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My baby has a rash on her cheeks and is lethargic, should I be worried?

My baby is 5 months old and she has a rash on her cheeks. Also, she is not hungry and she is lethargic. Should I be worried?

Greg Severson | Pediatrician

Greg Severson

It is very difficult to diagnose a rash without seeing it, so the child may need to be seen by a physician to get a definitive answer. As a generality I would recommend a child with a rash be seen if the child has a fever, the rash is spreading, the rash seems to bother the child (painful, itchy, etc), the rash looks like hives, the rash is blistery, the rash is pimple like (bumps with puss), or the rash seems contagious (family or playmates are developing a similar rash).

A baby's appetite can vary from day-to-day. I would be concerned if your baby's appetite has been decreased for more than two days, if the appetite is decreasing more-and-more each day, if it appears the child is not eating because he/she is lethargic and/or does not have enough energy to eat, or if the child's urine output is significantly decreasing due to not eating.

I would be concerned about the lethargy if it is has been present for more than two days in a row, if each day it has been increasing in severity, if the child is falling asleep during feedings due to the lethargy and/or not waking for feedings due to the lethargy, if the child is not responding appropriately to others due to the lethargy, if the child has fever, or if the child has other signs of illness (diarrhea, labored breathing, cough, congestion, vomiting etc.).

I always tell parents to rely on their intuition. If what you are seeing is concerning and makes you uncomfortable, than you should have your child seen by a physician.

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