Slapped Cheek… Is there ever possibly a worse name for a condition? Probably not but thank goodness the condition is much more benign than it sounds.
Slapped cheek also known as Fifth syndrome is caused by Parvovirus B19 (and no your kid is not a dog or cat- that is a different Parvovirus).
The symptoms are usually very benign and presents with the usual constellation of symptoms, fever, headaches, aches and pains. Often there is a bright red rash that appears on the cheek, thus the term “slapped cheek”. There may also be a finer rash that can come and go all over the body especially when you take out your kid in the sun.
The virus is transmitted via saliva and we are happy to send kids back to day-care or school once the facial rash appears as you can’t transmit the virus when that occurs.
Management is just symptomatic relief. Lots of fluid, rest, and some paracetamol or ibuprofen usually do the job.
If you are pregnant and have had a child diagnosed with slapped cheek its best to speak to your GP, who may consider doing serology testing to see if you have previously had Parvovirus. If you have not there is a slight chance your unborn baby may develop anemia however that usually self resolves and is very rarely serious.
The advice provided on healthykid.com.au is of a general nature and in no way should replace your therapeutic relationship with your doctor