to other patients

Call your GP urgently if your child has chickenpox and they have:

  • redness, pain and heat in the skin around a blister or spot
  • breathing problems
  • symptoms of dehydration
  • certain skin conditions like eczema
  • headaches that don't go away after giving paracetamol, or are getting worse

Call your nearest hospital emergency department that treats children if your child has chickenpox and they:

  • have trouble walking or are very weak
  • are drowsy or hard to wake

Call 999 or 112 if your child has chickenpox and they have a fit or seizure. Make sure the hospital emergency department or the ambulance call-taker know that your child has chickenpox, so they can take appropriate precautions to prevent the infection from spreading.

If you are pregnant

If you are pregnant and you have never had chickenpox before, or are not sure, contact your GP or maternity hospital as soon as possible after coming into contact with chickenpox.

page last reviewed: 14/05/2019
next review due: 14/05/2022