Recovery and getting better
How long will it take for my child to get better?
Your child will need to stay in hospital for at least a few days, until the inflammation has stopped and their symptoms are better. It is difficult to know the exact length of time your child will be in hospital because it depends on the severity of the Kawasaki Disease and how they responded to treatment.
Once you go home, you may notice that your child is tired and may have a poor appetite. It can take several weeks for them to be fully back to normal. Do not worry if there is skin peeling from the hands, feet or groin area. This happens to almost half of children who have Kawasaki Disease and some Vaseline can help keep skin moisturised and stop any mild discomfort. However, if other symptoms return it is important to let your doctor or the hospital know.
Follow up after discharge
Children with Kawasaki Disease are followed-up with a heart scan (echocardiogram). You should receive an appointment for this at hospital. Most children with Kawasaki Disease have normal coronary arteries during and after their illness. Damage to coronary arteries can develop in the first few weeks of Kawasaki Disease, so your child will be given an appointment for a heart scan after 2 and 6 weeks, even if their first scans were normal. If the scan is normal at 6 weeks, then aspirin is usually stopped.
Children with damage to their coronary arteries require a longer period of follow-up with more frequent scans. They may need longer-term medicines, such as low-dose aspirin. They may need to attend a specialist Kawasaki Disease clinic. Your doctor will talk to you and explain more about treatment and next steps if this is needed for your child.
Can my child get Kawasaki Disease again?
It is unusual for a child to have Kawasaki Disease again (this only happens to fewer than 1 in 50 children). However, a few children have a repeat of some symptoms within the first few weeks, or a new episode later in childhood. If your child develops symptoms of Kawasaki Disease, take them to your local hospital to be reviewed and say that they have had Kawasaki Disease before.
Many children will experience repeated symptoms or “reactivation”. This might happen when they have a cold, and they get a very high fever, red eyes or rash, or peeling skin. This happens frequently in children who have had Kawasaki Disease but almost always, it is not another episode of Kawasaki Disease. It’s the child responding differently to a bug or infection after Kawasaki Disease. Speak to your doctor if you have concerns.
When can my child go back to their normal routine?
Your child can go back to nursery or school as soon as you feel they are well enough to. Societi Foundation has a separate leaflet with information on returning to nursery or school which you and your child’s nursery/school might find helpful. It also describes some of the longer term things children can experience after Kawasaki Disease. Our Long Term Issues leaflet can be downloaded from www.societi.org.uk.
Whilst some vaccines including live vaccines should be delayed (see section on IVIG earlier ), it is important that your child is kept up-to-date with vaccines following your doctors guidance, including non-live vaccines because children can become very ill if they catch one of the vaccine preventable diseases. It is recommended that if they have the flu vaccine, then it should be the inactive (non-live) form.