Childhood Diseases – The Conditions and Symptoms

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Many of the childhood diseases have developed over several years, many of which used to be revered amongst parents but no longer are the threats they used to be. This is a result of a robust childhood immunisation programme which has all but eliminated the majority of these childhood diseases. However, here we look at some of the most common conditions and their symptoms which are still experienced by some children today.

Whooping Cough

Whooping cough is an extremely contagious disease which results in a child having long bouts of coughing and choking leaving him or her exhausted. These extreme coughing bouts can take place up to 50 times in one day and the condition can last up to 3 months. Whooping cough has been known to result in convulsions, pneumonia, bronchitis ear infections and even in severe cases, brain damage. It has been known to prove fatal particularly in children aged under one year.


Diphtheria begins with a tickly and sore throat and then swiftly turns into a serious respiratory illness resulting in the nose and throat becoming blocked making it difficult to breathe. Symptoms can last for up to 6 weeks and is potentially so serious that it can prove fatal.


This serious disease attacks the nervous system causing muscle paralysis. Some sufferers experience breathing difficulties and as a result has been known to prove fatal. Fortunately however polio is now very rare in the majority of Western countries thanks to the robust immunisation programmes. There is still however a risk of contracting the disease in some foreign countries and this is just one reason why the immunisation programme is extremely important.


Ordinarily a relatively mild illness but can have severe hearing complications affecting both male and females and in some cases can lead to permanent deafness.


Although considered to be relatively mild illness it is actually quite a serious disease which is likely to cause an inflammation of the brain. Measles manifests itself in a severe cold accompanied with a fever. A rash then appears which is frequently combined with a bad cough and a high temperature. Measles can lead to ear infections, pneumonia and bronchitis and in rare occasions can prove to be fatal.


Children of any age can contract meningitis and the symptoms vary very much depending on the age of the child and the cause of the infection. Bacterial or viral meningitis can take hold swiftly and the common symptoms are displayed as headache, fever, photophobia, skin rashes, seizures, lethargy and stiff neck. Smaller children with meningitis may display different symptoms such as body and neck stiffness, fever, poor feeding, a high-pitched cry, jaundice and a bulging fontanel. Meningitis is a very serious condition and needs to be treated immediately. Therefore, if your child is suffering in any way from any of the above symptoms you should consult your doctor on medical practitioner immediately.