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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Kawasaki disease (KD) is an illness in children that causes fever and inflammation of blood vessels. It usually occurs in children younger than 5 years old. KD can damage blood vessels in your child's heart. It can become life threatening. KD can also cause heart problems as your child gets older, even into adulthood. The exact cause of KD is unknown. Healthcare providers believe it may be caused by an infection.
Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:
- Your child has any of the following signs of a heart attack:
- Squeezing, pressure, or pain in his or her chest that lasts longer than 5 minutes or returns
- Discomfort or pain in his or her back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
- Trouble breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat, especially with chest pain or trouble breathing
- Your child has any of the following signs of a stroke:
- Numbness or drooping on one side of his or her face
- Weakness in an arm or leg
- Confusion or difficulty speaking
- Dizziness, a severe headache, or vision loss
Call your child's doctor if:
- Your child has been around someone with chicken pox or the flu.
- Your child's symptoms return.
- You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.
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 or her 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 may be given if your child is at increased risk for blood clots.
- 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 or her 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.
Prevent the spread of germs:
- Keep your child away from other people while he or she is sick. This is especially important during the first 3 to 5 days of illness. The virus is most contagious during this time.
- Have your child wash his or her hands often. He or she should wash after using the bathroom and before preparing or eating food. Have your child use soap and water. Show him or her how to rub soapy hands together, lacing the fingers. Wash the front and back of the hands, and in between the fingers. The fingers of one hand can scrub under the fingernails of the other hand. Teach your child to wash for at least 20 seconds. Use a timer, or sing a song that is at least 20 seconds. An example is the happy birthday song 2 times. Have your child rinse with warm, running water for several seconds. Then dry with a clean towel or paper towel. Your older child can use hand sanitizer with alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Remind your child to cover a sneeze or cough. Show your child how to use a tissue to cover his or her mouth and nose. Have your child throw the tissue away in a trash can right away. Then your child should wash his or her hands well or use a hand sanitizer. Show your child how to use the bend of his or her arm if a tissue is not available.
- Tell your child not to share items. Examples include toys, drinks, and food.
- Ask about vaccines your child needs. Vaccines help prevent some infections that cause disease. Have your child get a yearly flu vaccine as soon as recommended, usually in September or October. Your child's healthcare provider can tell you other vaccines your child should get, and when to get them.
Follow up with your child's doctor as directed:
Your child may need to return for more tests. Your child may need to wait for a period of time after KD treatment to be vaccinated. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
Learn more about Kawasaki Disease (Discharge Care)
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