Do you feel that your child could potentially have fifth disease? It is very contagious, and it could keep your kid home sick from daycare for a few days if they get it. Here is what you need to know about fifth disease, including the signs they have the disease and when they can safely go back to their daycare.
What Are The Symptoms?
You'll first notice the symptoms of a child fifth disease in the form of them having cold symptoms, like a cough or running nose. They'll also have a headache or a mild fever. The initial symptoms typically are not strong enough that you would justify keeping your kid home from daycare because of them, but this is when they are most contagious. Once those symptoms go away, your child may get a rash on their face a couple days later.
This rash can spread across their body and eventually reach their legs, arms, and torso. By this point, it will be clear that something is wrong, and you'll most likely keep them home from daycare because of it.
When Is The Contagious Period?
Fifth disease can be spread when nasal mucus or saliva comes in contact with another child's eyes or mouth. As you can imagine, young children in daycare are not the best at covering their own mouth or nose when they cough or sneeze, and if they do, they don't wash their hands immediately afterward.
The odd thing about a child having fifth disease is that a child isn't contagious once they have a visible rash, and many parents think that is the point to keep their child home from daycare. The initial symptom period is when the disease can spread the most and when it most likely resembles a cold. This is why fifth disease can be a big problem in daycares when parents send their children into daycare while they are sick.
When Can A Child Return To Daycare?
The first thing you'll want to do is find of if your kid actually has fifth disease and not another problem such as chicken pox, which can look very similar to the rash. Visit your child's doctor to get their professional diagnosis.
If your child has fifth disease, they can actually return to daycare while they have the rash. Just be sure to let your daycare know about it and so that they can also pass along to other parents that the illness is going around the facility. For more information, talk to a doctor at a medical clinic like Florham Park OB/GYN Dr. Donald Chervenak MD.