Feature | Childhood Diseases And Illnesses | Early Detection Signs

Childhood Diseases And Illnesses | Early Detection Signs

Protecting your children and their health can be an overwhelming full-time job, but being knowledgeable about childhood diseases can help you feel more prepared for the task. There are plenty of diseases out there that can prove fatal to children, so understanding their symptoms and causes can help you plan on how to protect your child. We have compiled a list of common childhood diseases and their symptoms to help you keep your child safe and healthy:

Common Childhood Diseases And Symptoms



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Chickenpox | Childhood Diseases And Illnesses | Early Detection Signs | symptoms

Chickenpox is a very contagious disease characterized by red itchy spots (that turn into blisters). These blisters usually cover the whole body but may also cover only a few areas, depending on the case. Eventually, the blisters turn into scabs and fall off.

Common symptoms of chickenpox include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Blisters
  • Loss of appetite

This illness can bring severe complications that may lead to death. All cases must be treated seriously.

Some of the complications include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Blood infection (sepsis)
  • Bad balance and coordination (cerebral ataxia)
  • The infection and inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)

Vaccination is available and should be highly considered, because it can protect families and communities. Additionally, getting vaccinated also brings milder symptoms if the vaccinated individual still gets infected.

Whooping Cough


Whooping cough is a very contagious respiratory disease caused by a bacterial infection. The disease is known for causing uncontrollable coughing, which makes breathing difficult. Affected individuals have to breathe deeply, which causes a whooping sound. The disease presents cold-like symptoms, starting with a mild cough that may be accompanied with a fever.

Early symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Mild coughing
  • Low-grade fever under 102°F
  • Apnea (a pause in breathing in babies)

Though the disease affects individuals of all ages, it can be deadly for babies less than a year old.



The common cold is a contagious disease caused by a viral infection and is the leading cause of people missing work and school. The disease causes a sore throat and runny nose, followed by coughing and sneezing.

Common symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes

Typically people recover within 7-10 days, but if symptoms persist beyond that you should consult a healthcare professional.


Influenza | Childhood Diseases And Illnesses | Early Detection Signs | causes

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the Influenza A or B virus. The illness infects the throat, nose, and sometimes lungs, and it can cause mild to severe illness. It may sometimes cause death in severe cases or if it is not treated properly.

Symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Runny nose
  • Feeling chills
  • Muscle aches

Since it has similar symptoms to the common cold, it can be hard to tell the difference. Often, influenza manifests worse symptoms, but consulting with a doctor is the best course of action in order to make certain which illness it is.

To date, getting vaccinated is the best defense against the flu.


Fever | Childhood Diseases And Illnesses | Early Detection Signs | fatal

Any body temperature above the normal 98.6°F or 37°C is considered a fever, but only a temperature of 100.4°F or 38°C or greater is considered a significant fever. Fevers are often a symptom of an underlying condition, which is usually an infection, but please note not all fevers are caused by an infection.

Symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Shivering
  • Lethargy
  • Palpitations
  • Skin flushing
  • Poor appetite

Call a doctor right away if these symptoms are present with the fever:

  • Rash
  • Drowsy or fussy
  • A seizure
  • Child looks very sick
  • Has a weakened immune system
  • Ear pain
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Stiff neck

Call a doctor if the fever lasts for more than a day for a child less than 2 years old. If the fever lasts for more than 3 days for children who are 2 years or older, call a doctor immediately.

If there are no thermometers available and a person is warm to touch, this may be a sign of a fever.



Measles is an airborne virus that lives in the mucus of the nose and throat. The virus is extremely contagious and spreads through air and direct contact with a 90% infection rate.

Symptoms include:

  • Rash
  • Red eyes
  • High fever
  • Sore throat
  • Running nose
  • Tiny white bumps in your mouth

Children under 5 years old may also get symptoms including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Pneumonia
  • Ear infections
  • Encephalitis, which may cause deafness and brain damage

Measles can be contagious even before the tell-tale sign of rashes appear, and will still be contagious 4 days after the rash disappears.

To date, the MMR vaccine is the best defense against measles, with a 97% success rate.



Bronchitis is characterized by a nagging cough, with or without mucus, accompanied by fatigue and a sore chest. The condition is caused by the swelling of the airways of the lungs and the production of mucus. Acute bronchitis is the most common type of bronchitis, and it goes away on its own in most cases.

Symptoms of acute bronchitis include:

  • Fatigue
  • Sore chest
  • Sore throat
  • Watery eyes
  • Mild headache
  • Mild body aches
  • Coughing, with or without mucus

Seek medical help if your child shows the following symptoms.

  • Cough with bloody mucus
  • Symptoms persist after 3 weeks
  • Repeated episodes of bronchitis
  • Temperature of 100.4°F or higher
  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath

Please note that using antibiotics when not prescribed by the doctor may do more harm than good.

Watch this video from Iken Edu to learn more about childhood diseases and preventive measures:

YouTube video

In the end, protecting your children and keeping them healthy is your number one priority as a parent. Learning more about childhood diseases and their symptoms will help you recognize the illness early and get your child the right treatment.

What other symptoms do you know about childhood diseases? Tell us in the comments section below!

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