44 answers

Rash from Head to Toe

My 4 year old son has a rash literally from head to toe..Doctor can not see him till 9am tomorrow it's really bad on his face. I am very concerned his temp is 101, he is very tired, and has not eaten for 5 days. Now very minimal yesterday all day he ate 1 pizza roll but is drinking not the usual but little. He also was seen two days ago for being sick and we were told let it run it's course..Any help! thanks

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

thank you for all of your responses very much appreciated! I did take him to the doctors yesterday, I told the doc it was he be seen or i was taking him to the ER, So anyways he said he was not dehydrated and the cause was from his strep throat a few days earlier, he put him on more antibiotics and sent him home. Today he is better thank god!!

Featured Answers

Does he have a sore throat? Could be strep that is now scarlet fever (just meaning the rash, sounds scary but treated very easily w/Amoxicillin). My 6 year old son just got over it, also had the high fever. Only complained a little about his throat but he has a high tolerance for pain.

take him to the local er now. just because the ped Md cant see him until tomorrow you as his mother need to take him now to the er. worse case senerio the staff there thinks you over reacted but you will never see those people again and truly who cares what they think...i personally could not wait until the next day. good luck

Keep a close eye on him. If he becomes more lethargic and is not going to the bathroom, he could be very dehydratd, which is serious. Keep pressing fluids, but if his temp goes up or any of the abovesymptoms worsen, consider the emergency room if the doc won't see him immediately.

More Answers

As a mother and a nurse I would encourage you to take your son into the peds office and demand that your son be seen, they won't turn you away and then find a ped Dr. that will see a sick child when sick. Remember that is their job. Don't be intimidated They only think that they are God. I wish your baby a quick recovery.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,

There are too many commmon illnesses that cause a rash for me to even guess what the little guy might have. The vast majority of them are just things kids get once and they never get them again.

Unitl you speak with your doctor treat the symptoms and try not to get too stressed. Children can sense their parents anxiety and it gets them worked up, and then you get more worried and the cycle continues.

The fever isn't scarry high and not eating much isn't a huge problem (I don't eat when I'm sick either).

His not drinking is a problem. Get his favorite cup, fill it up and get him to take a sip (or more) every half hour or so. It will be an exercise in patience. Avoid straight fruit juices the acids can upset an empty stomach and can cause loose bowels. If you have any pedialite or other electrolite replacement cut it with water and get him to drink that.

Back when my children were little and the dinosaurs roamed the earth, I found great success with a comfortable chair, an extreemly large glass of water (complete with a twisty straw) and a story book.

It sounds like Roseola to me. My daughter had this when she was 1. I was pregnant with my second. It can be dangerous for pregnant women to get this so be careful with that. I don't know where you live, but I have heard that this is going around some of the Boyertown schools. As far as the eating and drinking, I would absolutely want my child seen right away.

I'm guessing Scarlet Fever too. My son had it last year. It's really just strep with a bonus rash. Antibiotics will clear it right up. I'd call your Dr and explain this to him, I don't see how they won't see an ill child for 24 hrs. I know from having strep myself that the pain can get much worse if it is not treated ASAP! If he still won't see him I'd consider the Emergency Room if your insurance is good.

when you go to the doc be sure to explain how the rash progressed:

does he look like he has "slapped" red cheeks? is the rash kind of lacy on the rest of his body?

did the rash start at the top of his head and move downward?

did it start on his palms and soles and move inward?

does it itch or no?

these kind of things will help the doc determine what kind of bug/virus or irritation your son has and how best to treat it.

for now be more concerned with monitoring the fever. also, i'd say to keep an eye out for any changes in his mental status - like being confused, complaining of a headache, that kind of thing.

all the best,


My daughter just had the flu bug and broke out in a rash as well. It looked like hives or a raised rash that covered her from head to toe as well. I gave my daughter an Alavert and it did seem to subside the itching. Benadryl is a good one and is safe for the little ones.

Sounds like it is part of the virus that is running thru his system.

Be patient in the interim and try what I have suggested. If not I would take your child to the emergency room and see what they say.

My daughter's ped's office didn't do much either with her this past visit and I was rather ticked off, but you could also call the dr's office back and tell them that you feel that this is a true emergency and see if they could give an earlier appt.

God luck!

A. C.

As first an foremost a mom and second a nurse, If that was one of my little ones i would take him to the ER. And then maybe look into finding another pediatrician.

My kids experienced something similar before. It started out with a high temp for a few days with them not eating and pretty much lethargic. Once their fever broke they broke out into a rash from head to toe. I took them to the pediatrician who told me it was Rosiola (SP?)which is a common childhood illness. Its not dangerous and there is no medication for it,you basically just have let it run its course. Your son may have that but I would definately take him to the Dr. to make sure its nothing more.

I am NOT a Doctor but the first thing that comes to mind, well first two things that come to mind are the Hand Foot Mouth rash and Strep. Strep is not somthing to mess around with. Since he wont eat it makes me think it doesnt feel good to eat. I volunteer in the school alot and there was a little boy who came in with a minor rash on his face int he morning and by mid morning his face was swollen and rash was spreading down chest and arms. It turned out to be strep. Again I am no Doctor but for sure keep that apptointment tomorrow and I wouldnt allow him to play with the office toys, take some along with you or a book to read him while in waiting room. I hope things are ok with him and he has a speedy recovery from this. Here is a little blurb i found online :

What is hand-foot-and-mouth disease?
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a common childhood illness. It causes sores in the mouth and on the hands, feet, and sometimes the buttocks and legs. Mouth sores can be painful and may make it hard for your child to eat. The disease is not serious, and it usually goes away in a week or so.

It can occur at any time of year, but hand-foot-and-mouth disease is most common in the summer and fall.

What are the symptoms?
At first your child may feel tired, get a sore throat, or have a fever of around 101 F to 103 F. Then in a day or two, your child may get sores or blisters on the hands, feet, mouth, and sometimes the buttocks. In some cases a child will get a skin rash before the blisters appear. The blisters may break open and crust over. The sores and blisters usually go away in a week or so.

knowing you were told to let the illness "run its course," your doctor probably diagnosed your son with a virus. some viruses work their way out of the body through a rash (especially in their final stages). and since your son has not eaten anything for days, it is unlikely it is an allergic reaction to food, but could be environmental (like a wool blanket or soap). apply pressure on the rash and release. if it goes pale and then returns to its original color the rash is most likely not very serious. if the rash remains red while pushing on it you should call your doctor and let them know this. if the rash is uncomfortable for your son, try a lukewarm/warm bath (no soap, as it tends to dry the skin) with or without aveeno calming bath treatment and/or a fragrance-free lotion.
i am not a health care professional - just a mother who has dealt with more skin related issues in the last 2&1/2 years than i care to think of!
good luck and i hope your son is well soon!

the doctor will probably tell you he is fine from the rash standpoint, it is most likely a fever rash,you can probably medicate with a little childrens benedryl if it is bothersome to your son. dont worry about him not eating as long as he is staying hydrated he will be fine try some popsicles in addition they go down easy,it becomes liquid, and who can pass up dessert. a temp of 101 isnt a great concern that is just his boby working thru stuff ,if he goes above 104 and 105 then be abit more concerned. i can give you soom fever reduction tips if needed M.

If his rash is little tiny red bumps (like sandpaper), it could be a streph rash which may be why he's not eating. Check his throat and asked him if his ears hurt.....My 5 year old always gets a rash when he gets streph.....It's usually "thicker" around his groin and under arms. If it is, I'd see if another doctor can see him.

Good luck

TAKE HIM TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM!! Why gamble with your child and wait on the appointment?? He hasn't eaten, has a fever and a rash all over- it may be minor, but then again it can be very serious.
Also- you run an in-home day care and need to be responsible for all the other children your child is around; what if it's contagious???
You just can't gamble with these things.

At this point, you have already been to the doctor. A child not eating for 1 day is a concern. I'm surprised you waited so long to call the doc. And a pizza roll is not the food to ever feed a child. Especially not a sick one. Food to eat when sick- bannanas, applesauce, dry toast, saltines, beef chicken or vegetable stock, hot tea, nothing frozen or from a can. Your body needs actual nuterients to fight disease. It's not surprising for a child to eat SMALL amounts of food while sick- but they do need to eat something. Bannanas are ideal because kids love them and they are LOADED with nutrients. A vomiting child should be fed dry toast, saltines, and hot tea- mint herbal. And keep them hydrated. Use Pedialyte if necessary. The rash in and of itself isn't alarming, nor is the fever- it's the not eating that should have you alarmed. If the family doc couldn't get you in after your child hasn't eaten for days, you should have gone to the emergency room or the doc should have made an exception and given you an emergency appointment.

Does he have a sore throat? Could be strep that is now scarlet fever (just meaning the rash, sounds scary but treated very easily w/Amoxicillin). My 6 year old son just got over it, also had the high fever. Only complained a little about his throat but he has a high tolerance for pain.

Hello S.,

Hang in there girlfriend!! I just wanted to say I'm no doctor but my children both woke up last Saturday with a really bad rash it started on their foreheads and continued down their faces.My first thought was scarlet fever, or strep throat. I took them to urgent care the doctor there thought it was something they ate. I was not convinced as they both ate seperate meals the night before. He prescribed steroids for both of them and told me to give them benedryl. They both had mild fevers too. My son was much better like overnight. However my daughter got worse. I took her that Monday to our pediatrician her doctor took one look at her and said discontinue the steroids!! She said it was all viral and it would need to run it's course. Having this said she really had no other symptoms, except low grade fever. She was pretty much rash free in about 5 days total.
The other thing I wanted to mention is my girlfriend is a nurse and her neighbors kid had the rash thing, my friend went to a demonstration at her house and the next day her little one woke up with the rash and a 104 fever!! Her Dr. also said this is all viral and it must run its course. There is sooo much junk going around right now!! It's hard to keep our kid healthy. I hope my experiences may be of some help to you. I would love to hear back from you to see what the diagnosis was. Feel better to your little guy:)

It is quite possible that he has Scarlet Fever. My kids had it before, high fever, rash and miserable. All it really is is bad strep throat with a rash. My friend's little boy just had it about a month ago. I hope he's o.k. Good luck. Just try to keep him comfortable.

It sounds like your son has Rosiola (sp). My son had this and it was a rash all over his body with a temp. There is nothing they can do for it either. I wish you luck and hope that is all that is wrong with the little guy.

Could also be Rosiola. That starts with a fever for a few days and then ends with a rash.

Could he have exzcema? That happened to my son. He developed a rash and a fever and after several doctors and hospital visits it was determined it was a severe break out of exzcema (we didn't even know he had it at the time.)

Dear S.,
About me, I am a dental hygienist and know alittle bit about healthcare. I also have 3 daughters ages 10,16 and 22 and consider myself "experienced" in sick children. If it were my child, I would immedialtely get a second opinion elsewhere, like today, or take him to the emergency room of your hospital and have them take a look especially if his fever worsens. A fever of 101 and little to drink can get pretty serious fast (dehydration). The rash needs to be addressed. I think it's ridiculous with these symptoms that your doctor does not take you right away! It seems like this illness is getting worse and not better. (The tirdness concerns me also). Yes this could be a virus,none that I've experienced, but then I would want to know what type of virus it is and all the symptoms that are to be expected. I hope this helps. Take care.

Keep a close eye on him. If he becomes more lethargic and is not going to the bathroom, he could be very dehydratd, which is serious. Keep pressing fluids, but if his temp goes up or any of the abovesymptoms worsen, consider the emergency room if the doc won't see him immediately.

I would take him to Children's Hospital because he is obviously allergic to something. Good luck.

Could be a number of things. It could be hives if he's had anything different to eat or a new medication. The other thing I know that causes fever and rash is fifth's disease. Sorry, I can't help much beyond that. Does the rash seem to itch him? R.

My middle son had a rash from head to toe once, he was red I should say, more then rashy and blotchy, and it was scarlet fever. This stems from strep throat. It looked worse then anything. They gave him an antibiotic and he was fine. It just looked really bad. Maybe its that? Its hard to look on line because there is soooo much info out there. Good luck at this appointment.

Is it very red on his face but like pin pricks on the rest of his body & feel like sandpaper?? That is scarlet fever. My son just had it. It is caused by strep & he was given penicilin. I would call them back & insist he be seen today! It is VERY serious. It can cause heart & kidney problems!

Hi S. -

My 2 yr old had something similar about a week ago (rash all over with a temp). Rashes can develop with fever..but they are usually flat - no texture. Does your child's rash feel bumpy...sandpaper-ish? Raised rashes can coincide with strep (as well as other things). Perhaps your little one's throat is sore...may explain why they are not eating well. My little guy did have a raised rash and they started antibiotics. Ended up not being strep....just a nasty virus. Hope this helps!!

K. D

go online and google up rashes and then go to images and see if same as one of them.

If worried take him to hospital.

Wouldn't have any other kids over now, could be contagious, see you said home day care.

My first inclination would be roseola (not sure of spelling here) and my second would Fifth's Disease. You can read about both on Web MD. My son has had both and they are pretty common childhood illnesses. I don't recall antibiotics or other meds for either... it just runs its course. Good luck!

I have no personal experience with what you are describing, but if you're concerned, go to Hershey Children's Hospital, the Hershey Medical Fishburn Family Medicine Clinic, or call your pediatrician and another acute care clinic (I'm only aware of the Fishburn one). It's hard to wait, I know, when you see your baby suffering and don't know what's going on. I'd always rather be safe than sorry. Good luck and hope he's feeling better soon!

Since he is 4 did he have his chicken pox vaccine booster recently? My daughter developed a mild case of chicken pox from it. The pediatrician said that it can occur up to 21 days after being vaccinated and she did have a brief fever.

If you are not comfortable waiting do you have anything like a Med Express, Minute Clinic (CVS), or Take Care Clinic (Walgreens)in your area? That would avoid an unnecessary trip to the ER, unless you feel this warrants it.

Best of luck. Let us know what you find out.

I would call back the Dr. and ask to speak to hom direct, tell him of your concerns, follow your instincts, take him to the er if you are still uneasy.

I have been a pediatric intensive care nurse for 21 years. First thought is that it sounds viral. I would suggest an Urgent Care facility if there is one near you. Otherwise it's FLUIDS, FLUIDS AND MORE FLUIDS !!!! Make sure he is urinating well, making tears, etc. Dehydration is a big concern. Hope this helps. Feel free to email me

I really don't know what to tell you but I want to wish you luck with it. I hope everything turns out alright.

My son had something like this recently and it was strep throat. He didn't really complain about his throat, just his stomach and he actually threw up a couple of times too. Then his whole body broke out in this rash. The doctor said that when you have a lot of the strep infection in your throat it throws off toxins that go down into your belly and that's what makes your stomach sick. The rash is also a classic sign of strep, especially if it is a "sandpaper" rash - a bit rough to the touch. Good Luck!

Did he have the rash and fever when you took him in? If not, then I would have him seen. If your doctor won't take you until tomorrow, then I'd find one that can take you today. I don't know where you are located but in Mechanicsburg is Bowmansdale family practice...they always make time to see all of us the day we call, especially if our children are sick. The other thing you could do is call a nurse hotline and explain what you have on your hands and let them advise you as well. i always think it is better to err on the side of caution. If your gut is telling you to worry or that something more is going on...go with that and get him seen. Better to have people think you are paranoid, than to have regrets about your decision! Good Luck and i hope he feels better soon.

take him to the local er now. just because the ped Md cant see him until tomorrow you as his mother need to take him now to the er. worse case senerio the staff there thinks you over reacted but you will never see those people again and truly who cares what they think...i personally could not wait until the next day. good luck

If you can give him some bendryll. There is a virus going around. Sometimes that can cause a rash. He is having a reaction to something especially with running a fever. Go to the emergency room or to a urgent care center. Have you given him childrens tylenol or Motrin? You can also give him a bath in the aveno oatmeal bath. why make him suffer and have yourself worried.

Could be strep. Make sure they check for that. My niece used to get a rash with strep as her only symptom! D.

If you have one in your area, take him to an immediate care clinic. If you're not sure if you have one, call the doctor's office and ask. If not, you can get a referral to the emergency room.

I'd go to the emergency room, then next week change doctors!
ButterflyLindaMarie at yahoo dot com

Sounds a lot like Fifth Disease. It's still not one of the commonly known viral illnesses, maybe because most kids have a milder case, but your son's symptoms sound about right. Here's a URL for a nice description of the disease:
According to the site, your son should be fine, there are few complications for otherwise healthy kids. Also note that it is no longer contagious once the rash appears, so it shouldn't interrupt your daycare schedule.
TLC and chicken soup, maybe some Spongebob therapy (works like a charm for my 5 year old when she feels under the weather)
Hope your little guy feels better soon.

Hi S.,
First thing that comes to mind is a viral infection. When my daughter was 4 she had what is called "Fifth Disease." We called it the virus from hell. The symptoms are high fever 101 and above, rash all over body (especially torso, hands, face), sensitivity to touch, light and sound, no appetite. My daughter had a high fever above 101, I couldn't hold her because her body ached so badly, she wouldn't drink anything from the refrig. because it was too cold so I gave her juice warm (apple juice or gatorade), and she had no appetite. I hate to say it, but it took exactly a week to the day for her to get over it. I just kept her on Motrin and Tyelnol around the clock. You can rotate them every 3 hours. The day the fever broke she was like a new kid. We happened to be leaving for vacation the day she got it. So we couldn't even go outside to walk her because the sunlight hurt her eyes and the heat made her body ache more. I wish you the best. Use your motherly instinct, if you don't feel comfortable waiting until tomorrow call and insist you get in today or take him to the ER or Urgent Care center if you insurance will cover. My peditricians are wonderful so I can't imagine waiting 24 hours. My daughter's doctors get her in within hours of me calling. I wish you and your son the best and a speedy recovery. J. D

Sounds like rosiola, if that is how it iis spelt. If the rash is present it means it is on its way out. Symtoms are a somewhat high fever for a few days. Just use your fever reducer and he will be fine. Also keep your doctors appointment to be sure. But it is just a virus all kids get once.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.