SIS is the most insidious of the child diseases, since the baby just dies for no apparent reason. Most children don't get it - but they sure love catching all sorts of nasty illnesses stereotypically attached to children Why can't those rugrats stay healthy and quiet?
They can't and they won't, respectively, so parents (and people riding the same public transport) will just have to deal with it. But what is a parent to do? Well, knowing is a statistically significant part of the battle, so be knowledgeable about the myriad ways your kid can commonly fall ill.
Common Cold: about 5 times a year
A veteran parent knows: expect mild fever, coughing and congestion couple with sore throat, all to be treated with fluids and rest. Ibuprofens might help deal with fever, but cough and cold meds are to be avoided.
Repiratory Synctial Virus (RSV): most seen in kids under 2
RSV affects the lungs and mirrors the effects of a cold. It can be serious for kids with compromised immune system, a congenital heart condition, or chronic lung disease; for them, it could turn into bronchiolitis or pneumonia. If your child is wheezing, breathing very fast, or struggling to breathe, refuses to drink anything, appears to be extremely lethargic, or starts to develop a bluish tinge on her lips and in her mouth, you should call the doc.
Roseola: over by age 2, and always by kindergarten.
Unlucky kids with roseola experience high fever, congestion, coughing, and, a patchy rash that spreads out from the chest. It should go away within a week, but fever spikes are a cause for concern. Otherwise, give the kid ibuprofen and keep them home.
Gastroenteritis: much worse than a tummy ache.
This stomach bug causes vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. It can be caused by a variety of viruses. Keep your kid hydrated, but don't overdo it, and don't give them sugary drinks like Gatorade (which you shouldn't be giving them anyways). Once the kid feels like eating, see if they can hold down bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. If they manage it, you can try and go regular meals.
Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease: painful sores in the mouth and throat
The Coxsackievirus is mostly seen during the summer and fall. It's highly contagious and passes through touch, coughs, sneezes and fecal matter. Red blisters on the hands and soles of the feet can also appear for a week. Watch for dehydration, don't give them acidic drinks that would make the sores hurt.
Fifth Disease: "slapped cheek syndrome."
Fifth disease strikes kids under three, causing a bright-red rash on the cheeks. Some other symptoms include runny noses, mild fevers, and secondary rashes on the torsos. Super contagious among children, but stops being contagious once the rash shows.More!
Strep Throat: thankfully rare in babies
Streptococcus bacteria likes striking younger siblings of affected children. It spreads mainly through coughs and sneezes, though contaminated toys may also have a part. Throat pain is the name of the game. Fever, swollen lymph nodes and abdominal pain might also be present. See a doctor.
Influenza: vaccinate early
Flu hits hits like a truck: high fever, body aches, chills, sore throat, cough, headaches and even vomiting and diarrhea sometimes. This winter illness can go even worse, turning into pneumonia. Thankfully, it can be mitigated by vaccination: while it's not foolproof (strains change from year to year), vaccination should lessen the symptoms. See a doctor right away
Pinkeye: will quickly devastate your entire home.
Pinkeye is the inflammation of eyelid lining tissue. With comes redness, yellowish discharge, blurry vision, and crusty eyes. In younger kids, it's often caused by bacteria and healed with antibiotic drops, but other reasons exist. Wash your hands carefully, don't share towels, blankets or pillows and don't send them back to school until one day after the kid has been declared healthy.
Pinworms: kids scratching their buts is an indication.
Kids have horrible hygiene. An infected kids can scratch their butt without cleaning hands afterwards, thus passing it to other kids. The eggs of pinworms slide down the digestive system (after kid had put their infected hands in their mouths, which they will do), where they hatch and continue to lay eggs around the anus. A special tape will be given for analysis and only two doses of prescription will cure it, but you'll have to wash towels and bedding in hot water.