Rash in Infants and Children

Rash in Children

It's not uncommon for children of all ages to develop a rash. Most rashes are not cause for concern, but some rashes need a doctor's attention.

Answering the questions in this health decision guide will help you understand more about common childhood rashes, and help you know when to contact your doctor for medical care. If your baby is less than one month, visit our guide on Rashes in Newborns.

Please note, this guide is not meant to take the place of a visit to your pediatrician's office.

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Infections, with bacteria or viruses, often cause rashes. Some of these infections are more serious than others. Fever is another sign of infection.

Which of the following statements describes your child?

My child has a rash and a fever.

My child has a rash but has not had a fever.

My child has a rash that started after a fever went away.

If your child has a rash that appeared a day or two after getting over a fever, he probably has roseola, a mild illness caused by a virus. The rash typically consists of flat, red spots. The spots turn white if your press on them and may also have a "halo" around them. If your child has roseola, he may also have swollen glands, crankiness, and some diarrhea.

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