Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rashes After Fever in Children: Symptoms and Treatment

My daughter started to have fever Thursday night. It continued until the whole Friday. The only reason we could think of why she had fever was her teething. We thought that maybe it had something to do with her molars coming in.  We felt two big lumps on both of the molar spots of her gums. She was also showing other signs of teething like chewing her fingers, and drooling. Low grade fever is one of the typical symptoms she gets when a tooth is about to erupt. But this time, it was not low, but high fever. I've read that in child teething, molars are more painful to deal with and symptoms are more unpleasant than with a regular tooth. So, the cause of her high fever could be the molars—we assumed.

Symptoms and Fever Treatment

Aside from her high fever (between 98°F to 100°F) and other signs of teething, her loss of appetite was terrible. She refused to eat almost everything we gave her starting Friday night. The whole day of Friday all I did was hold her. She didn't want me to put her down. She was so clingy and needy.

We used store brand acetaminophen for children to help reduce her fever on Thursday night. It didn't help at all. She was noticeably warm the whole night. Because her temperature didn't go down the whole day of Friday, my husband decided to get another over-the-counter children's medicine to treat her fever. He got home with Infant's Advil Drops. It's a concentrated white-grape flavored drops made to reduce fever or relieve pain. I tell you, this medicine was very effective in alleviating our daughter's high fever. The effect of the medicine was fast. Few minutes after giving the Infant's Advil Drops to her, her fever significantly dropped. However, after 8 hours from taking the medicine, the fever started to go up again. We gave her the Advil Drops once in the morning and once at night on Saturday, and one dose Sunday morning. Fever was low Sunday night, so we only gave her the store-brand acetaminophen.

Sunday night, some red bumps were showing on her neck and the side of her face. I thought it's eczema. On the other hand, my husband thought it could be the effect of the high fever. Monday morning, her chest was full of rashes, and there were some on her back. We applied the 2.5% hydrocortisone thinking it's eczema and coated it with lotion. Several hours had passed, I checked if the rashes went away. It was still there. This time, the back was full of the red tiny bumps too. I came to a conclusion that it was not eczema because it didn't go away after administering 2.5% of hydrocortisone and I didn't see her crazily itching her body covered with rashes. When I took a closer look on the rashes, they didn't look like eczema at all. So, I researched online. I found out that children affected by Roseola virus had the exact, same symptoms (high fever, runny nose, mild diarrhea, loss of appetite) she had the past days. She could have been infected last week in the mall's play area. It's not a serious type of viral infection. Nonetheless, we can't just "self-diagnose" our daughter basing on what we read online. We needed to see her pediatrician. The safest and right thing to do.

Doctor Findings and Rash Treatment

The pediatrician's diagnosis was viral exanthem. He said it's a common rash that affects children between 6 months to 2 years old (or 3) specially during winter or summer season. It's not something to be worried about. Rashes go away after 3 to 5 days from the day it showed up.

He advised us to give our daughter a teaspoon of Benadryl (antihistamine) every 6 to 8 hours. The medicine will help clear out some of the rashes, if not totally. After 2 hours of giving her Benadryl, I noticed that some of the rashes has cleared out.

In the meantime, she ate the whole cup of yogurt for breakfast and some baby food for lunch. It's quite a relief that she's starting to have appetite for food. Her appetite was the most challenging part of what she's going through with this viral rash.

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