Skip to Content

Kawasaki Disease


Kawasaki disease (KD) is an illness in children that causes fever and inflammation of blood vessels. KD can damage blood vessels in your child's heart and lead to life-threatening heart problems, such as a heart attack. The exact cause of KD is unknown. Healthcare providers believe it may be caused by a bacterial or viral infection.



Your child may need any of the following:

  • Aspirin helps prevent blood clots. Aspirin may cause your child to bleed or bruise more easily. If you are told to give your child aspirin, do not give him acetaminophen or ibuprofen instead. Give aspirin to your child exactly as directed. Aspirin may cause a serious illness called Reye syndrome. Reye syndrome may cause brain and liver damage. Ask your child's healthcare provider for more information about Reye syndrome.
  • Anticoagulants are a type of blood thinner medicine that helps prevent clots. Clots can cause strokes, heart attacks, and death. Anticoagulants may cause your child to bleed or bruise more easily.
    • Watch for bleeding from your child's gums or nose. Watch for blood in his urine and bowel movements. Have him use a soft washcloth and a soft toothbrush. Have him avoid activities that can cause bruising or bleeding.
    • Tell your child's healthcare provider about all medicines your child takes because many medicines cannot be used with anticoagulants. Do not start or stop any medicines unless your child's healthcare provider tells you to. Tell your child's dentist and other healthcare providers that he is taking anticoagulants. Have him wear a bracelet or necklace that says he takes this medicine.
    • Your child will need regular blood tests so his healthcare provider can decide how much medicine he needs. Give him anticoagulants exactly as directed. Tell your child's healthcare provider right away if you forget to give your child the medicine, or if he takes too much.
    • If your child takes warfarin, some foods can change how his blood clots. Do not make major changes to his diet while he takes warfarin. Warfarin works best when your child eats about the same amount of vitamin K every day. Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables, broccoli, grapes, and other foods. Ask for more information about what to give your child to eat when he takes warfarin.
  • Immune therapy may be given to decrease damage to your child's blood vessels.
  • Antibiotics help treat or prevent a bacterial infection.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

Your child may need to return for more tests. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care for your child:

  • Apply cream on areas where your child's skin is peeling, such as on his hands and feet. Use lip balm if his lips are dry or sore.
  • Prevent dehydration if your child has diarrhea. Give him more liquids to drink. Ask your child's healthcare provider how much liquid he should drink and if rehydration drinks may help.
  • Prevent constipation. Give your child more liquids and foods that are high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These will help soften his bowel movements. Activity may help prevent constipation. Ask what activities are safe for your child.
  • Ask about vaccines. Your child may need to wait for a period of time after KD to be vaccinated.

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child will not eat or drink, and becomes weaker.
  • Your child is taking aspirin, and has been around someone with the flu or chicken pox.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Your child has blood coming from his nose or mouth.
  • Your child has blood in his urine or bowel movements.
  • Your child faints.
  • Your child has severe abdominal pain.
  • Your child has sudden trouble breathing.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Kawasaki Disease (Aftercare Instructions)

Associated drugs

Micromedex® Care Notes

Mayo Clinic Reference