Hayley Lyons, from Warrington in England, had an experience that most parents can relate to: her son, Lewis, caught chicken pox. Lewis was in pain and unbearably itchy, so Hayley took him to see the doctor.
The concerned mom had no reason to question the doctor’s authority, so she did what she was told: she gave little Lewis ibuprofen. Hayley had no idea at the time that her son’s condition was about to get much, much worse.
This is why you NEVER give kids with chickenpox Ibuprofen
Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory medication, but while a child-sized dose of this drug is a safe way to treat a variety of medical complaints, it was the wrong thing for Lewis’s chicken pox. Hayley knew this almost as soon as Lewis’s temperature spiked and his condition got suddenly worse.
The little boy’s skin blistered and the itching progressed into unbearable pain. The doctors continued to reassure Hayley that her son’s symptoms were normal, but by now Hayley was not so sure. Her instincts were spot on.
The highly contagious bacterial infection wreaking havoc on Lewis’s body was too much for the little boy’s immune system to take. Lewis contracted septicemia, and his frantic mom rushed him to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool for treatment.
It was thanks to Hayley’s quick thinking that her son lived to tell the tale.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) April 8, 2016
Since the family’s frightening ordeal and the shock of realizing that the medical professionals’ advice had made her son sicker, Hayley has made it her personal mission to share her story with others. Heart-wrenching images of her little boy in hospital accompanied Hayley’s frank account of a terrifying, near-tragic experience.
According to the Mirror, Hayley’s post was shared more than 350,000 times in less then 48 hours.
"Chickenpox is going round again can I please remind people NOT to give your children nurofen/ibuprofen. 4 different…
“Chicken pox is going round again; can I please remind people not to give your children nurofen [or] ibuprofen,” Hayley posted online, courtesy of Love What Matters. “Four different doctors from our local (out of hours) prescribed it for Lewis as we couldn’t get his temp down,” the mom explained. “This type of medicine is an anti inflammatory, it reacts with chicken pox making them go deeper into the skin tissue.”
“Only because we persevered and took Lewis to a children’s hospital off our own back was he okay,” Hayley explained. “This could have ended up so much worse if it wasn’t for those doctors at Alder Hey and their advice, care, and knowledge.”
Despite a spate of unfortunate misinformation, Hayley does have the advice of trusted professionals behind her, Mayo Clinic, for one. The medical center shared that “some studies suggest this type of medication may lead to skin infections or tissue damage.” For Hayley, that’s an understatement.
For parents everywhere, Hayley implores you to err on the side of caution.
Mercifully, Hayley’s sweet young son made a full recovery despite being left riddled with scars from the potentially life-threatening condition. “Lewis is fine now,” Hayley told the Manchester Evening News, “[but] he still has the scars. My friend’s daughter has chicken pox,” the conscientious mom continued, “so when I saw that it was going round again I decided to share these photos of Lewis.”
“Parents need to be aware that this can happen,” Hayley stated, and we couldn’t agree more. The more information we have, the safer our children will be.