It’s something every parent comes to expect. And when Hayley Lyon’s son finally got a case of the chickenpox back in 2016, she thought little about it. She’d had it as a kid and expected her son to get it eventually, especially after it was clear that other kids at school were coming down with it as well. However, things did not go the way Hayley expected them to and all because of an over-the-counter medication that is more likely to be in the average American house than vitamins.
Her son’s pediatrician prescribed him children’s ibuprofen because of its anti-inflammatory property. And because Hayley trusted her son’s doctor, she decided to give her son, Lewis, a dose of ibuprofen. When she did, she fell down a rabbit hole so deep that the medical community had better get to work filling it in.
Although children’s ibuprofen serves a purpose, Hayley learned too late that it was the wrong medication to prescribe her son for chickenpox.
As she was dosing her son with ibuprofen, Hayley’s mother’s intuition kicked in and told her that something was wrong. Although the doctor assured her that her son had a “normal” case of chickenpox, she felt that something was not quite right, and decided to rush her son to the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, UK near where she was from.
If Hayley had not rushed her son to the hospital, he might not have recovered. Because she was proactive and listened to her instinct, she was able to get him the help he needed so he could truly recover from the condition.
Since that day, Hayley has made it her mission to warn parents not to use ibuprofen to treat their children’s cases of chickenpox. Because ibuprofen had a disastrous effect on her son Lewis and the photos went viral, people started to listen to Hayley’s warnings about the common drug.
Because of Haley’s good work, the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health has urged doctors and parents to have more awareness around the risk that ibuprofen can pose for some children with chickenpox. Although ibuprofen is not dangerous for every child with the disease, it can pose a real threat.
“(Ibuprofen) is an anti-inflammatory,” Hayley warned. “It reacts with chicken pox making them go deeper into the skin tissue. It was only when we took Lewis to Alder Hey because the doctors from our hospital kept sending him home saying it was ‘just chickenpox’ we found this out. He ended up with septicemia and was admitted straight to Alder Hey as soon as we arrived there.”
The symptoms of septicemia are intense. They include a high fever with chills that come on suddenly, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. There are also other alarming symptoms that get exacerbated with the use of over-the-counter medication.
“It does actually state on the (ibuprofen) 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?”
What do you think about the danger of taking ibuprofen while fighting chickenpox?
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