Roseola in Toddlers: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

5 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Roseola in toddlers

Toddlers are quite vulnerable to many diseases, one of them being Roseola. Roseola is considered a common contagious viral disease that can be seen in toddlers aged six months to 3 years. It is also called sixth disease or Roseola infantum. It can occur at any time of the year but is mainly seen in the spring and autumn seasons. To study this infection in detail, let us have a look at the causes, symptoms, and treatment of Roseola.

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What is Roseola and What Causes it in Toddlers?

Roseola is a viral infection caused by the virus called human herpesvirus six or the human herpesvirus seven, but HHV-6 is the most common cause of this disease. It is a hazardous disease that can spread easily as it causes high fever in toddlers followed by skin rashes all over the body.

How Does a Toddler Get Roseola?

As discussed above, Roseola is a transmissible infection. Just like a cough and cold, this infection spreads very fast. So, keep a check that your toddler does not come in contact with an infected person.

Is Roseola Contagious?

Yes, Roseola is a transferable viral infection so it’s important to keep an eye on the activities of your toddler so that s/he doesn’t come in contact with any infected person. It is mainly seen in older toddlers because they have less immunity as compared to newborns. A newborn baby gets their immunity from the mother’s womb and is less prone to this infection.

What are the Symptoms of Roseola in Toddlers?

raseola symptoms
It takes about one to two weeks to show symptoms of Roseola after the entry of the virus in the body. Primary symptoms of Roseola are:

  • High fever more than 103F (lasts up to 3 to 5 days)
  • With the onset of high fever, rashes also appear. They start from the chest, back, and abdomen and then spread to the whole body.
  • Decreased appetite
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Reduced appetite
  • Mild diarrhea
  • A sore throat
  • Runny nose or cough

What are the Complications of Roseola in Toddlers?

Healthy children recover from Roseola rapidly. However, sometimes complications can arise:


This is the main complication that can be seen when a toddler is suffering from Roseola.

High Fever

High temperatures accompany these seizures. The toddler may lose consciousness.

Jerking Legs, Arms, and Head

You may see the toddler jerking his/her legs, arms, and head for several minutes. If you see this kind of complication, seek assistance from your doctor.

How is Roseola in Toddlers Diagnosed?

raseola diagnosis

Physical Examination

The doctor examines the toddler’s body, which is the first diagnosis done in the case of Roseola.

Blood Test

In case the symptoms are not so accurate, the doctor may ask for a blood test too. The blood test will provide accurate analysis and help in the identification of Roseola.

How is Roseola Treated in Toddlers?

Roseola infection takes about 4 to 5 days or a week to recover. There is no such specific treatment for Roseola, as antibiotics do not help in treating the illness. However, the doctor may prescribe antiviral medication or any other pills to reduce the fever. They would also suggest complete bed rest.

What Are The Home Remedies for Toddlers with Roseola?

Just like other viral infections, Roseola also takes its time. Once the symptoms like fever and rashes start reducing, your child will start feeling better. However, when the fever is high, your child may become irritable and uncomfortable. At that time, these home remedies can help your child:

1. Rest

Rest is the key to recover from this contagious infection. Make your child rest in bed until the fever comes down.

2. Fluid Therapy

Making your child drink plenty of fluids including warm water and soups may give him/her relief from a sore throat. Drinks like ginger ale, clear broths, glucose, etc. will not only provide energy but also help in keeping the child hydrated.

3. Apply Coconut Oil on the Rashes

Rashes may lead to itching and make the toddler irritable. There is no specific medication for rashes; it will take time. You can apply some coconut oil to it or just rub it smoothly with your hands so the little one can get some relief.

How to Prevent Roseola in Toddlers?

Given below are some of the preventive measures that can protect toddlers from this disease:

  • Keep your toddler away from any infected person
  • Keep your toddler neat and clean and try to keep their clothes and surroundings tidy.
  • Proper sleep of 8 to 9 hours can be beneficial for your toddler.
  • Maintain a proper diet as prescribed by the doctor.
  • Also, make sure that your child is away from all the washing liquids and adult creams, which might not be suitable for their skin.

There is no vaccine that can fully cure your toddler if they have been infected with Roseola, but with proper guidance, support and care, they will get well real fast.


1. How Long Does Roseola Last in Toddler?

Usually the rash and fever go away in 2-3 days. So, the toddler should recover maximum within a week from Roseola.

2. How Long is Roseola Contagious?

It is contagious as long as your child has a fever. Once the fever vanishes, give it 24 hrs time. Your child is not contagious anymore.

3. Can the Roseola Rashes Get Itchy?

Generally they are not itchy. However if they do get itchy, ask your doctor for some topical solutions to help your child. You don’t want them to keep scratching.

4. Will Everyone Get Roseola at Some Point in Their Life?

No, you need not get infected. It generally affects toddlers more than adults. Though you can contract it as an adult, you need not necessarily get it.

5. Should I Bathe Toddler With Roseola?

You can give a sponge bath with lukewarm water or put a cloth wet with cold water on their forehead. This will provide relief from fever as well. But, do not bathe the child with cold water. And, if in doubt, check with the doctor before giving bath.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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