Shaken Baby Syndrome

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Amniotic fluid problems

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Antenatal Classes

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  • Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Tuesday, 21 July 2015 16:28
  • Amniotic fluid problems

    Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:54
  • Choosing a pre-school

    Friday, 10 April 2015 17:50
  • Newborn reflexes

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:49
  • Mastitis

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:41
  • Pelvic floor exercises

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:20
  • Colic

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:11
  • Antenatal Classes

    Monday, 03 June 2013 09:34
  • Strap-in-the-Future

    Thursday, 30 June 2011 13:52

Scarlet Fever

Scarlet fever is caused by certain strains of the group A streptococci bacteria (also responsible for strep throat) and is characterised by a general sunburn-like scarlet rash and high fever. It is common to think of scarlet fever as a strep throat with a rash. It is also sometimes referred to as scarletina; however, this term may be used to describe milder forms of the same illness, or the rash itself. Scarlet fever is uncommon in children under the age of 2 and is generally a disease of school-aged children between 5-15 years of age (keepkidshealthy, 2010; Leary, 1990).



Symptoms usually develop within 1-7 days (incubation period) after being exposed to someone with a strep throat or scarlet fever and include the following:

·         Fever.

·                After 24-48 hours of developing symptoms, a red rash consisting of very small red bumps appears, initially on the neck and groin and then spreading to the rest of the body. The rash generally lasts for 5-6 days, has a sandpaper-like feel and blanches (goes white) if you press it.

·                Dark, hyperpigmented areas may develop on the skin, especially in skin creases. These are known as Pastia’s lines.

·                Your child’s forehead and face may appear red and flushed, as they are often not affected by the rash.

·                A pale area is usually evident around the mouth (circumoral pallor).

·                The rash is generally accompanied by a red, swollen throat and the tonsils may be covered with white pus or a whitish material.

·                Swollen glands, decreased appetite and energy levels, vomiting and headache are also common.

·                Your child’s tongue may have a whitish coating, with the red, swollen papillae of the tongue protruding through it, giving the appearance of a ‘strawberry tongue’.

·                After the rash has subsided, the skin may peel in a similar manner to that which occurs after being sunburnt (keepkidshealthy, 1999; PatientUK, 2010).



A diagnosis of scarlet fever is made on the basis of symptoms, such as the characteristic red rash, as well as by performing a throat culture to establish the presence of the streptococcus bacterium. Sometimes a blood test is also done to confirm the diagnosis (PatientUK, 2010).



·                A 10-day course of penicillin or other appropriate antibiotics, in the case of penicillin-sensitive individuals, is advised. It is important that your child finish the course of antibiotics to ensure that all the bacteria are killed and to prevent any serious complications associated with scarlet fever. Scarlet fever is highly contagious and your child should be isolated for the first 24-48 hours after antibiotic treatment begins.

·                Ponstan or Panado may be given in appropriate doses to reduce your child’s body temperature and make him more comfortable.

·                Ensure that your child’s fluid intake is sufficient to avoid dehydration (Greeneinc, 2010; PatientUK, 2010).

(See section on how to reduce your child’s fever for more fever reduction techniques.)