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When Your Child’s Tongue Looks Like a Strawberry. Think Kawasaki or Strep.

When Your Child’s Tongue Looks Like a Strawberry. Think Kawasaki or Strep.

Strawberry tongue is a swollen, red tongue. The surface looks like a strawberry. Children with Kawasaki disease also tend to have bright red, cracked, sometimes swollen lips.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Your four-year-old develops a 103 degree fever and a rash over her body. Her throat is bright red. In fact, so is her mouth, even her tongue. Not the usual pink. Bright red.

Hmm, you remember reading something The Survival Doctor wrote about fever and a red tongue. Strawberry tongue. You look again. The swollen, red taste buds are, in fact, kind of popped out, making the tongue look like a strawberry. Now you remember. A strawberry red tongue and fever can mean something serious—something that needs to be treated by a doctor. Oh, did I mention you’re in the middle of a disaster? All the phones are down and the roads blocked?

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