Key messages for parents and carers:
Be extra vigilant of the signs and symptoms of scarlet fever which include sore throat, headache and fever, along with a fine, pinkish or red body rash with a sandpapery feel. On darker skin, the rash can be more difficult to detect visually but will have a sandpapery feel.
Contact NHS 111 or your GP if you suspect your child has scarlet fever, because early treatment of scarlet fever with antibiotics is important to reduce the risk of complications such as pneumonia or a bloodstream infection. If your child has scarlet fever, keep them at home until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment to avoid spreading the infection to others.
Advice for parents/carers from Public Health
There is no vaccine against group A strep, the main preventive measures are good hand and respiratory hygiene. By teaching your child how to wash their hands properly with soap for 20 seconds, using a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes, and keeping away from others when feeling unwell, they will be able to reduce the risk of picking up, or spreading, infections.
As a parent, if you feel that your child seems seriously unwell, you should trust your own judgement. Contact NHS 111 if or your GP 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 older than 3 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
What is school doing about it?
We will continue to ensure the school environment is cleaned regularly, and promote regular handwashing with pupils throughout the day. We will be on the alert for any further updates from the NHS or Public Health and respond accordingly.