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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 911 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
Contact your child's healthcare provider 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 are a type of blood thinner medicine that helps prevent clots. You child will be given this medicine if he or she is at increased risk for blood 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 or her urine and bowel movements. Have your child use a soft washcloth and a soft toothbrush. Have him or her 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 or she is taking anticoagulants. Have your child wear a bracelet or necklace that says he or she takes this medicine.
- Your child will need regular blood tests so his or her healthcare provider can decide how much medicine he or she needs. Give anticoagulants exactly as directed. Tell your child's healthcare provider right away if you forget to give your child the medicine, or if he or she takes too much.
- If your child takes warfarin, some foods can change how his or her blood clots. Do not make major changes to your child's diet while he or she 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 while he or she takes warfarin.
- 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. Throw away old medicine lists.
Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:
Your child may need to return for more tests. Ask your child's healthcare provider about vaccines. 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.