Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Health

Childhood Illnesses

Font Size
A
A
A

Get the facts about common child health problems.

Respiratory Problems

Whooping cough, or pertussis, starts like a cold. After 1 to 2 weeks, the cold symptoms give way to intense bouts of coughing.

A child's little body can make a big sound when wracked with cough. To help your child cope with a cough, know the common causes and treatments you can try at home.

Croup is a viral infection of the voice box (larynx) and windpipe (trachea) associated with signs of a respiratory infection, such as a runny nose or cough. It's also a very common ailment of childhood.

RSV

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common childhood illness that causes some of the same symptoms as cold and flu, such as fever, runny nose, and cough.

Not all children have the same asthma symptoms, and these symptoms can vary from episode to episode in the same child.

Digestive Problems

Children tend to get diarrhea much more often than adults. You can help soothe your child's diarrhea and discomfort with these tips about causes and home treatments.

Usually, a child who has a bowel movement fewer than three times a week (or less often than normal), and whose stools are hard and difficult to pass is constipated.

Learn symptoms of lactose intolerance in babies and children and find out how you can adapt your child's diet.

Skin Problems

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is an illness that causes sores in or on the mouth and on the hands, feet, and sometimes the buttocks and legs. The sores may be painful. The illness usually doesn't last more than a week or so.

See causes of skin rash, irritated skin, and eczema. WebMD shows you what chemicals in your cosmetics and home could be causing your child's itchy skin.

Wondering what that rash, welt, or bump on your child's skin is? Infection, allergies, and temperature extremes are often behind the skin conditions seen in babies and children.

Spotting a tiny, white speck in your child's hair is enough to make many parents panic. Sure, head lice score high on the yuck factor, but they usually do not cause serious disease.

Fifth disease, or erythema infectiosum, is a mildly to moderately contagious viral infection common among school-age children, particularly in the winter and spring.

Almost every baby will get diaper rash at least once during the first 3 years of life, with the majority of these babies 9-12 months old.

Serious/Chronic Conditions

For the majority of children 26 months or older suffering hair loss, one of the following conditions is the cause. Your child's pediatrician or a pediatric dermatologist should be able to diagnose these conditions and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Rumination disorder is an eating disorder in which a person -- usually an infant or young child -- brings back up and re-chews partially digested food that has already been swallowed.

It isn't easy to have a child with cerebral palsy, but that doesn't mean you are helpless. You can be your child's best advocate in the months and years to come, ensuring that he or she gets the care that's needed.

Down syndrome is one of the most common birth defects. Usually, children born with the condition have some degree of mental retardation, as well as characteristic physical features.

Cystic fibrosis is an incurable genetic disease that affects the glands that produce mucus and sweat. It causes mucus to become thick and sticky.

If you've just learned that your child is visually impaired, you are probably trying to sort out how serious the problem is, where to get help, and what this means for your child's future. In many cases, visual impairments can be corrected.

Is your child having trouble sleeping? We all know that restful sleep is necessary to heal and repair the body. But recent health reports suggest that many children in the U.S. are chronically sleep deprived.

Cause for Concern?

Thumb-sucking is normal in babies and young children. A natural sucking instinct leads some babies to suck their thumbs during their first few months of life, or even before birth.

It is not uncommon for a child between the ages of 2 and 5 to have a period of temporary stuttering. This is a crucial time of speech and language development.

Usually, bedwetting is outgrown with time and rarely is anything seriously wrong. Sometimes, though, medical help is needed.

Separation anxiety is normal in very young children (those between 8 and 14 months old). Kids often go through a phase when they are "clingy" and afraid of unfamiliar people and places.

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
 
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.
 

worried kid
fitArticle
boy on father's shoulder
Article
 
Child with red rash on cheeks
Slideshow
girl thinking
Article
 

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply