Facts About Roseola

Facts About Roseola

Roseola is a common infection in children ages 6 to 24 months. Roseola is caused by a virus.

Symptoms + risks

Children younger than 4 months or older than 4 years don’t usually get roseola. Most children are not very sick with roseola.

Roseola starts with a fever. After 3 to 5 days, the fever goes down  and a rash appears on the child’s face or body. The rash is made up of small, red dots that last for a day or two.

There can be a high fever that causes febrile (fever) seizures or convulsions in some children.

It is hard to know if a child has roseola until the rash appears. A doctor can tell if the child’s fever is caused by roseola or some more serious infection.

How is roseola spread?

Roseola is not very infectious.

We are not sure how it spreads from person to person.

Children with roseola get better without treatment and usually have no further problems.

What to do at home

  • If another child has roseola, watch your child for signs of roseola.
  • Call your doctor if your child develops a fever of 38.5ºC or higher or a febrile (fever) seizure.
  • To bring a child’s fever down, keep clothing light, such as a T-shirt and shorts or diaper.
  • If the child has a temperature of 38.5ºC or higher, sponge baths with a washcloth soaked in cool, not cold, water can help reduce the fever.
  • Offer your child plenty of fluids to drink.

For more information about how to look after a child with a fever, see Facts About Fever.

  • When taking care of a child with roseola, wash your hands often and always before preparing and eating food.
  • Tell caregivers that your child has roseola.

About Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen.

Children with roseola may go to the child care centre or school when the fever and rash are gone and they feel well enough to take part in activities.

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