Kawasaki Disease Symptoms

There are classic symptoms of Kawasaki Disease, the problem, though, is every case is different. This rare disease is characterized by an inflammation of the blood vessels throughout the body. There is no specific test for Kawasaki Disease; doctors make a clinical diagnosis based on a collection of symptoms. The one thing to remember is to trust your instinct. If you believe your child has Kawasaki Disease, ask the doctor for an echocardiogram to distinguish if inflammation is present.

Diagnosing Kawasaki Disease within the first 10 days is CRUCIAL to prevent long-term damage.

First phase

One or more of these symptoms may be present. Remember every case is unique. Be sure to track symptoms and the number days from the start of symptoms so you have a record to share with your doctor. Read our Kawasaki Kid stories to learn how unique Kawasaki Disease can be for each kid.

  • Fever of 102F+ (39 C+) and lasts more than five days. Be aware that this may be the only symptom!
  • Extremely red eyes (conjunctivitis) without a thick discharge
  • A rash on the main part of the body and genital area
  • Red, dry, cracked lips and an extremely red, swollen tongue (often called strawberry tongue)
  • Swollen, red skin on the palms of the hands and the soles of feet
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Irritability
  • Decreased appetite

Second phase

In the second phase of Kawasaki Disease, your child may develop:

  • Peeling skin on the hands and feet, especially the tips of fingers and toes and often in large sheets
  • Joint pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain

Third phase

In the third phase of Kawasaki Disease, signs and symptoms start to slowly go away unless complications develop. It may be as long as eight weeks before your child’s energy levels seem normal again.