Childhood diseases is the term used for all illnesses that mainly affect children. However, adults can also get a childhood disease and can therefore in turn pass this on to children. You can prevent childhood diseases in your baby or young toddler with a few measures.
Childhood diseases can be dangerous
Although childhood diseases are usually not serious, in certain cases they can be. This is why it’s important to properly recognize the symptoms and begin suitable treatment as soon as possible.
For example, for a baby, contamination with chickenpox can be very serious, while this is much less the case for a slightly older child. Another example is German measles. This is often not even noticed in young children, but if a pregnant woman is contaminated, the consequences for the baby can be serious.
Why do childhood diseases mainly affect children?
The main childhood diseases can be divided into two groups:
- illnesses ‘with red spots or blisters’: measles, German measles, roseola, scarlet fever, chickenpox, impetigo, hand, foot and mouth disease
- illnesses ‘without blisters’: mumps, bronchiolitis, whooping cough
During childhood the immune system is built up step by step, which means that at first it is less resistant against viruses and other contamination. This is why children are infected more easily with certain illnesses than adults.
Contact a doctor
When should you visit the doctor or pediatrician with your sick baby?
In every case, as soon as your child shows abnormal behavior, you should always contact your doctor. But in the next cases you should immediately consult a doctor:
- if your child has a temperature higher than 38.5°
- if it cries a lot or if you notice that it has a lot of headaches or earaches
- if it is sleepy almost all the time
- if it vomits a lot or has severe diarrhea
- if it has blisters on his or her body
Ensure that you as a parent remember which children’s diseases your baby has already had. This way you can exclude certain illnesses if the symptoms are not quite clear. After all, they are protected against most children’s diseases for the rest of their lives if they’ve had them once.
How to prevent
Vaccination isn’t the only thing to prevent diseases; some simple hygiene measures can also prevent contamination.
- keep the microbes away: teach your children to wash their hands every time they enter the house, have been to the bathroom and before eating. Set the right example!
- if one child is ill, prevent contact with brothers or sisters. Do not leave tissues or stuffed toys lying around, do not share forks, spoons or glasses. Clean their toys regularly.
- do not smoke indoors. Open the windows of all rooms in the house for at least five minutes a day to air out the rooms. Make sure the temperature in the house is not too high; 20° during the day and 19° at night is perfect.