Common Childhood Illnesses


Common Cold

The cold is one of the most common forms of childhood illness. Most children will have many colds in the first two years of life, and it often seems they get one right after another, especially in the winter months. Healthy children average six colds per year … more.


Croup is an upper respiratory infection that causes a “barky” cough that sounds like a seal, and high pitched breathing. It is more common in the late fall and winter months, and usually infects children younger than three years old. If the infection is mild, it can cause a hoarse voice … more.

Ear Infection

Children often develop fluid in the middle ear when they have colds, allergies, or upper respiratory infections. Viruses and bacteria can infect this fluid, which can lead to pain and swelling, causing the symptoms of an ear infection. Ear infection symptoms include: pain, difficulty sleeping, poor appetite, and sometimes fever. Hearing loss may be present … more.

Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease

This is a common childhood illness with symptoms of mouth sores, fever, and a rash on the hands and feet. Occurs more commonly in the late summer and early fall of the year. Most often this illness occurs in infants, toddlers and young children … more.


Ringworm is a fungus that infects the skin. (Ringworm is not caused by a worm, as some people think!) Ringworm is contagious, can be spread by skin-to-skin contact with others who have the infection, and sometimes by animals who have the infection. Ringworm can also be spread by sharing towels, clothing, or sports gear … more.

Sore Throat

Sore throat is a common illness in children. Viruses or bacteria can cause sore throat. Viruses can directly cause inflammation and infection, or they can lead to nasal mucous production and post-nasal drainage which aggravate the throat, causing it to be sore. "Mouth breathing" resulting from congestion can also produce throat dryness and result … more.


Diarrhea is caused by a virus or bacteria in your child’s intestines. Mild diarrhea is a few loose bowel movements. Severe diarrhea is when the bowel movements are watery. When your child has diarrhea, it is important that she not become dehydrated. Avoid all fruit juices and soft drinks because they make diarrhea worse. Pedialyte® (or the store brand) is a special electrolyte solution that can prevent dehydration … more.

Head Lice

Head lice are tiny gray bugs that live in the hair, bite the scalp, and suck blood. They move fast, and are hard to see. They attach their white eggs, called nits, to the hair. Unlike dandruff, these nits cannot be shaken off. The nits are easier to see than the bugs because they are white, and they are a lot of them. The back of the neck is the favorite area for lice and nits … more.


Childhood vomiting is common. In most cases, vomiting will stop without medical treatment within 12 to 24 hours. Over-the-counter or prescription remedies should not be used unless prescribed for your child for this particular illness. The suggestions below will allow you to handle uncomplicated vomiting at home, without visiting the office or using medications … more.


Symptoms of constipation in children include: pain while having a bowel movement; unable to pass a bowel movement without straining or pushing for more than ten minutes; no bowel movement for more than 3 days; abdominal pain; nausea; traces of liquid or clay-like stool in your child’s underwear (a sign that stool is backed up in the rectum). Constipation can be caused by withholding (child may refuse to go when she needs to); changes in diet; changes in routine; certain medications; cow’s milk allergy; family history; or medical conditions. Children who are sedentary and do not eat enough fiber are at risk for constipation … more.