Chickenpox Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Courtney Hurst

Courtney has taught third grade and has a master's degree in curriculum and instruction.

Chickenpox is a disease, also known as varicella, that can be very serious to children's health. In this lesson, you will learn about what chickenpox is, its dangers, and how it may be avoided.

What Is Chickenpox?

You are covered in red spots, itching all over, and have a high fever. These symptoms could be signs that you have chickenpox. Oh no!

Chickenpox is typically not too dangerous, with only 100 deaths among four million cases of chickenpox each year. Chickenpox used to be very common among children, but in the mid-1990s a vaccine was issued to help prevent people from getting this disease.

Chickenpox is a disease caused by the varicella zoster virus. Varicella is the medical term for the virus, but we more commonly hear chickenpox. Chickenpox is a very contagious virus. Contagious means that the disease spreads very easily to other people. If you get the chickenpox, you should stay home from school until the virus has gone away.

The chickenpox virus develops small red bumps or blisters all over your body in response to your exposure, or contact with the virus. You can be exposed to the virus through simple things like coughing, sneezing, saliva, or direct contact with someone else's chickenpox blisters.

Symptoms of Chickenpox

Child with chickenpox
child with pox

The most known and common symptom of chickenpox is a body covered in red bumps. However, in addition to these red bumps, you may encounter a fever, headache, and loss of appetite. In fact, you may experience the other symptoms 48 hours before the red bumps appear.

Once your bumps appear, they will continue to show up in new spots. The bumps will turn into blisters filled with fluid and eventually break open and scab over. It's important to keep your hands from scratching these bumps, even though they will be extremely itchy!

The most important thing to know about chickenpox is how contagious it is. While this disease is typically more annoying than dangerous, it must be taken very seriously to avoid infection or serious illness.

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