How a simple sore throat and rash could be warning signs of leukemia

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This serious disease can often go unnoticed, so watch out for these symptoms, mums and dads.

Mums and dads, it’s very important not to take even the simplest illnesses for granted. Even serious conditions like leukemia in children can first manifest in simple symptoms.

Take, for instance, one mum who found out her son had the condition after having a sore throat and a rash. Josie, the mum behind the parenting community Mummy Social, shared the sad moment she learned that her son Dex had leukemia.

In a post on Facebook, that’s been shared nearly 2,000 times since it was posted on 30 January, she writes: 

“Ten days ago Dexter was sent home from school with a sore throat. The next morning, while he still slept, something made me go and check on him, turning on the lights and pulling back the cover,” she writes, recalling how she “found him covered in a rash.”

An ambulance brought him to a nearby hospital, where he was given immediate care – antibiotics were given and blood was drawn.

In just a few hours, after doctors asked the boy’s dad to fly home, the parents were taken into a room and told the sad news. 

“We stayed in hospital for two nights while Dex was given blood transfusions to get him strong enough to be taken to Bristol Children’s Hospital which is where I’m writing this post from. A post I wish I wasn’t writing.”

leukemia in children

Screenshot from Mummy Social Facebook page

“I want to be back in our lovely home with both his sisters, in our blissfully happy bubble that I didn’t even realise was so happy until now,” she writes, explaining how it has been difficult for her to see her beloved son undergo tests and procedures.

Despite this, she has accepted this as “their story” now, and she chooses to look on the bright side.

“I know in many ways we are extremely lucky. We have a 90% chance of taking our boy home fit and well after the treatment is complete. We are on a well-trodden road, albeit slightly messy and rather long,” she writes, adding how there are other families in the hospital ward who are in a worse position.

“So I am looking on the positive side, gritting my teeth, taking it one hour at a time, and being the cheeriest, silliest mum I can be!” she writes in closing.

Throughout it all, she happily reports that they have managed to maintain their sense of humour even in the darkest of times. She also expressed her gratitude to everyone who has donated blood and showed them love and support. 

We have reached out to Josie and are awaiting her response. In the meantime, we would like to send them good thoughts and prayers during this trying time.

Leukemia in Children: Symptoms all mums and dads should know

Leukemia is one of the most common types of childhood cancer. Though it is a serious condition, it can often appear as simple illnesses at first, like sore throat and rash.

Early detection is the best measure to treat leukemia. 

Here are signs and symptoms of leukemia in children that parents should watch out for:

  • Fever or chills
  • Chronic weakness and fatigue
  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Enlargement of spleen or liver (swelling of the belly)
  • Petechiae or tiny red spots on the skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive sweating (especially at night)
  • Bone pain or tenderness
  • Persistent infections
  • Diziness or lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Paleness of skin
  • Coughing or trouble breathing
  • Seizures

It’s important to know that these symptoms aren’t always conclusive when it comes to leukemia in children.  Be sure to consult your child’s paediatrician if you have any worries or concerns. Early detection is always better than cure.

Sources: Healthline, WebMD,, National University Cancer Institute Singapore

READ THIS ALSO: Leukemia Symptoms In Kids: A Guide For Parents

Health Illnesses & Conditions Health / Wellness