17 May 22 Article 01

5 common illness among children

Children are more prone to falling sick as their bodies are still building immunity to infections as they grow. This becomes more prominent in children who goes to child care centre and schools where germs can spread easily with kids playing in close proximity to each other. It is important to know the basics of some common illness your child might get.

  • Common cold

Common cold is one of the most common childhood illness which is caused by virus in the upper respiratory tract. It has been reported that many young children will have at least 6 to 8 episodes of colds a year. Symptoms of a common cold includes runny nose, congestion and cough.


  • Bronchitis and Bronchiolitis

Bronchitis and bronchiolitis happen when there is an inflammation of the airways in the lungs. This causes swelling and mucus build-up in the lungs. Symptoms may include cough, wheezing and difficulty breathing.


  • Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD)

Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a highly contagious infection caused by viruses from the Enterovirus genus, most commonly the coxsackievirus. According to CDC, it is most common in children younger than 5 years old. Symptoms of HFMD includes skin rash, fever, mouth ulcers and flu-like symptoms.


  • Gastroenteritis (Stomach flu)

Gastroenteritis also known as the stomach flu is usually caused by a viral, bacterial or parasitic infection. It is a common digestive disorder among children which causes a combination of vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, fever and poor appetite which in serious cases can lead to dehydration.


  • Eczema

Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that makes the skin red, dry, bumpy and itchy.

Unlike other illness which can be contagious and spread from one child to another, eczema is not contagious. Researchers think that eczema is triggered by an overactive immune system. The main symptom of eczema is itchy, dry, rough, flaky, inflamed, and irritated skin


Although different illness in children is caused by a variety of germs, many of them tend to spread in similar ways. Hence, taking a few preventative measures as below can help ward them off:

  • Wash hands regularly
  • Covering up cough and sneeze with a tissue or elbow
  • Disinfect toys, communal objects and surfaces regularly
  • Ensure child is well hydrated with lots of fluid
  • Avoid crowded places and keep child away from sick individuals
  • Get vaccinations



  1. Childhood Illnesses: 10 Most Common Conditions in Children. [online] Available at: <https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/diseases-and-conditions/640/top-10-common-childhood-conditions-ehb> [Accessed 9 May 2022].


  1. org. 2022. 10 Common Childhood Illnesses and Their Treatments. [online] Available at: <https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/treatments/Pages/10-Common-Childhood-Illnesses-and-Their-Treatments.aspx> [Accessed 9 May 2022].


  1. Symptoms and diagnosis of hand, foot, and mouth disease [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2021 [Accessed 9 May 2022]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/hand-foot-mouth/about/signs-symptoms.html

4 thoughts on “5 common illness among children

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