Collectively, we consider shingles a geriatric syndrome. The statistics back this up by proving shingles is most customary in adults over the age of 50, according to Mayo Clinic. The odd connection between childhood and shingles is that the virus that causes shingles in the elderly, the herpes zoster virus (HSV), is the same virus that causes chickenpox in childhood.
Even though you are more inclined to see shingles in a retirement settlement than a playground, the rash can make itself understood at any age. But can children get shingles? When they seemingly just recovered from chickenpox? We will respond to that question and more throughout this article discussion.
Can Children Get Shingles?
Shingles in kids and teens is rare, but not unheard of. It is also plausible for a grownup with actively contagious shingles to infect defenseless babies and toddlers with chickenpox. Adults are contagious when the rash is at its peak and has fluid-filled blisters or still oozing sores. The virus is contracted by swapping bodily fluids.
Once an infant has picked up chickenpox, the likelihood of shingles is perpetually on the horizon. Shingles like to strike when the immune system is impaired. This can be by age, being too young or too old causing vulnerability, or by other extenuating factors like illness or injury.
According to the Boston Children’s Hospital, roughly one in 2,000 people in the USA have primary immunodeficiency disorders (PIDDs). These are inherited statuses in which the body doesn’t produce, doesn’t produce enough, or has dysfunctional white blood cells. Scientists have discovered more than 300 kinds of PIDDs.
Autoimmune disorders are almost the opposite, but can still make youngster susceptible to shingles. In autoimmune disease, the white blood cells aggressively attack organic body cells that aren’t intruders. Examples include Hashimoto’s disease, psoriasis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Celiac, Type I diabetes, and over 100 more.
Chickenpox in infancy can reemerge as shingles in toddlers or older children, particularly if they fall into the immunodeficiency or autoimmune category.
Shingles in Toddlers
While HSV doesn’t turn up in juveniles often, a rare sighting can happen. There are two major risk factors contributing to shingles in little tykes under the age of 5:
- Contracting chickenpox before the age of 1
- The mother contracting chickenpox in the late stages of pregnancy
Outside of those unusual circumstances, it is rare to find shingles in toddlers. Kiddos must meet the above criteria and suffer a form of immune deficiency. If that is the case for your tyke, practice extra caution for communicable diseases. A flare of shingles in an immune compromised toddler can easily spiral into serious skin infections like impetigo, staph, cellulitis, and MRSA.
Is Shingles Contagious to Toddlers?
To answer to this inquiry is twofold. Is shingles contagious to toddlers? Yes and no.
Shingles cannot be transmitted to a child directly. The child must have already worked through a round of chickenpox and then experienced something that triggered a shingles outbreak.
However, toddlers that have not been exposed to chickenpox can contract the virus from the shingles rash if they come into direct contact with infected blisters.
Signs Your Child Might Have Shingles
Diagnosis of shingles starts with reviewing the medical history. Has the baby already dealt with chickenpox? If yes, then the following signs could point to shingles:
Early increments of the progression:
- Itchiness with no visible cause
- Pain or numbness on the skin (again no detectable source)
- Mild rash with red bumps
- Swollen, hot, inflamed skin
- Fluid-filled blisters
- Popped blisters
If your offspring has not had chickenpox yet, shingles is an impossible outcome. Potential copycat skin conditions include psoriasis, eczema, and hives (from allergies).
Shingles in Toddlers Pictures
Nursing anxiety about that unidentified rash that just popped up on your precious babe? We become anxious about the future when we can’t predict it.
Visual identification of shingles in toddlers through pictures can lessen your nervousness. Compare these images to your kiddo to make educated guesses before you see the pediatrician.
Treatment for Shingles in Children
For senior citizens, a shingles vaccine is available (and highly recommended by health professionals). Unfortunately, no equivalent exists yet for kids. The treatment for shingles in children has to revert back to reaction instead of prevention. Experts recommend starting an antiviral medication as soon as possible to shorten the duration and lessen the severity of the breakout.
The sores can be treated with calamine lotion, cortisone cream, and a regiment of clean bandages. Bathing in baking soda, oatmeal, or Epsom salt (magnesium) can soothe itchy skin. Anything you can do to combat scratching will speed up healing and reduce the risk of transmission to family members or classmates. If they are school aged, pull them from classes until they have been medicated for at least 24 hours and the blisters have scabbed over.
Shingles in Children Photos
This gallery is a compilation of verified HSV outbreaks in youth patients. Shingles in children photos can periodically present the affliction differently so it is helpful to have a point of reference.
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