Types of Childhood Illnesses

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types of childhood illnesses

Much as we dislike it, illnesses are a part of growing up. It is a heart-wrenching experience to see any child suffering through illnesses. Arm yourself with information on dozens of childhood illnesses like chicken pox, asthma, fever, etc.

Children are prone to various infections. Most illnesses are caused by bacteria or viruses, and can be prevented by maintaining basic hygiene standards. Get to learn about the various types of illnesses that can bug a kid.

1. Chicken Pox

Symptoms of this highly infectious disease include red, itchy spots all over the body accompanied by mild fever as in flu. The spots turn into blisters with scabs, which eventually fall off. Getting this disease once often provides immunity for life. The earlier a child gets it, the milder the intensity. Applying calamine lotion can provide some relief, accompanied with paracetamol to bring down a fever.

2. Asthma

A large number of children suffer from asthma. It is a disease that causes the bronchi to clog up, leading to incessant coughing, difficulty in breathing and wheezing. It is aggravated by environmental allergens. It is difficult to prevent the disease, but an attack can be prevented by careful supervision and medication. Most children outgrow it over the course of time.

3. Common Cold and Flu

It is almost impossible to prevent cold and flu since it is caused by over 200 different viruses. It causes a runny nose, headache, sneezing, sore throat, fatigue and fever. Though it isn’t dangerous, it does cause the kids a huge amount of discomfort. It goes away within a week or ten days. All you can do is give your child the relief medication.

4. Whooping Cough

This is caused due to a bacterial infection and is characterized by fever, cough, and nasal discharge. The cough is often followed by wheezing and vomiting and can last up to three months. It is infectious, and children should be isolated till they complete the antibiotic dose.

5. Gastroenteritis

This is caused due to a digestive system infection. Symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain or nausea. It often causes immense dehydration, so it is important to ensure that your child drinks plenty of fluids.

6. Fifth Disease

This is one of the milder viral diseases. Tiny red flecks appear on the child’s cheek and later on spread to affect his arms, thighs, and buttocks. The red rash-like specks make it look like a child has been slapped, and hence it is also called the ‘slapped cheek’ syndrome. It is infectious, but it goes away on its own.

7. Hand Foot Mouth Disease

Just as the name suggests, the child develops blisters in the mouth and on his hands and feet. This is also an infectious, viral disease and might be accompanied with mild fever. The child will find it difficult to eat, so you will need to give him mashed foods and easy to swallow semi-solid food.

8. Scarlet Fever

It is characterised by mild fever, a sore throat and rough rash that begins from the armpits and the groin and spreads to the neck and torso. The child gets a rough pink tongue called ‘strawberry tongue’ due to skin peeling. It is passed on to the child due to infection from coughs and sneezes of another infected person.

Make sure your child is vaccinated against diseases like Chicken Pox and Whooping Cough. Practicing basic hygiene rules like washing hands frequently, especially before a meal, and covering the mouth while coughing can go a long way in keeping your child healthy and disease-free.