Pediatrics & Child Health Care : Viral Skin Rashes in Babies

How to Identify Measles in a Child

Three Parts:

Measles (which are also called Rubeola) are caused by a viral illness that is highly contagious. The virus causes a rash to develop that can cause extreme discomfort. However, there are also other symptoms that you can look for that will help you to determine whether or not your child has measles. Keep in mind that if your child has gotten the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine, they most likely have another illness. If you are looking for information on how to treat measles, rather than identify it, click here.


Understanding the Infection and Incubation Period

  1. Be aware of how the illness progresses.The measles infection develops in stages and comes with several signs and symptoms as it evolves. The illness is contagious prior to the onset of the prodromal phase, or the time in which signs and symptoms starts to occur. It takes five days before rashes become visible. It continues to become contagious until four days following the onset of the rashes.
    • The early symptoms of measles typically emerge 10 days after your child becomes infected and resolve around the 7th to 10th day afterwards.
  2. Understand how your child would contract the illness.The incubation period of the measles virus is 10 to 14 days following exposure. If a person has measles, your child must be at least 2 to 3 feet (0.6 to 0.9 m) near the infected person to be at risk of inhaling the measles virus. Your child can inhale it in the form of respiratory droplets that comes from certain activities of an infected individual such as breathing, coughing, talking or sneezing.
  3. Be aware that the incubation period usually does not cause any symptoms to occur.During this period, it is impossible for parents to identify measles in their child because it is usually not accompanied by any signs and symptoms.
  4. Look for symptoms roughly 11 days after your child was exposed to an infected person.The Prodromal Phase (non-specific signs and symptoms) begins 11 days following exposure to the measles virus and lasts 4 to 5 days.

Recognizing the Early Symptoms of Measles (11 Days After Exposure)

  1. Check for mild or low-grade fever.Low-grade fevers range from about 100 degree Fahrenheit to 101 degree Fahrenheit (37 to 38 degrees Celsius).When your child’s body detects the virus, it will try to burn it out by increasing the temperature of the body. Use a thermometer to measure your child’s temperature.
    • For infants, you can detect fever through the following non-verbal cues:
      • Irritability
      • Fussy or hard to soothe
      • May not suck on the breasts or bottle
      • Cries constantly
      • Exhibits episodes of shivering or chilling
    • For verbal children they may complain of:
      • Feeling hotter or colder than normal
      • Headache
      • Pain in different parts of the body
      • A bitter taste which leads to loss of appetite
    • Verbal children can also display non-verbal cues of fever such as:
      • Irritability
      • Episodes of shivering or chilling
      • Lethargy
  2. Watch out for mild conjunctivitis.Conjunctivitis is the swelling of the eyelids and eyeballs that occurs when rashes develop on a child’s face. Look to see if your child’s eyes look puffier than usual.
    • Verbal children may complain of a burning pain in their eyes. They may rub their eyes because conjunctivitis is itchy and leads to tear formation.
  3. See if your child has developed Photophobia (Light Sensitivity).Photophobia is characterized by the occurrence of pain whenever the eyes are exposed to bright lights. This happens when the eyes are swollen; bright lights can further aggravate the situation.
    • You may notice that your child immediately closes his or her eyes when exposed to bright lights.
  4. Monitor your child’s runny nose.A runny nose occurs to prevent infectious agents from entering the lungs by blocking them in the nose and trapping them in mucus secretions, which is the fluid that comes out of the nose. In cases of infections such as measles, mucus secretions are generally green or yellow and usually thick.
  5. Look to see if your child’s eyes are red.Your child’s eyes might become red as the virus colonizes in his or her respiratory tract. The redness is a sign that the virus is affecting your child’s inner nose and the passage between the eyes and the nose.
  6. Listen for a dry cough.This will most commonly occur if the infection is in the respiratory tract. Coughing is your child’s body’s way of expelling infectious agents.
    • A cough caused by measles is generally deep-sounding, hoarse, and barking. Your child may cough for long intervals at a time.
  7. Watch for signs that your child has lost her appetite.When a child gets sick, his or her eating patterns often get disrupted. In particular, fevers can affect the taste buds; if your child’s sense of taste becomes impaired, he or she will be less likely to eat.
  8. Check for signs of body malaise or weakness.Momentary muscle fatigue or weakness can be caused by infection. Muscles swell when infections are present as the body releases inflammatory chemicals to react with the infection. Your child may verbalized body weakness or an aching pain. Your child can tell you which part of their body is painful and can point it out.
    • They may tell you that they just want to lie in bed and sleep because they feel weak.
  9. Look for Koplik’s spots.This symptom generally occurs at the end of the prodromal phase. Koplik’s spots refer to white spots that have bluish or white centers enclosed by a red ring. They generally appear along your child’s gums and on the inside of the cheeks. These are a hallmark of measles.
    • These spots may bleed intermittently.

Recognizing Late Symptoms of Measles (15 to 16 Days After Exposure)

  1. Look for a rash behind your child’s ears and along her back and cheeks.Five days after Koplik’s spots become visible, they will shed off. At the same time, a rash will begin to form behind your child’s ears, neck, and cheeks. Within the next three days, the rash will spread over the face, arms, trunk, thighs, lower legs, and feet.
    • At the same time, your child’s temperature will spike up to 40°C to 41°C (104°F to 105.8°F). Measles rash may last 5 to 6 days and may slowly fade away in the same manner it appeared. The rash leaves a brownish tint and flakes in the skin that vanish within 7 to 10 days.
  2. Do not touch your child’s rash unless you are vaccinated against the illness.Measles rash can be spread very easily, which is why it is important to keep your child home from school. If you do not have the measles vaccine, do not touch your child while the rash is still present.
    • Vaccinated parents, and those who have had measles before are considered immune to the disease.
  3. Apply calamine lotion to the rash.Calamine lotion can be applied to the rash to soothe itchiness, but make sure not to directly touch the rashes. Use sterile gloves or a cotton bud to apply the calamine lotion to the rashes.
    • After application, calamine lotion evaporates and produces a cooling effect that helps alleviate the itchiness. Apply calamine lotion as often as necessary.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Can a measles patient have a bath?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, you may bathe. To help yourself even more, mix Alma powder with the bath. However, be sure that no else has contact with the bath water to avoid transfer to someone else.
  • Question
    My 11months toddler had a fever, loss of appetite, and mild red eyes for 3 days. Now I noticed her tooth sprouting out and after the fever disappeared I noticed a rash all over her body. What could be wrong?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It sounds like it could be an allergic reaction. If your family has used/ate anything new like detergent, deodorant, or food that could be it. To be on the safe side you should consult your pediatrician.
  • Question
    My child is teething so I gave him Diarrest to stop the diarrhea. His temperature is high and he has no appetite and a rash all over his body. Is it measles?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You will need a doctor to confirm a case of the measles. Teething will not cause any of the symptoms you mention, and you should take your child to see a doctor right away.
Ask a Question
200 characters left
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  1. .Nurses' Guide in Communicable Disease Nursing by Mailin N. Lareza, pages 191-97.
  2. Nurses' Guide in Communicable Disease Nursing by Mailin N. Lareza, pages 191-97.
  3. Brunner and Suddarth's Textbook of Medical-surgical Nursing, Volume 1(2010), page 1788.
  4. Interpreting Signs and Symptoms by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (2007), page 249.
  5. Encyclopedia of Family Health by David B. Jacoby, R.M. Youngson and Marshall Cavendish (2004), page 426.
  6. Mason WH. Measles. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, et al., editors. Nelson textbook of pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders; 2007.
  7. Homoeopathic Therapeutics by Samuel Lilienthal (1998, December 1), page 248.
  8. Children's Understanding of Biology and Health by Michael Siegal, Candida Peterson (2005, November 3), page 138-39.
  9. Nurses' Guide in Communicable Disease Nursing by Mailin N. Lareza, pages 191-97.

Video: Measles: Causes, symptoms

How to Identify Measles in a Child
How to Identify Measles in a Child images

2019 year
2019 year - How to Identify Measles in a Child pictures

How to Identify Measles in a Child advise
How to Identify Measles in a Child advise photo

How to Identify Measles in a Child pictures
How to Identify Measles in a Child pictures

How to Identify Measles in a Child How to Identify Measles in a Child new pics
How to Identify Measles in a Child new pictures

foto How to Identify Measles in a Child
pics How to Identify Measles in a Child

Watch How to Identify Measles in a Child video
Watch How to Identify Measles in a Child video

Communication on this topic: How to Identify Measles in a Child, how-to-identify-measles-in-a-child/
Communication on this topic: How to Identify Measles in a Child, how-to-identify-measles-in-a-child/ , how-to-identify-measles-in-a-child/

Related News

Sniffles, Puffy Eyelids, Itchy Eyes Spring Allergies Are Back
Talk about the breakup
How to Cope with Fears of a Trump Presidency
In fact, diagnosing this syndrome typically includes a physical exam along with several tests such as sonograms, blood tests, and a pelvic exam
Watch: Exclusive Preview of The Redeemed and the Dominant: Fittest on Earth’
How to Make a Crepe Paper Laurel Crown
Alexander McQueen SpringSummer 2014 RTW – Paris Fashion Week
La Perla Spring 2014 Lingerie Campaign
How to Land an Entry Level Technical Writing Job
How to Cut Pavers

Date: 13.12.2018, 08:55 / Views: 75381