You can’t help but notice the red, raised patches on your baby’s cheeks. They’re so itchy and uncomfortable that they can cause a fever in some cases. It can even be difficult to get your little one to sleep because he or she can’t stop scratching at the irritated skin.
What you may not know is that this condition is called slapped cheek or Fifth disease and it can also lead to diaper rash if left untreated. This article will discuss what causes this condition, how long it lasts, and how parents can treat their child once diagnosed with Fifth disease.
What is slapped cheek?
Fifth disease, often known as slapped cheek, is caused by a virus that develops a bright red rash on the cheeks. It is particularly common in school-age children. It is contagious and easily spreads from person to person. However, once you’ve been exposed to the virus, you’re unlikely to catch it again. Fifth disease is not considered a severe medical problem because it goes away on its own with little treatment.
Can babies get slapped cheek?
Babies and toddlers can be affected by a mild illness called Fifth disease. Adults are less susceptible to contracting it. However, if they do, the symptoms may vary and be more severe. Fortunately, if your child has been infected with parvovirus B19 once, he or she will almost probably be immune to it for the rest of his or her life. It is different than chicken pox or measles though.
The symptoms of this condition are usually mild but it can also cause serious conditions like severe anemia to children with a weak immune system.
The first sign of this illness is a rash that would appear in both cheeks of your child about a week after contracting it. Several weeks after that it should disappear but the rashes might reappear weeks after later. It is accompanied by fever, runny nose and headache.
What causes slapped cheek and how does it spread?
The virus that causes Fifth disease syndrome in children is known as parvovirus B19. On the onset, it is a highly infectious disease. Coughing or sneezing close to others, surfaces, or items spreads the virus. Wash the hands of your child frequently with soap and water to lessen the chance of transmitting the virus.
How is slapped cheek disease treated?
In most children, viral illness with Fifth disease causes nothing more than cold-like symptoms at first. The main symptom of this condition is a rash that usually goes away after a few days. The majority of children with Fifth disease virus require little to no therapy. Rest and pain relievers such as paracetamol may be effective.
Slapped cheek disease or Fifth disease in a child usually causes very mild symptoms that typically heal on their own after three weeks. But if your child is experiencing the following severe Fifth disease symptoms, seek immediate medical care.
- extreme exhaustion
- sore throat and runny nose
- pale skin
- breathing difficulty
If you are worried, you can have your child’s symptoms of Fifth disease diagnosed by your child’s doctor or healthcare provider. Other signs and symptoms like a mild rash should be treated before it becomes part of serious problems or health issues. Blood tests for your child might be ordered by the doctor to confirm the illness and determine the course of treatment.
Can Fifth disease or slapped cheek cause diaper rash?
There is no conclusive proof that slapped cheek leads to diaper rash. However, rashes may appear on other parts of the body.
Your baby will exhibit the classic Fifth disease rash around a week after contracting Fifth disease. The rash manifests as redness on your baby’s cheeks but not on their nose, mouth, or eyes. It appears as a bright red burn patch on their cheeks as if they had been slapped hence the name of the condition. When the rash appears, the baby is no longer contagious to others.
After a few days, the slapped cheek rash (rosey cheeks) on your child’s cheeks disappears and a more widespread faint red rash appears across his or her body, arms, and legs. This type of body rash typically goes away in a few weeks.
Slapped cheek, also known as Fifth disease, is a viral infection caused by parvovirus B19 and is considered a common childhood illness. The virus that causes this condition is called parvovirus B19 and it’s thought to be spread through respiratory secretions like saliva or mucus.
Although the link between slapped cheek or Fifth disease and diaper rash has not been conclusively proven, many parents report that their child developed a rash after coming down with the fever associated with Fifth disease.
Other parts of the body of your child besides the diaper area can also be affected by Fifth disease, so if your child seems to be suffering from a rash or other symptoms of Fifth disease, it’s best to have them checked out by a doctor or your child’s healthcare provider.