5 Common Childhood Illnesses and How to Avoid Them Hampton Family PracticeKids are one of the most notorious spreaders of illnesses. Their hands are everywhere, and there’s a good chance they didn’t wash their hands after coming in contact with something dirty. There are a number of common childhood illnesses that could make your child sick. The following five are just some of those. Keep reading to learn more about these common illnesses and what you and your child can do to avoid them.

1. Chickenpox 

Chickenpox is extremely common. It usually occurs during childhood, causing an itchy, blister-like rash on the skin. It is every kid’s worst nightmare. 

To avoid this disease, do not touch anyone who has chickenpox. Make sure you keep your hands and your house free of infectious germs. Disinfect surfaces and wash your hands thoroughly. 

2. Respiratory Syncytial Virus 

Respiratory Syncytial virus (RSV) is an infection of the airways. If you have a child under two years of age, or a child who has a weak immune system, or a heart or lung disease, watch out. RSV can inflame the lungs and cause pneumonia. 

Look for symptoms such as irritability and breathing problems in babies and very young children, as well as symptoms similar to those of the common cold. If needed, the drug synagis, also known as palivizumab, can be used to prevent this disease in infants.

3. Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease 

Hand, foot, and mouth disease generally occurs in children who are under five years of age. It is transmitted through saliva, from blisters, and, in some cases, viral shedding from feces. Look for symptoms such as a fever, a sore throat, and a weak appetite. This virus usually goes away in seven to ten days without treatment.

4. Scarlet Fever 

Scarlet fever is a bacterial infection caused by Group A strep. The disease was once fatal but, thanks to modern-day medicine, is now easily treatable. Symptoms of scarlet fever are a sore throat and a scarlet-colored rash around the face and neck. The rash could potentially spread to other areas of the body.

If your child is suffering from the above symptoms, call a doctor immediately. The doctor will tell you which antibiotics to put your child on. The treatment will help the child recover completely from this infection. 

5. Fifth Disease 

Fifth disease is an infection that commonly occurs in children who are five to fifteen years old. Symptoms include swollen joints, a low fever, and a runny nose. A rash will appear soon after.

By the time the rash occurs, the infection is no longer contagious. It should take one to three weeks for the rash to disappear and for your child to recover. In the meantime, a doctor can recommend treatment to ease the symptoms. 


Keeping your children healthy can sometimes feel like shoveling snow while it’s still snowing, but with a bit of knowledge, you can be prepared to help fend off such common childhood illnesses, and help to lessen the symptoms when one inevitably makes it past your defenses. If your child has any of the symptoms mentioned above, we can help. Give us a call at (757) 838-6335 or visit us online today!