A WARNING has been shared thousands of times on Facebook reminding parents to never give their child nurofen or ibuprofen to treat chicken pox.

While it could be an easy mistake to make when you're trying to ease your child's symptoms, parents have been warned it could make things much worse.

A post from 'Care Champions - providing training to the care sector' has so far been shared more than 28,000 with the warning after a number of cases of chicken pox.

The post adds: "An urgent message from St John Ambulance.

"Chickenpox is going around again!

"Please remember NOT to give your children nurofen/ibuprofen if you think your child has it. 

"This type of medicine is an anti-inflammatory. It reacts with the chickenpox making them go deeper into the skin tissue, potentially causing a more severe secondary infection."

Better options for treating chicken pox include:

  • Paracetamol for fever 
  • Calamine Lotion for the itch 
  • And to keep your child hydrated

The advice is also backed up by the NHS which adds you should only use ibuprofen unless advised to do so by your doctor as it may cause serious skin infections.

How do I know if my child has got chicken pox?

Chelmsford Weekly News: Credit: NHSCredit: NHS

Chickenpox is common and mostly affects children, although you can get it at any age. It usually gets better by itself within a week without needing to see a GP.

  • It starts with red spots. They can appear anywhere on the body.
  • The spots fill with fluid and become blisters. The blisters may burst. They might spread or stay in a small area.
  • The spots scab over. More blisters might appear while others scab over.

Other symptoms:

You might get symptoms before or after the spots, including:

  • a high temperature above 38C
  • aches and pains, and generally feeling unwell
  • loss of appetite

Chickenpox is very itchy and can make children feel miserable, even if they do not have many spots. 

How to treat chicken pox

Advice from the NHS website includes:

  • drink plenty of fluid (try ice lollies if your child is not drinking) to avoid dehydration
  • take paracetamol to help with pain and discomfort
  • put socks on your child's hands at night to stop scratching
  • cut your child's nails
  • use cooling creams or gels from your pharmacy
  • speak to a pharmacist about using antihistamine medicine to help itching
  • bathe in cool water and pat the skin dry (do not rub)
  • dress in loose clothes

You'll need to stay away from school, nursery or work until all the spots have crusted over.

This is usually 5 days after the spots first appeared.

For more advice on chicken pox, visit the NHS website by clicking here