how long does my child have to stay out of school if in fact he has the measles?

(Last Updated: Jan 28, 2008)

The first step would be to confirm that that your child does indeed have measles. The initial symptoms include a runny nose, a sore throat, watering and/or reddish eyes and some feverishness. After a few days of these symptoms you may notice a rash: these initially include white spots on the insides of the cheeks which will later spread to the face and neck, later all over and also change in color to reddish-pink. If you suspect your child has the measles, confirm the diagnosis by consulting your doctor.

Once measles is confirmed, expect things to get worse. Advanced symptoms include higher fever, an all-over rash, which may look bad but is not itchy, a cough and maybe even diarrhoea. Naturally the child will feel really ill. Complications that can follow include pneumonia and bronchitis as also abscesses of the ear but these are not so common. Only the symptoms can be treated: the illness will clear up by itself.

Give your child plenty of liquids, preferably citrus juices, and maybe even an all-fruit diet for a day or two. You could give him half a teaspoon of powdered liquorice in an equal quantity of honey to ease the cough as well. It might be necessary to sponge the child down with lukewarm water if the fever climbs high. Make sure the room is airy and the lights are low. The child will have to stay home from school till the rash disappears but actually he is contagious only from the time the first symptoms appear till about 4-5 days of the rash appearing.

answered by G M

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