Approximately 3000 people in the USA alone are diagnosed with bacterial meningitis (less common and more severe type of meningitis versus viral meningitis being more common and less severe) each year, with a majority of these cases being children. Therefore it is fundamentally important for parents to stay aware of ways to check whether a child’s rash or spots is not an indicator of something more serious such as a meningitis infection.
Rolling glass method
The rolling glass method is one of the most common methods of testing whether your children’s rash might be a meningitis rash. Gently press a side of clear glass cup against your children’s rash on their skin. If the rash does not fade, this could indicate this rash is a meningitis rash.
However, meningitis is a tricky disease with a host of symptoms that don’t always appear in the same order for each person. In the first stages of meningitis, some children might not have a rash or the children’s meningitis rash could fade. Some individuals may even be asymptomatic.
The NHS offers an extensive list of symptoms which includes:
- Rash or spots (Important note: There may be more difficulty identifying this on children with a darker skin complexion. Check the parts of the skin that are naturally less pigmented/paler which includes: palms of hand, soles of feet and the roof of the mouth.
- A fever/high temperature
- Cold hands and feet
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle aches and pains
- Headache or migraine
- Stiff neck
In infants symptoms can include:
- Refusing feeding
- Unresponsive or stiff
- Noticeable soft spot on their head
- Being irritable
- High-pitched cries
Preventative meningitis: Men B vaccination
One of the most effective ways of reducing your children’s chances of contracting meningitis and also reducing your worries as a parent, is for you to ensure they receive the Men B vaccine.
This vaccine helps provide some immunity for your child from the ‘meningococcal group B bacteria’, a bacteria that 90% of meningococcal infections (often the precursor to meningitis) originate.
Get in touch
At Integra we offer the Men B vaccine as part of our development and well-child services.
If you would like to book an appointment for your baby’s Men B vaccine or are unsure of whether your child has meningitis or not, it is always best to be safe and get it checked out.
Visit our paediatrics page to book an appointment.
If you have confirmed that your the rash is not a meningitis rash, our expert Dermatology team also offer a range of paediatric dermatology services.
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