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Melissa, B.S. Biology/Psychology
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1335
Experience:  B.S. Biology/Psychology - University of Georgia
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My 6 year old son got hives or a rash all over his body

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My 6 year old son got hives or a rash all over his body about 8 days ago, I though it was something he ate, I have been giving him one 25 mg. Benadryl once or twice a day and it's starting to go away. Now my 9 year old today has hives or a rash also head to toe. I'm thinking mabe it's not something they ate, or it could be something they got into could it be contagious, and he got it form his brother? Concerned mom, Julie.

Allergies reactions aren't contagious, so it would be unusual for both of them to have such a reaction at the same time.

Can you tell me more about each child's rash?

  1. Are there raised bumps, or is it flat?
  2. Is the rash simply red, or are there blisters, ulcers, crusts, bleeding?
  3. On what areas of the body is the rash located?
  4. Does it itch or hurt?
  5. Any other symptoms--fever, chills, sweating, aches, fatigue, etc?

Sorry for all the questions, but it will help me answer your question more accurately.

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to M. Carter, M.S.'s Post: The rash they both have is on their arms, legs, trunks it's just red and at first a little raised and now after the 6 year old has had a few days of Benadryl it's gone down, my 9 year old rash is raised too but I started him on Benadryl today. No complaints of itching, I have seen them scratch a very little. Cranky, but not unusual they just got out of school for summer break and they are bored. I didn't take temperatures, but 6 year old felt a little warm the last couple of days and 9 year old same.

Though it's possible that they were both exposed to something in the environment that resulting in an allergic reaction, the situation sounds more like a type of viral rash that one got from the other. There are a variety of viral skin rashes that children get, but they rarely require urgent medical treatment, especially when there are no other symptoms like high fever, vomiting, chills, or trouble breathing. These generic viral rashes can have many different appearances, and be accompanied by some other mild symptoms, but again, as long as neither of your children feel especially ill, they will likely resolve on their own. Among various generic viral causes, Fifth Disease came to mind from your description, which is a common childhood skin rash that can affect the trunk and extremities, and is caused by the parvovirus. None of these causes are typically cause for any worry, and as you've already begun to notice, they will go away in several days (to weeks).

Though treatment isn't required, if either child is uncomfortable from itching, you can continue giving an over-the-counter anti-histamine like benadryl, or apply a hydrocortisone steroid cream (also OTC). Be sure to give them plenty of fluids to aid in recovery from the infection and prevent dehydration, and they'll be back to their usual, rambunctious selves in no time.

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I hope this helps!

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Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Thank you. I will follow up with their doctor tomorrow to make sure I'm not missing anything. Your advice it greatly appreciated!