Common Diseases in Children

Parents are always concerned about their child’s welfare; thus, they should be aware of some of the most common diseases affecting children.

Common Cold




Expect common colds to happen up to five times a year. The standard remedy for cold is to treat mild fever, congestion, cough and sore throat with plenty of fluids and rest. Certain drugs bought over the counter like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can aid in the management of fever. Always follow the direction carefully and seek your child’s pediatrician if the child is less than six months old. According to pediatricians, parents should avoid giving cough and cold medicines. The dosage is frequently confusing and can lead to an overdose, and the effectiveness is debatable. Use a saline spray to provide moisture in nasal passageways and aspirator to evacuate excess mucus. A cool-mist humidifier can help in congestion. Expected recovery is five to 7 days.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)




According to a study by David Keith Smith Ph.D,, “RSV is transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets either directly from an infected person or self-inoculation by contaminated secretions on surfaces. Patients with RSV bronchiolitis usually present with two to four days of upper respiratory tract symptoms such as fever, rhinorrhea, and congestion, followed by lower respiratory tract symptoms such as increasing cough, wheezing, and increased respiratory effort.”

This disease is predominant in children under two years old. The virus affects the lungs. In most cases, the symptoms are minor and often similar to the symptoms of a cold. Children with a compromised immune system, congenital heart condition, and chronic lung disorder can have severe manifestation which can lead to pneumonia or bronchiolitis.


“Roseola is a mild contagious illness caused by either one of two viruses. Characteristically, roseola has a sudden onset and relatively short duration,” John Mersh, MD, FAAP.

Roseola affects children over the age of 2 and kindergarten students. Usually, many children might not even realize that they are sick, but some may be afflicted with high fever, congestion, coughing and patch rash that starts on the chest and spread to other extremities. The viral infection will usually last a week. It is possible to give ibuprofen to relieve discomfort and rashes. Contact your physician if the fever spikes or last longer than three days.




The illness is also called stomach bug. It is manifested by abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Gastroenteritis is often caused by a variety of viruses which are common in child-care centers. Almost all cases clear up after a few days maximum to a week. Uncomplicated cases can easily be managed by drinking enough fluids and rest. One of the mistakes that parent commit when taking care of children with gastroenteritis is giving them too much fluid at once. Begin by giving them a tablespoon of electrolyte solution every 15 minutes and slowly increase the amount. If able to retain food intake, start them with a small number of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.

Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease

The most distinguishing sign of hand foot mouth disease is painful sores in the mouth and throat. Coxsackievirus causes this and predominantly occurs during summer and fall. It is highly contagious and can spread quickly through touch, coughs, sneezes and even fecal matter. The mouth and throat sores are accompanied by red blisters on the hands and soles of the feet and can last up to ten days. Give ibuprofen or acetaminophen for body malaise and to ease a sore throat take ice pops and cold fluids.

“It’s most commonly seen in babies and kids younger than 5, because they haven’t been previously exposed to the virus and haven’t developed an immunity to it yet. But older children and adults can also contract hand, foot, and mouth disease—even if they’ve had it before. That’s because the illness can be caused by several different viruses and even different strains of the Coxsackie virus,” says Bande Virgil, MD.



Most of the childhood illnesses run its course without any complications but here are some danger signs that will need immediate attention: dehydration, high fever, difficulty breathing, no food intake, and preexisting conditions. If such events happen, immediately bring your child to the emergency department or urgent care.