09/12/2022 - Permalink

Health leader’s advice to parents amidst rise in Scarlet Fever cases

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Shropshire Council’s Public Health team are reminding parents of the symptoms of scarlet fever and advice amidst a rise in cases both locally and nationally.

Scarlet Fever is usually a mild illness and causes a variety of symptoms including:

  • sore throat
  • headache
  • fever
  • a fine, pinkish or red body rash on lighter skin and a less visible rash on darker skin, with a sandpapery feel.

It’s always concerning when a child is unwell. GAS infections cause various symptoms such as sore throat, fever, chills and muscle aches. As a parent, if you feel that your child seems seriously unwell, you should trust your own judgement.

Contact NHS 111 for the most suitable advice if:

  • your child is getting worse
  • your child is feeding or eating much less than normal
  • your child has had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more or shows other signs of dehydration
  • your baby is under 3 months and has a temperature of 38C, or is 3 to 6 months and has a temperature of 39C or higher
  • your baby feels hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest, or feels sweaty
  • your child is very tired or irritable

Call 999 or go to A&E if:

  • your child is having difficulty breathing – you may notice grunting noises or their tummy sucking under their ribs
  • there are pauses when your child breathes
  • your child’s skin, tongue or lips are blue
  • your child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake

Shropshire Council’s Director of Public Health Rachel Robinson says, ‘Scarlet fever, or Strep A, is usually a mild illness.  Parents should familiarise themselves with the guidance from the UK Health Security Agency and call 111 if their child seems seriously unwell.

If symptoms worsen to include difficulty breathing, such as grunting and tummy sucking in under ribs; skin, tongue or lips turning blue or floppiness and difficulty staying awake, parents should call 999.

There are lots of viruses circulating which can cause coughs, colds and sore throats.  Encouraging your child to wash their hands regularly for 20 seconds or more, using a tissue when sneezing and keeping a safe distance from others when feeling unwell can all help to prevent the spread of seasonal illness.

For more information, including pictures of symptoms, visit the NHS webpage on Scarlet Fever.