Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of this disease vary person to person, but in most cases it develops as follows:
1. First day: fever from 101 to 104 degrees; red and sore throat; fuzzy tongue; white coating on tonsils.
2. Headache, swollen neck glands; vomiting (sometimes).
3. By the second day: bright red rash that breaks out on face (except right around mouth) and in groin area.
4. By third day: rash, which feels smooth to the touch and may itch, spreads to rest of body. Temperature falls, and tongue turns bright red.
5. By sixth day: rash fades and skin and tongue may peel exposing raw, tender skin.
What to do now
1. Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks lots of lots of liquids. Provide soft foods that won’t irritate a raw throat.
2. Your doctor may recommend acetaminophen to reduce fever and relieve pain. (Never give aspirin to a child under 12 who has an illness such as chicken pox, flu, or any other illness you suspect of being caused by a virus).
When to call a doctor
1. If your child has a temperature of 102 degrees or higher.
2. If your child has a sore throat with a rash.
3. If he or she has other symptoms of strep throat or scarlet fever.
4. If your child doesn’t get better with treatment at home.
How to prevent it
1. Keep your child away from anyone who has been diagnosed with a strep infection.
2. Once scarlet fever is diagnosed, make sure other family members are tested for strep if they develop a sore throat, with or without a rash.
3. Get prompt diagnosis and treatment for strep throat or other strep infections.