From common ailments such as croup to not-so-common ones such as Kawasaki’s disease, children are more prone to illnesses than adults, especially as their immune systems are not very strong. While this does increase their risk of contracting infections easily, being informed about various childhood illnesses can help parents identify the symptoms before they get severe.
Here are eight childhood illnesses, besides the basic flu, that can affect your child.
1. Ear Infections
While ear infections are fairly common at any age, children from six months to five years are more prone to them. This is mainly because children have smaller Eustachian tubes that connect the ears to the throat. These tubes can get blocked due to inflammation caused by a cold. If your child is pulling at his/her ear and has a fever, it may indicate an ear infection. (Related Article: 4 Lesser-Known Natural Remedies For Tinnitus)
If your child has a tight cough and sounds like a barking seal each time he coughs, he might have croup. A viral inflammation of the upper respiratory airways is the main cause for this. (Related Article: 6 Natural Sore Throat Remedies)
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the main reason behind pneumonia among infants. While many parents do not take these symptoms seriously, especially as they coincide with the normal flu, this virus can create havoc in the lungs and result in full-blown pneumonia. If you notice wheezing in your child, visit your doctor at the earliest. (Related Article: 10 Herbs To Fight Pneumonia Naturally)
4. Pink Eye
Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, may not be a purely childhood illness as adults are equally susceptible to it. However, the main reason for highlighting pink eye as a childhood illness is the rate at which it spreads at schools and day care centers. Highly contagious pink eye can be spotted by red, itchy eyes, which tear at all times. (Related Article: I Spy With My Little Eye, A Detox For The Peepers)
5. Fifth Disease
Also known as ‘slapped cheek’ disease, fifth disease can result in a bright, red rash on the child’s face, torso and limbs. Human parvovirus B19 causes fifth disease and may also result in cold and flu-like symptoms before the actual rash develops.
6. Chicken Pox
This itchy rash is now preventable, thanks to the varicella vaccine. The highly contagious infection is characterized by a red body rash with liquid-filled blisters, and is usually accompanied by a fever. While vaccination does protect your child against the pox, a non-vaccinated baby is highly susceptible to the infection.
A bacterial skin infection, impetigo causes clusters of tiny blisters on the skin that ooze and form a golden crust. It spreads easily through contact with the oozing sores and can be either caused by staph or strep infection.
8. Kawasaki Disease
Although rare, this disease does pop up now and then, especially in children below the age of five. If your child has a high fever, patchy rash, bloodshot eyes and chapped red lips, do consult your pediatrician. If not treated in time, Kawasaki’s disease can damage the heart and prove fatal.