Symptom spotting on darker skin tones

Cartoon of baby coughing to illustrate symptom of RSV

Spotting the symptoms of common illnesses can be more difficult with babies with darker skin tones.

We have partnered with Black Mums Upfront and the Raham Project to create a guide for spotting symptoms of common infectious illnesses on babies and children with Black, Brown and darker skin tones.

Visit and for more information about what these groups do.

An introduction to the symptom spotting guide.
Information about the symptom spotting guide.
A warning sign telling parents to call their GP or NHS 111 if they think their child is displaying any of the symptoms in this guide, or to call 999 if they think their child is seriously ill.
Information and photos about the symptoms of scarlet fever. Along with flu-like symptoms and a sore throat, a rash may appear with red blothces which can be harder to see on darker skin. The rash has raised bumps that will feel rough like sand papers. Their tongue may have a white coating on it and appear swollen or covered in bumps, which is known as 'strawberry tongue'.
Information and photos about the symptoms of impetigo. These include sore patches on the skin that turn into blisters and scabs which are often found around the mouth, hands and feet but can appear anywhere. The scabs are  usually red with golden-brown patches at the sides and can be itchy and painful.
Information and photos about the symptoms of meningitis. The main symptom of meningitis is blothcy red or purple rash that does not fade under pressure. It can be harder to spot on darker skin and more easily seen round the palm of the hands, soles of the feet and eyelids.
Information and phots about the symptoms of cyanosis with a warning to seek immediate medical attention if these symptoms are found. These inlude skin and tongue turning blue which can be more eaily seen on people woth darker skin on the lips, tongue, gums, underthe  nails and around the eyes.
Symptom spotting Insta Carasel 8

Click here to download a PDF version of this guide