We know now is the season for LOTS of ‘fluey bugs. Though if your little one came up in a rash or hives in the winter months you wouldn’t necessarily think the 2 things were related, right?
Well, you might need to think again, as US mum Brodi Willard discovered when her little boy came home from school with hives.
Brodi took to Facebook to share her recent experience of taking her little boy to the doc with what she thought was a skin condition and nothing more. She writes:
“PLEASE READ AND SHARE: My son came home from school with hives. Every time he would scratch, more would appear.
“We tried changing his clothes and giving him a bath, but nothing helped. I called his paediatrician.
“They said they had two kids come into the office that day with the same symptoms and tested POSITIVE FOR INFLUENZA.
“I took him to the doctor this morning, and he tested POSITIVE for INFLUENZA B. He has had NO symptoms. No fever, no cough, and no runny nose.
“He only has hives. Please keep watch on your children so if they develop hives, please call your paediatrician. I have never heard of this symptom but it is obviously something to be on the lookout for.”
Here at MFM HQ, we were familiar with the fact that a rash can sometimes accompany a sore throat (one of our team mums said her nephews would always have those 2 things together).
But the idea that hives can possibly signal flu was new to us.
Hives are a bit different from a regular rash: they are raised white bumps with angry-looking red halos around them (they look a bit like nettle rash but don’t fade as quickly).
What Brodi’s son had were, specifically, viral hives: these quite commonly appear in children after a virus has struck and occur because your body has produced histamine in the blood to fight off the virus.
Generally they will disappear on their own or, if very itchy, can be treated with over-the-counter-medication, but if they are accompanied by swelling of the throat or tongue, you should see a doctor.
As viral hives tend to come near the end of an infection, they probably won’t be the first indication that your child has caught a bug: your child is likely to run a fever or feel poorly some time before the hives appear.
But if they do appear out of the blue, as they did with Brodi’s son, it’s definitely worth knowing that they could be a symptom of a viral illness like flu – and to keep a watch in case your child starts to feel really poorly.