The average parent needs 3 days annual leave to care for a child with chickenpox

Caring for a child sick with chickenpox is never fun. While most children only suffer a mild illness, it’s likely your little one will still be pretty miserable, itchy and irritable.

As sympathetic as you might be for your little one, when chickenpox enters the house there’s no doubt that it’ll have a significant impact on the whole family.

According to new research carried out by Ipsos, on behalf of MSD Ireland, the average parent needs as many as THREE days annual leave from work in order to care for a sick child with chickenpox, with 30% of parents saying their child needed as many as TEN days or more off from school, as a result of contracting chickenpox.

Chickenpox is a common, highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus and can cause an itchy, blister-like rash. It mostly affects children under the age of 10, but you can get it at any age. 

While most only suffer from it mildly, chickenpox can be a serious disease, especially in babies, adults, pregnant women, and people with a weakened immune system.

Kids can pick up the virus pretty much anywhere, but research shows that almost two in five (39%) of chickenpox cases experienced overall are suspected to have been picked up in a pre-school setting. 

Rash, feeling unwell and high temperature were found to be the most common symptoms experienced in children and observed by parents. According to the new research, 43% of parents who managed cases of chickenpox said that their child experienced at least five symptoms as a result.

Speaking about the importance of contacting your GP for guidance in relation to chickenpox. Dr. Laura Lenihan said, “ Information is key when it comes to managing our children’s health, I’d always recommend speaking to a GP or healthcare professional directly to get all the facts you need to decide what’s best for your family.”

For more information on chicken pox and how to manage and treat it, check out our article: Signs and symptoms: Everything you should know about chickenpox.