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Reye syndrome is a rare, serious illness. Children with Reye syndrome have vomiting, confusion, brain swelling, and seizures. They can get very sick very fast.
Children who have an illness, such as influenza (flu) or chickenpox, are most likely to get Reye syndrome. This is especially true if a child who is sick or getting better from an illness takes aspirin or a medicine that has aspirin in it. Aspirin is found in some over-the-counter medicines, such as Alka-Seltzer and Pepto-Bismol. Aspirin is also called acetyl salicylate, acetylsalicylic acid, salicylic acid, or subsalicylate. It is important to read all labels.
You can reduce your child's chance of getting Reye syndrome. To lower the risk, never give your child aspirin. Some health problems might be treated with aspirin medicine. This includes problems such as Kawasaki disease. If this is true for your child, talk to your doctor about your child's treatment options. If the doctor prescribes aspirin, talk to them about how to give it safely.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if your child has any problems.
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Current as of: September 20, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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