Many see chicken pox as simply a harmless childhood disease, almost a rite of passage. But as Hayley Lyons from Warrington, England, learned, if inappropriately treated, it can lead to serious consequences. When her son Lewis had his turn with this tribulation of childhood, he was running a high fever and she took him to the doctor.
He was give a children’s variety of the over-the-counter painkiller ibuprofen. Hayley didn’t think to question the decision, but no sooner had Lewis been given the medication than his symptoms worsened dramatically. She didn’t waste any time and took Lewis to a children’s hospital, where he was admitted with a severe infection.
Some months after Lewis had returned to health, her friend’s daughter came down with chicken pox and Hayley decided to share her experience on Facebook as a warning to other parents. She wrote:
“Chickenpox is going round again can I please remind people NOT to give your children nurofen/ibuprofen. 4 different doctors from our local (out of hours) prescribed it for Lewis as we couldn’t get his temp down. This type of medicine is an anti inflammatory, it reacts with chicken pox making them go deeper into the skin tissue. It was only wen (sic) we took Lewis to Alderhey because the doctors from our hospital kept sending him home saying it was ‘just chicken pox’ we found this out. He ended up with septicaemia and was admitted straight to Alderhey as soon as we arrived there.
Only because we persevered and took Lewis to a children’s hospital off our own back was he ok. This could have ended up so much worse if it wasn’t for those doctors at Alderhey and their advice, care and knowledge.
Only use CALPOL for their temps.
It does actually state on the nurofen website not to take this medicine with chickenpox. (We discovered this after it happened) But when our doctors prescribe it, who are we to question it??”
Hayley is one observant and quick-reacting mom. Thanks to her instincts and perseverance, Lewis was treated for the infection and made a full recovery. Furthermore, thanks to her concern for others’ welfare, the warning about the dangerous combination of chicken pox and ibuprofen has undoubtedly saved countless children from a similar experience. Make note, parents! When it’s time for your little ones to do battle with this childhood affliction, forewarned is forearmed.