Common Childhood Infections

Updated at: Mar 12, 2012
Common Childhood Infections

Comprehensive guide on infections that threaten children.

Himanshu Sharma
Tips for ParentWritten by: Himanshu SharmaPublished at: Feb 28, 2012

Common childhood infectionsInfections during childhood are one of foremost concerns before parents. In order to avoid or treat infection hampering health of growing child, parents need to use several resources, make dietary changes and impart requisite behavioural training to children.

The infections affecting health of children arise due to viruses or bacteria, which get to them mostly when they are at playschools or kindergarten. Respiratory infections, skin infections, intestinal infections, urinary tract infections, viral infections, bacterial infections, fungal infections, parasitic infections and infections of the head, ears, nose, and throat are observed in children.

Some of the common childhood infections are detailed below:


One of the leading chronic illnesses observed in children, the chronic disease is triggered from the respiratory airways. Asthma is inflammatory in nature, wherein the allergic reaction is usually caused by pollen or dust, ascribed as allergens. The influence of allergens on the airway makes it swollen and inflamed. Moreover, mucus production also increases during this process, often causing mucus plugs. In this scenario, child finds it difficult to breathe. Among symptoms of asthma are cough, chest tightness, night-time coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

Ear Infection: Otitis

Ear infections are another infection which are commonly observed in children. Ear infections like Otitis Media catches child by the age of three. The reasons for ear infections are persistent cold, sore throat and respiratory problem. The consequences of infection on children are irate behaviour, sleeplessness and persistent fever.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Respiratory Syncytial Virus is another prominent infection in children, common signs of which are similar to influenza, i.e., fever, cough and cold. In the babies of up to 1 year, the infection sometimes proves fatal, leading to pneumonia and bronchiolitis. These diseases causes breathing problem by blocking the air passage and making him wheeze.

Fifth Disease

This childhood infection is associated with rashes. In Fifth Disease, also referred to as ‘Slapped Cheek’, children develop a red rash either on cheek or on the torso/limbs.

Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

Hand Foot and Mouth Disease are caused by virus known as enteroviruses, wherein the sores are formed within the mouth along with on palms and soles. On treatment, these infections go away within 10 days.

Whooping Cough Infection

The contagious bacterial infection, cough affects children more severely than adults. The degree of infection is even higher in infants.


It is the common cause of viral gastroenteritis in children, which often leads to diarrhea, fever and vomiting. In order to lower the risk of getting sick with rotavirus, parents must ascertain that child is vaccinated for it.


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