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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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Child’s cheeks are red and flushed. What could it be?

Resolved Question:

My 4 year old son''s cheeks have been red and flushed, off and on since Thursday. (this is not normal for him) He is on Ammociclian for an ear infection, Ibuprofin as needed, and Keppra (seizure medication). He is acting fine, playing like normal, anything to be concerned about?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Melissa replied 9 years ago.

Does he have a fever or any other symptoms? How long has he been on the antibiotics and Keppra? Does he have any allergies?

Customer: replied 9 years ago.

No fever. He has been on Keppra since last March. He has a peanut allergy. He has had a cold for about 10 days, the ear infection was diagnosed 1 week ago.

Expert:  Melissa replied 9 years ago.

If the cheek redness suddenly started, he may have a different viral infection than the common cold...something known as "fifth disease." There's no need to be alarmed however, as this is an extremely common childhood illness, and usually, very mild. The most noticeable symptom is the red cheeks, almost looking as though he's been slapped, and it may come and go, getting worse when he's hot, stressed, or ill (such as with the ear infection). In addition to the rash, cold-like symptoms are common, so it's not surprising that he seems to have a cold at the same time. Sometimes, the rash can seem to spread to the child's trunk (chest and back), hands and feet, but many children have the virus with few to no symptoms at all. Usually, the cold-like symptoms begin before the rash, and at this time, they are contagious. Once the rash appears, however, this is no longer so.

Like most viral infections, there's not much you can do for it, as antibiotics don't work for viral infections. Fifth disease is treated the same as a cold, with rest and fluids, and perhaps tylenol or ibuprofen if he's uncomfortable, achy, or develops a fever. The rash usually lasts from 7-10 days, but can persist for up to a month in some cases.

If the rash or cold symptoms persist longer than 2 weeks, or he has a persistant fever or one higher than 103.5 degrees, or begins to develop other symptoms such as trouble breathing, sore throat, or blisters on the skin, you will need to have him seen by his pediatrician to rule out other possibilities, including other infections (roseola, scarlet fever, rubella, and measles), allergic reactions, or skin conditions such as eczema or rosecea.

I hope this helps, and happy holidays!

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