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Scarlet Fever in Children

Making a Diagnosis

In order to make a diagnosis of scarlet fever, the healthcare provider will ask a number of questions and perform a physical exam to look for scarlet fever signs. If the healthcare provider suspects your child has scarlet fever, he or she may recommend a throat culture. If the throat culture is positive for group A streptococcus and the child has scarlet fever symptoms, a scarlet fever diagnosis will be made.
 

Treating Children Who Have Scarlet Fever

Treatment for scarlet fever in children involves antibiotics that can kill the bacteria. Scarlet fever treatment also focuses on relieving scarlet fever symptoms. Let the healthcare provider know if your child is allergic to penicillin.
 
(Click Treatment for Scarlet Fever for more information on treating scarlet fever.)
 

Complications of Scarlet Fever in Children

Because both scarlet fever and strep throat are caused by group A streptococcus bacteria, possible scarlet fever complications are similar to those of strep throat; however, with the widespread use of antibiotics to treat scarlet fever and strep throat, these complications are not as common as they once were.
 
Specific complications of scarlet fever that can occur in children include:
 
  • Sinusitis (sinus infection)
  • Otitis media (ear infection)
  • Meningitis
  • Rheumatic fever (inflammatory disease that can affect the heart, joints, skin, and brain)
  • Poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis
  • Pneumonia
  • Cervical lymphadenitis (inflammation of lymph glands in the neck)
  • Bacteremia (blood stream infections)
  • Abscess (collection of pus in tissue).
     
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Scarlet Fever Disease

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