The cardinals are out singing so Spring is near! It also means that Fifth’s Disease or “Slapped Cheeks Disease” is near. This is generally a very minor virus (the Parvo B19 virus) which causes your cheeks to turn bright red after a mild fever. Once the rash appears, it means that the child is no longer contagious. It will then turn into a fine lacy rash on the extremities. This rash can remain for up to 6 weeks and when your child takes a hot bath/shower or runs around they will turn red like a lobster. There is no significance to this redness, however, you might inadvertently think your child is overheated.
Exposure to fifth’s disease only becomes problematic for people with the blood disorder hereditary spherocytosis or sickle cell anemia, this can cause severe anemia requiring transfusions. It is also problematic for pregnant women, especially school teachers as they’re at greater exposure to contagious children, if exposed there is a small risk of a miscarriage so if you’re exposed call your OB.
Rash Basics – In the following video you’ll learn how to determine if a rash is serious or not, how to blanch a rash properly, and much more!
Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) – There has been an increase of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease recently, which can often cause a fever of up to 104 and at times 105. The symptoms in children under 3 years of age are drooling, irritability, slightly raised red dots on the palms of their hands and soles of their feet. Fever can last up to 5 days. It is critical that kids exhibiting these symptoms drink lots of liquids and take regular Motrin and Tylenol. For more information about HFMD along with pictures of the rashes take a look at this video.
Have a safe, healthy, and fun winter!
All of Us at Westwood-Mansfield Pediatric Associates