Five Apii Takitumu pupils have been affected by chickenpox, the school says, as parents are warned to keep an eye out for symptoms in their own children.
Health ministry Te Marae Ora checked two of the children yesterday and confirmed they had chickenpox.
Principal Carly Ave said chickenpox happened every year in the school, with about six cases a year.
This year, they’ve got that many all in one week.
Parents with new-born babies have been especially cautious, Ave said. They had been in close contact with the school to ensure their other children did not bring chickenpox home.
“Two of these families have asked to receive work for their child via email which they will do with their child for the remainder of the week.”
Ave was especially pleased with the communication and willingness of these parents to ensure their child's learning continued.
Te Marae Ora says chickenpox is a viral infection that mainly affects children, although adults can get it too. Children who are displaying symptoms should be kept home.
These include red spots that can become blisters, fever, aches and pains, and loss of appetite. Sometimes blisters may present in the mouth making it painful for children to eat.
Chickenpox is often itchy and can make children feel miserable, even if they do not have many spots. It usually gets better within a week.
“Anyone with chickenpox should stay away from school and work until the spots have crusted over.”
They should also avoid contact with pregnant women who have not caught chickenpox previously.
TE MARAE ORA ADVICE
• drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Try ice lollies if your child is not drinking.
• take paracetamol to help with pain and discomfort
• advise your child to avoid scratching the blisters, and cut your child’s nails
• bathe in cool water and pat the skin dry (do not rub)
• dress in loose clothes
For more advice or to speak to a medical professional call 0800