The early stages of chicken pox include a fever, sore throat, headache or stomach ache, according to KidsHealth. After a few days, the child develops a rash, with fluid filled bumps that have the appearance of pimples.
Children are contagious for one to two days before the rash develops. Mayo Clinic indicates that once the rash develops, it goes through three phases. Initially there are the fluid filled bumps. As the condition progresses, the thin walls containing the fluid break, leaving open sores. The sores then scab over and begin to heal. The rash is itchy, and new lesions continue to form while old ones progress to the next stages.
It takes about two weeks after a child is in contact with a contagious individual for the early symptoms to begin. The disease is normally not harmful to a healthy child, but parents should keep an infected child home from school. Once all the sores crust over, usually in about 10 days, it is safe for the child to return to school, according to WebMD.
WebMD indicates a vaccine is available for chicken pox. Children who receive the vaccine or who have had the disease in the past are unlikely to get it again. However, the virus remains active in the body and sometimes returns years later as shingles, a painful skin rash.