The other day I noticed a dark red patch on my daughter’s face – it looked like she had been slapped in the face – even though I know she hadn’t. At first I thought I had missed a spot when applying her sunscreen, but as the week went on the redness became splotchier and seemed to move across her face.
Now the rash has moved down her arms and onto her trunk. I also noticed some splotchy-ness on my other daughter’s face and neck. The fact that I now see it on both of them really leads me to believe we are dealing with Fifth Disease.
Unless your kids have contact with someone who is pregnant (or if you are pregnant and have been exposed), there really isn’t much you can do about Fifth Disease other than to let it run its course. It is viral and has no lasting effects. As a matter of fact, once the rash appears, your child is no longer contagious and chances are you didn’t know they had it when they were contagious.
Now hindsight is 20-20 and looking back on the week, my youngest daughter was very tired on Tuesday and extra grumpy, but I had no way of knowing that it was connected to the Fifth Disease at the time.
For a complete description of Fifth Disease, pictures of the rash, and additional resources, visit the Kids Health site.