Measles, Child

Measles is a serious infection caused by a virus. This infection can spread very easily. People with the measles feel sick for about 7 to 10 days. Measles can be prevented by the measles vaccine, but there is no cure for measles once you have it. The measles vaccine is given to babies when they are 12 to 15 months old and then again at 4 to 6 years of age.


  • Do not let your children be around others who may have the measles. Do not have your child around others who may catch the disease. Do not bring your child to school or day care until 2 to 3 days after the rash goes away.

  • Only give your child medicines as told by your doctor. Do not give aspirin to children.

  • Always take the child's temperature before you give medicine.

  • Dress your child in light clothes if he or she has a fever. You can also give your child a bath in water that is room temperature to help lower the fever.

  • Have your child drink enough water and liquids to keep his or her pee (urine) clear or pale yellow.

  • Encourage your friends and relatives to get shots for their children.


  • Your child has a temperature by mouth above 102° F (38.9° C), not controlled by medicine.

  • Your child is older than 3 months with a rectal temperature of 102° F (38.9° C) or higher.

  • Your baby is 3 months old or younger with a rectal temperature of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher.

  • Your child has ear pain or is pulling at his or her ears.

  • Your child has a bad cough.

  • Your child wheezes, has very fast breathing, shortness of breath, or is having a hard time breathing.

  • Your child throws up (vomits) for more than 4 hours.

  • Your child is hard to wake up or is sleepier than usual.

  • Your child has a stiff neck.

  • Your child starts to twitch or shake (seizure) or has convulsions.

  • There are signs of body dehydration:

  • Less tearing.

  • Dry mouth.

  • Peeing less than normal.

  • Sunken soft spot on the head of your child.

  • Less active.

If you come to the clinic or emergency room:

  • Keep your child away from other people as much as possible so the virus does not spread.

  • Tell the staff right away that the child has measles.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if your child is not doing well or gets worse.