Imagine this…your baby suddenly comes down with a high fever, about 102, is irritable and seems very uncomfortable but has no other obvious symptoms. What do you do? This happened to us with my 10-month old daughter, Zoey, a few weeks ago. When taking her temperature, I originally used a handheld thermometer, the standard one they give you in the hospital. She was so wiggly and miserable that she wouldn’t stay still long enough for me to get an accurate reading but what it read was 101.6. I could tell by just feeling her that her actual temperature was higher than that. We ended up getting a forehead and ear thermometer that you can get on Amazon (link provided below,) that only took seconds to read, which was perfect for my squirmy sick baby. That temperature was 103. I couldn’t figure out what it could possibly be; it was a Friday, late afternoon, so the doctor’s office was closed. We assumed it was teething due to the fussiness and temperature, although I knew that teething temps are usually around 99 or lower.
During the night she would wake up at least three times and this lasted for 3 days. The fussiness was constant and she wanted continuous cuddling and would only stop crying for minutes at a time. The heat I could feel coming off of her was scary so we kept watching her temperature to make sure it didn’t go above 103, which was our agreed upon temperature to warrant a hospital visit. During times where her temp would get around 102 and she was uncontrollably fussy we would give her Tylenol to help her fever go down so she wasn’t so uncomfortable. On late Sunday night her temperature finally broke and she began acting herself again. No teeth had broken through, no cough, no runny nose, we were really confused by the whole situation but so thankful her temperature was finally gone!
Monday morning she slept in till about 10 am. When I went to get her dressed for the day I noticed a rash on her stomach that was reaching out towards her neck, I noticed patches on her forehead as well. I immediately called her doctor’s office because I was stumped as to what was going on with my baby. Luckily we were able to get an appointment that afternoon and I told her doctor about the fever, fussiness, and now the rash. She looked over the rash, which had spread, at this point, further down her stomach, buttocks, and up on her neck, she confidently said it was “Roseola”. Apparently this is a very common viral infection among children 6 months-2 years old, but can occur in older children and rarely adults. My oldest never experienced this infection so I was obviously very concerned but my worry was put at ease when the doctor told me how common this virus was in babies.
I wanted to write this post for any of you Gorgeous Mamas out there who might go through something similar and to save you from getting some extra grey hairs. Here are some facts I learned from the doctor:
- The doctor did say that once they get Roseola they usually don’t come down with it again.
- Onset of fever is about 10 days from the actual exposure of it.
- It is more worrisome in the fever stage because high fevers like this can sometimes cause seizures. Though it is a possibility, only about 3% of cases result in a seizure.
- Once the fever has broken and the rash has begun they are no longer contagious.
- It is ok to put your child back in daycare once they have the rash (do inform staff that they had Roseola).
Symptoms: (Do remember not all symptoms may be present, fever and rash are the most telling)
- Sudden onset of high fever (103-104)
- Fever lasts for 3-5 days
- Irritability (in child, and therefore you!)
- Swollen Glands
- Runny nose
- Puffy eyelids
- Mild diarrhea
- Within 12-24 hours of broken fever a rash suddenly appears
Since Audrey never had Roseola, we were a little confused and worried but I am thankful it happened over the weekend so we didn’t jump the gun and take her to the doctor in the midst of the fever, thus having the doctors poke and prod her to find a diagnosis then only later have her break out in a rash revealing to us the actual virus.
As always, consult with your doctor, but keep calm and know that it is fairly common. Usually just simple monitoring of their temperature and possibly giving them a dose of Tylenol to bring the fever down and increase their comfortableness should do the trick. You could also try a semi-luke warm bath. In the end, you may find that you’re actually happy to see a rash appear on your child if your little one experiences these symptoms!
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**All information was received from doctor and following doctor’s pamphlet: http://www.abcdpediatrics.com/advisor/pa/pa_roseola_hhg.htm