* Rash over large areas or most of the body (widespread or generalized)
* Occasionally just on hands, feet, and buttocks—but both sides of body
* Red or pink rash
* Small spots, large spots, or solid red skin
Main Cause: A 2- or 3-day rash occurring with a viral illness. Viral rashes usually have symmetrical pink spots on the trunk.
Return to School:
* Most viral rashes are no longer contagious once the fever is gone.
* For minor rashes, your child can return to child care or school after the FEVER is gone.
* For major rashes, your child can return to child care or school after the RASH is gone or your doctor says it’s safe to return with the rash.
Call 911 Now (Your Child May Need an Ambulance) If:
* Purple or blood-colored rash with fever
* Sudden onset of rash (within 2 hours) AND also has difficulty with breathing or swallowing
* Not moving or too weak to stand
Call Your Doctor Now (or in Alberta, Canada call 780-408-LINK) If:
* Your child looks or acts very sick
* Purple or blood-colored rash WITHOUT fever
* Bright red skin that peels off in sheets
* Large blisters on skin
* Bloody crusts on lips
* Taken a prescription medication within the last 3 days
* Menstruating and using tampons
Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (Between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm) If:
* Widespread rash but none of the symptoms described herein (Reason: needs a diagnosis)
Home care advice for widespread rashes:
1. For Non-Itchy Rashes: No treatment is necessary except for heat rashes, which respond to cool baths.
2. For Itchy Rashes
* Wash the skin once with soap to remove irritants.
* Then give your child cool baths without any soap 4 times per day for 10 minutes whenever the itch is uncomfortable (CAUTION: Avoid any chill).
* Follow with calamine lotion or a baking soda solution (1 teaspoon in 4 oz of water or 5 mL in 120 mL of water).
3. Fever Medicine: For fever above 102°F (39°C), give acetaminophen (eg, Tylenol) or ibuprofen (eg, Advil)
• If your child has a fever, avoid contact with other children and especially pregnant women until a diagnosis is made.
* Most viral rashes are contagious (especially if a fever is present).
* Your child can return to child care or school after the rash is gone or your doctor says it’s safe to return with the rash.
5. Expected Course: Most viral rashes disappear within 48 hours.
6. Call Your Doctor if your child becomes worse.
Based on recommendations/advice in “My Child is Sick; Expert Advice for Managing Common Illnesses and Injuries”, 14th Edition, by Barton D. Schmitt