If your child has any of the following features:
Go to the nearest Hospital Emergency (A&E) Department or phone 999
Please ring your GP surgery or call NHS 111 - dial 111
Continue providing your child’s care at home. If you are still concerned about your child, call NHS 111 – dial 111
Most rashes require no medical input and simply get better by themselves without any treatment. This includes viral rashes. If your child has a fever and is distressed, you may consider giving them paracetamol (calpol) and/or ibuprofen (although ibuprofen should be avoided if your child has chickenpox).Some rashes require you to keep your child off from nursery or school. This includes chickenpox and scarlet fever. Take a look at the Healthier Together website for more information under the “Should your child go to nursery/schooltoday?” section.
Skin rashes are extremely common in babies and children. A skin rash associated with fever is most often due to a viral infection. This occurs along with other symptoms such as runny nose and cough. The rash can vary in shape and size,usually appearing as blotchy red spots commonly affecting most of the body. These rashes are called ‘non-specific’,which means that it is hard to say which specific virus is the cause.
Most rashes usually appear quite quickly and only last for a few days.
Not all rashes are due to viral infections. If your child develops a rash that doesn’t fade under pressure using the glass test, they need to be seen urgently by a doctor. Other features that you should look out for painful skin rashes, blistering rashes and rashes affecting the lips and tongue. If you child has had chickenpox in the past couple of days and is now getting more unwell with a high fever and a spreading red rash, they need to be seen urgently. If your child appears unwell to you, in terms of being difficult to rouse, pale and floppy or if they are struggling to breath, you should have them seen urgently by a doctor. If their temperature stays above 38°C for more than 5 days, you should also have them seen.
This guidance is written by healthcare professionals from across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.