Slapped Cheek vs Scarlet Fever

Thursday, 28 April 2016 / Leave a Comment

Slapped Cheek VS Scarlet Fever

'Muuuuum I'm hot'
is something I'm always hearing my 6 year old daughter complain about. I don't know where she gets her warm bloodiness from, maybe the South African genes from her nan? who knows!
Anyhow's, this particular day before the Easter Holidays, I sent her off to school as normal as she was looking alright and bouncing off the walls hyper as anything so I really did not suspect anything other then maybe a cold sneaking up on her.

About an hour later I received a call from her school to say she had come out in a rash and they suspected slapped cheek, could I come and look at her.
Luckily I only live around the corner so it was no big deal to go round and see this mysterious rash that had appeared on my daughter.
Slapped Cheek?
The Offending Rash
It was rather alarming considering she had a beautiful clear complexion just an hour earlier.
She was fine to stay in school (As past contagious apparently) but I needed 'confirmation' from the doctor.
So then I had the unfortunate job of ringing the doctors gone past 10 am to try and get an appointment. (The world and his dog knows you have to be on the phone at 8 am to get seen that day!) I was rather surprised to be offered an emergency after school appointment (Good ol' NHS) which we went to too be told K's rash was 'post viral' and not slapped cheek.
By the time we got home it had spread to her arms and legs, chest and really did look quite amusing to see her so red! I say amusing lightly because she was so well in her self, just her normal self but completely red with rash!
The rash kept coming and going over the course of  a couple of weeks and it wasn't long before her brothers caught it too.

Slapped Cheek Rash
The boys I never took to the doctors as I knew it would get passed off as 'viral' again. The youngest suffered the most as he came out with a really bad cold...the usual snotty nose and croaky voice.

The last few months I have seen lots of red faced children at the school and heard many stories of rash's some diagnosed as 'Post Viral' and others as 'Slapped Cheek' or 'Scarlet Fever'.

So what are the differences?

If you suspect any rash it is always safe to see your doctor as it could be ANYTHING from a harmless reaction to a more serious reaction to an illness of sorts.

With Scarlet Fever you need antibiotics to reduce the risk of further complications and to stop it from spreading. Slapped Cheek on the other hand is more viral and paracetamol can help make your child feel more comfortable. (Ensure you are using correctly and at the right dose)
Scarlet Fever Rash
Scarlet Fever Raised 'sandpaper' rash
A Scarlet Fever rash feels like sandpaper to the touch and can be extremely itchy for your child.
The Slapped Cheek rash wasn't itchy for any of my kids although some children I know have complained.

If diagnosed with Scarlet fever it is recommended that your child stays home for 24 hours following the start of antibiotic treatment to stop the spread of it.
Slapped Cheek you wouldn't know your child had it until the rash appears which by then they are no longer contagious.

Scarlet Fever symptoms include a sore throat, swollen tongue (often described as 'strawberry tongue') and a high temperature then followed by the pink/red raised lace race (described as feeling like sandpaper or goosebumps on top of sunburn).
Slapped Cheek symptoms are similar with a mild temperature, runny nose, sore throat and generally feeling unwell and an upset stomach followed by a red rash.
Slapped Cheek can be dangerous for pregnant women, the elderly and those with a weakened immune system so if your child has been in contact with people you should let them know.

When my eldest (he's now 9) was younger I don't remember hearing about any of these illnesses though he was prone to after an illness coming out in a 'post viral' rash.
I thought Scarlet Fever was pretty much extinct!

Cases of both these illnesses are on the rise in the UK according to the Department of Health.

You can read more about Scarlet Fever on NHS Choices website.

Have your children had Scarlet Fever/Slapped Cheek?
Or Yourself?
Are you aware of the symptoms?

Let me know your experiences in the comments.

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I'm linking up with Meagan at 'The Mum Project' for her #stayclassy linky party.


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