What should you do if your baby has a rash?

This is the question I had to ask myself yesterday as C – now 10 months – had developed a rash. My first reaction (like most mums I’m sure) was to have a minor panic, as I ran through meningitis symptoms in my head. She was grizzly, but not really a surprise as she had a cold and a snotty nose, she didn’t shy away from the light, wasn’t floppy and her cries were normal ones. Although I didn’t do the glass test I was pretty certain that it wasn’t meningitis so that was a big relief. (If you suspect your baby might have meningitis or are not sure what their rash might be, the NHS has a great web page on this.)

I first noticed C’s rash on the top of her back:

Baby rash - german measles?

This made me wonder if it was german measles as I remember when I had the illness that it first appeared here on me. Also C hasn’t had her MMR vaccination yet, so it could have been a possibility. Fortunately my sister is a doctor, specialising in infectious diseases, so I emailed her the above photo, and she reassured me that it wasn’t Rubella (german measles), and was probably just viral as C had no high temperature and was mostly herself otherwise.

However the rash then spread to C’s face and a little bit to her eye (not very visible in the photos).

20130910_151709 Rash on baby's face

I still thought it was probably viral and nothing to worry about, but now that I am working as a childminder I wanted to get this confirmed for the other parents, as much as for me. We are lucky enough to have an amazing local GP, where you can get emergency appointments really quickly and easily (I called at 8.30am and got an appointment with our fab GP at 9.40am). I described all of the above, and once he had taken C’s temperature, listened to her chest and checked her over, he confirmed my sister’s suspicion that it was viral and nothing to worry about, and also reassured me that she could be around other babies and children.

He also complimented me on my description of C’s symptoms, as he said he had no questions to ask me as I had answered them all already *beams with pride*.

So for any parents of babies reading this, I would say that if your child seems to be himself/herself, has no temperature, shows no aversion to light, isn’t crying strangely and isn’t floppy you can panic a bit less. But if you have any doubt you should always get your baby checked out with your GP, health visitor or call NHS Direct. You shouldn’t ever be made to feel like a time-waster – I certainly wasn’t yesterday.

I’m also happy to say that C seems to be back to her normal chirpy self today, which is good news as we’ve got a big family wedding to go to in a few days….

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7 thoughts on “What should you do if your baby has a rash?”

    1. Thanks. It is worrying, but we’re lucky that our local GP is so good and available.

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