17 doctors weighed in:
How can you get shingles and can a child (7) get it?
17 doctors weighed in

Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics
12 doctors agree
In brief: Reactivation
If you had chickenpox (known or not) or the vaccine, the virus eventually hibernates in nerve centers forever. Reactivation of the virus for whatever reason triggers a migration down the nerve to the skin supplied by the nerve(shingles).
Direct contact with shingles debris can pass the virus & cause chickenpox, not shingles, but kids can get shingles just like adults from re-activation.

In brief: Reactivation
If you had chickenpox (known or not) or the vaccine, the virus eventually hibernates in nerve centers forever. Reactivation of the virus for whatever reason triggers a migration down the nerve to the skin supplied by the nerve(shingles).
Direct contact with shingles debris can pass the virus & cause chickenpox, not shingles, but kids can get shingles just like adults from re-activation.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
Thank
David Escobar
Family Medicine
6 doctors agree
In brief: Chicken Pox
You get shingles if you were infected with chicken pox earlier in life and something activates the dormant virus and causes shingles.
The chicken pox virus never goes away completely, it will lie dormant in one's neural cells. Then, later in life, the virus can re-awaken and cause shingles. Children can get shingles, but this is rare. See your doctor about treatment and prevention.

In brief: Chicken Pox
You get shingles if you were infected with chicken pox earlier in life and something activates the dormant virus and causes shingles.
The chicken pox virus never goes away completely, it will lie dormant in one's neural cells. Then, later in life, the virus can re-awaken and cause shingles. Children can get shingles, but this is rare. See your doctor about treatment and prevention.
David Escobar
David Escobar
Answer assisted by David Escobar, Medical Student
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Cindy Juster
A child who hasn't been immunized against chicken pox could get chicken pox from being exposed to someone with shingles. The risk is lower than if they'd been exposed to someone with full chicken pox, but there still is a risk.
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. William Forsythe
Board Certified, Emergency Medicine
23 years in practice
171K people helped
Continue
107,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors