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Childhood Illnesses

Rashes

It is common for babies and children to get rashes which often clear up without treatment. Rashes are sometimes caused by using different washing products as these can irritate your child’s skin.

Some rashes can be more worrying and need urgent attention so it is important to know a bit more about these. 

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Things You Can Do to Help

Babies’ skin is very sensitive; there is no need to bath them daily. Instead clean their hands, neck, face and bottom using cotton wool and water only.

Think about whether you have used any different bubble bath, creams or washing products as these can all irritate your child’s skin and cause rashes. If you have used a new product and noticed a rash, stop using it for a few days to see if the rash clears up.

Rashes are sometimes symptoms of childhood illnesses which vaccinations are available for. Children up to the age of 18 who missed their vaccinations are still eligible to receive them free on the NHS, so make sure your child is up to date.

Use moisturising creams (also called emollients) and lotions safely. These can irritate the skin and make existing rashes worse if not used properly. 

If your child is unwell check them regularly for rashes and seek help if you are worried.

Find our more about common rashes in babies and children

Birthmarks 

Birthmarks are not rashes but are coloured marks which are visible on the skin. They are often present from birth or develop soon afterwards.

Some birthmarks, particularly Mongolian Spots, can look like bruises. If your child has a birthmark it is important that it is documented on their health record and included in their red book (Personal Child Health Record).

If birthmarks are not documented and a health professional notices a mark which is not obviously a birthmark, a strict procedure will need to be followed which may include an assessment in hospital.

Read more about birthmarks

Rashes That Don't Fade

A rash that does not fade when you press a glass against it can be a symptom of a serious illness called meningitis. Meningitis can get worse very quickly, so it's important you know the signs and symptoms and seek help if you are worried. 

If your child seems unwell, has a rash, and has a high temperature speak your GP.

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Who can Help?

You can speak to a pharmacist before trying any new creams or lotions on your child.  

If your child has a high temperature as well as a rash and seems unwell, speak to your GP or contact 111 for advice.

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.

The Lullaby Trust - Baby Check App- This app has simple checks that you can do if your baby is ill and helps you think about whether they need to see a doctor or health professional.

You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below. 

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