Objective To determine the prevalence and distribution of petechiae in well infants and to evaluate their relationship with age.
Design 500 afebrile and well-appearing infants aged 1–12 months were examined for petechiae. The sites of the petechiae were noted on a skin map and the parent's explanation recorded. Data collection included the number of petechiae, age and birth rank.
Results 10% of the infants had petechiae: 6.6% had one petechia and 3.4% more than one. Petechiae were on the trunk in 58% of infants, two of whom had them on more than one area. In 42% of the infants, the petechial spots were distributed on the head and neck as well as on the upper and lower extremities. Petechiae were significantly more common in infants over 6 months of age (68% vs 32%, p<0.05). During a 3-week follow-up period, all study infants remained well.
Conclusion 10% of infants less than 1 year of age were found to have petechiae. These data suggest that no further evaluation is necessary in cases where up to four isolated petechiae are observed, even if not confined to one body area, and the infant is well and afebrile.
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Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Ethics Committee of Hamedan Medical University.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.