Fever and skin rashes

Information essentielle, à retenirChildcare services usually have clear policies about keeping kids at home in the event of illness. Read these rules or ask the childcare provider if your child can attend daycare.

Many children develop fever and a rash (pimples or red patches, or both) at the same time. This could be a sign of a contagious infection. Most of these infections are caused by viruses and last a few days. They go away by themselves and have no long-term effects.

The most common infections are roseola and hand-foot-and-mouth disease. They generally don’t require treatment.

There’s also fifth disease and scarlet fever, but they rarely occur in children under two.

Thanks to vaccination programs, measles, rubella, chickenpox, and certain forms of meningitis are now very rare.

A child with fever and a rash may be contagious. For information on how to prevent the transmission of infections to others, see Preventing infections.

What to do?

The presence of a rash (i.e., pimples or red patches on the skin) with fever does not necessarily indicate a serious illness.

It’s usually better to consider the child’s general condition rather than the presence of a rash or how high the fever is. Keep a close eye on your child’s behavior and any other symptoms.

See a doctor right away or take your child to the emergency room if

  • your child’s general condition deteriorates rapidly, or
  • he has one or more of the characteristics listed in the red box on page Fever.

In other cases, follow the recommendations in the What to do if your child has a fever section.

You can contact Info-Santé (8-1-1) at any time for advice from a nurse.