When to Take Your Child to the ER for a Skin Rash

It isn’t always easy to determine if a rash could indicate a serious medical condition. Often, pediatric rashes are treatable at home with hydrocortisone cream. Parents can always call a pediatrician at a children’s hospital if they’re unsure whether their child needs medical attention for a skin reaction. In general, a skin rash may require children’s emergency care if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as shortness of breath, blisters in the mouth, fever, joint pain, or red streaks. Parents in the Las Vegas area can visit Sunrise Children’s Hospital for compassionate children’s emergency care .


Rarely, a skin rash may indicate measles. Measles is a viral infection that is preventable with vaccinations. Although incidence rates of measles infections have dropped dramatically in the U.S., some localized spikes in cases have occurred when parents are unwilling or unable to vaccinate their children. At a children’s hospital, measles might be suspected in children who have fever, sore throat, conjunctivitis, and a skin rash. The measles rash is characterized by clusters of red, raised spots that begin in the facial area, spread down the arms and trunk, and eventually extends down the legs and feet.

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD)

HFMD, which is not to be confused with foot-and-mouth disease, is a contagious viral infection that most often affects children under five years of age. Typically, children first develop a fever, sore throat, malaise, and loss of appetite. Later, they can develop a skin rash on the hands and feet, which is characterized by flat red spots. Some children may also develop a rash on the knees, elbows, and buttocks. Painful sores form in the mouth. HFMD by itself is not usually serious; however, it may lead to complications such as viral meningitis.

Kawasaki Disease

Kawasaki disease is an uncommon, but serious problem that can compromise a child’s cardiovascular health if left untreated. In addition to a skin rash, it may cause fever, “strawberry” tongue, joint pain, peeling skin, and bloodshot eyes.

At Sunrise Children’s Hospital , you’ll find the area’s largest children’s emergency care department. Our specialists and sub-specialists in pediatrics are available to assist your family on a 24/7 basis within a setting that is specially designed to help kids feel at ease. If you wish to speak with a registered nurse at our children’s hospital, you can call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 233-5437.

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