How to Identify Measles in an Infant


Measles is a well-known childhood disease characterized by a rash that appears over the body. Although measles no longer affects as many children as it once did, it does still occur. Measles is a highly contagious condition caused by a virus. Although infants are usually protected from the virus for the first six months of their lives by the mother's natural immunity they may still be affected. Learn to recognize the symptoms of measles in infants.

How to Identify Measles in an Infant

Observe your child's behavior. Is he/she unusually cranky but you can't detect any reason for the fussiness? Is he/she crying a lot yet there doesn't seem to be anything visibly wrong?

Check your child's temperature. Does the infant have a slight fever?

Look for signs of a runny nose and/or cough. These symptoms often accompany measles.

Observe your child's sleeping patterns. Is he/she sleeping for short periods of time then waking? Does your baby wake up crying? Does the infant appear to be uncomfortable?

Examine your child's body for any signs of rashes. You may notice what looks like pimples on their face. There may only be a few at first but the rash quickly spreads all over the body. The rash appears blotchy and the pimples are reddish brown in color.

Look inside the child's mouth. Do you see any spots that resemble pimples on the inside of the cheeks or tongue? These are called Koplik's spots. They are a characteristic symptom of measles.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you suspect that your infant has measles contact your pediatrician immediately.
  • Measles usually clear up within 10 to 14 days but may lead to other health conditions such as bronchitis or even pneumonia.
  • Never give your child aspirin for fever. Aspirin has been associated with Reye's syndrome.

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