Rashes in children are very common. Rashes are one of the most common reasons parents visit the doctor with their child. In most cases a rash does not indicate a serious condition, but in some cases they do.

Types of rashes

There are many different types of rashes:

  • Heat rash.
  • Nappy rash.
  • Eczema.
  • Viral rashes such as chicken pox, rubella, measles, slapped cheek.
  • Cellulitis.
  • Fungal rash.
  • Allergic reaction including food, medicine or skin contact.

If children are well and show no other symptoms with their rash, then they can simply be observed for a couple of days. Many rashes will disappear without any treatment. One type of rash can have different causes.

When to seek help

If your child has:

  • A fever and purplish patches or tiny red dots that do not blanch, which may be a sign of sepsis and meningitis.
  • A high temperature in addition to the rash.
  • Vomiting.
  • Breathing difficulties.
  • Signs of being generally unwell and not acting themselves.
  • If you are concerned at all, seek medical attention.


Treating your child’s rash depends on their overall condition, however general ways to treat rashes may include:

  • Bacterial skin infections should be treated with topical antibiotics.
  • Antihistamines may be required to reduce the itching.
  • Cool baths.
  • Cortisone creams if applicable.

Points to remember

  • Rashes are caused by many different things.
  • Whilst people have been known to use the ‘glass test’ to assess severity of a rash, please note this is not always 100 % reliable.
  • If the rash persists consult you doctor.
  • If your child is unwell with the rash seek medical advice.

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