Top 10 children's ailments

All parents have to deal with child ailments with their child. From fever to currant beard. From ear infection to head lice. Read about the ten most common ailments in children aged 12 months to 6 years. What ailments are there? What are the symptoms? What can you do about it? Can you prevent them and do they have a function?


We can speak of fever when the body temperature is higher than 38 ° C. Fever is a normal reaction of the body to infection with viruses or bacteria. Fever probably helps to fight the infection. At a higher temperature, viruses and bacteria grow less well. The height of the fever says little about the severity of the disease. It is not necessary to lower the fever, because the fever can not hurt. If your child feels very sick, has pain or drinks badly, you can possibly give paracetamol. After half an hour it is often a bit better.

Drink enough

If the temperature does not drop as a result, it says nothing about the severity of the disease. The dose depends on the age and weight of your child and is stated on the packaging.
Also make sure that your child drinks enough. This is to prevent chances of dehydration. The body must be able to lose the heat. Therefore choose thin clothes that loosely fit around the body. If your child is cold because of the fever, you can cover it with a blanket.
Calm is also important, but your child does not have to stay in bed and can simply go outside if he needs it.

Contact GP

Contact your doctor if your child:

has a fever and persists for more than three days;
drowsy or not easy to wake up;
groans or cries and can not be comforted;
get a rash during the fever;
is anxious or will breathe differently, for example, breathing faster or not breathing short periods;
a different skin tone (pale, blue or gray);
quickly getting sicker;
gets sick, goes vomiting or gets diarrhea;
drink much less than normal;
get a febrile seizure;
is familiar with a reduced resistance or with a disease where the infection gives extra risk;
if there are other phenomena that you worry about.

2. Eczema

Constitutional or atopic eczema is also called dew worm. The condition affects people in all ages, including children. 10-20% of all children suffer from eczema or skin irritation. It often starts when your child is three or four months old but it can also occur sooner or later. The predisposition to eczema is hereditary, but reduced resistance, allergy or skin dehydration can make the symptoms worse. In the case of dew worm, a red rash appears on the forehead, cheeks and neck. The skin is red and swollen, with red blisters that dry out and form crusts. It starts in the face but it can spread to the skin folds such as the elbows, knees and neck. These symptoms are accompanied by a lot of itching. There can also be irritated red eyes. For children, itching is perhaps the biggest problem. Crabs must be prevented, however, as this increases the chance of infection. The symptoms worsen and there may be wounds and eventually even permanent scars.
Eczema is not contagious. So you can not get it from someone else or transfer it to someone else.

Cow's milk allergy

When children suffer from cow's milk allergy, there is often eczema, in addition to the problems of the gastrointestinal tract. Especially in children who suffer from atopic eczema or diaper rash, the symptoms can worsen.
Then there is contact eczema. This type of eczema is caused by hypersensitivity to a certain substance such as nickel, chromium, rubber, soap, cosmetics or detergents. Contact eczema can occur from one moment to the next.

When should you consult a doctor?

Eczema is in principle not suitable for self-medication. Always consult a doctor for open wounds, persistent or severe symptoms.
What you can do yourself is to take good care of the skin and prevent dehydration by, for example, not using soap.

Tips for eczema

When dry skin is important to regularly lubricate the skin with a greasy cream or oily ointment;
If your child is hypersensitive to soap then you can switch to so-called soap replacement products;
When the skin is very dry, a greasy bath oil can provide a solution. This oil forms a layer of fat on the skin and thus prevents peeling and dehydration. Fatty bath oil is available in various forms and can be used for itching, dry eczema or as a protection against eczema;
You can prevent the skin from drying out by not applying products with alcohol on the skin and not using soap. To prevent itching, you can use an itch-stopping remedy;
If your child suffers from eczema, it is wise to use unscented and hypoallergenic products.


Itching is terrible and of course you want your child to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Fortunately, there are products for this. Like for example Cardiflor. Cardiflor offers various mild products that offer support where necessary and have few side effects. For example, the Cardiflor ointment is particularly suitable for treating dry, flaky skin, even in small children. The less-fat Cardiflor cream is suitable for wet skin conditions, Cardiflor emulsion for larger body surfaces. For serious complaints, there is Cardiflor Forte, a medical device. Cardiospermum halicacabum is the active ingredient of all products, reducing inflammation reactions of the skin. The Cardiflor products are available at pharmacies and pharmacies.

3. Head lice

Head lice are crab-like parasites that can occur on the scalp. Head lice are quite common in schools, are very contagious and can sometimes cause real epidemics. Having head lice does not indicate bad hygiene, as is sometimes assumed. The lice climb with small claws from one hair to the other and do not jump or fly. This climbing is relatively quick, so the lice can 'switch' when there is close contact between two people. Lice can also be transferred from one person to another via clothing (coats, hats, etc.).


Lice live on blood that they suck from the scalp. On average, the lice 'drinks' 3 to 6 times a day. When the lice can not visit the scalp regularly, he starves and dies. The bites can be itchy. Itching is therefore often the first sign of a lice infection on the hairy head. The lice stick their eggs against the hair shaft. The eggs are called nits. After 8 days, the small lice come out of the egg and are then sexually mature after about 10 days. A louse is capable of producing about 6 nits per day.
The number of lice per infected head is usually not very large (about 20). However, many nits can be present.

The main complaint with head lice is itching caused by the saliva of the lice that is inserted into the skin during the blood sucking. When the itching leads to scratching, wounds can develop which in turn can be infected by bacteria. This can lead to painful inflammations.

How is it treated?

Since the beginning of 2011, RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) has stated that combing is the only preference.

To comb

The hairs must be systematically combed out several times a week with the special lice comb. Both the lice and the nits will mainly be found close to the scalp. The hair must be moist for optimal results and it should be done in good light. By combing above a white paper, the 'harvest' can be collected and checked. Of course combing is a very labor-intensive job and it will not always be easy for the children to sit quietly all the time. Turn on the television, for example, so that your child is distracted and stays calm.
"Lice mothers" are used at most schools and day-care centers. They regularly check the hair of the children with a nitskam.


Nevertheless, the RIVM writes the following about suffocation of the head lice: For some time in the Netherlands new anti-head lice drugs have been available with dimethicone (a silicone-like substance) as active ingredient. Dimeticon has a physical effect: during a treatment, the polymer encapsulates the lice hermetically, causing it to die due to a shortage of oxygen. Efficacy has been proven several times in various clinical studies. This treatment does not lead to resistance development.
Measures such as washing bed linen, cuddly toys, coats and vacuuming the car are no longer necessary. There is insufficient evidence for the effect of such environmental measures. Lice are mainly transmitted through hair-hair contact, there are few indications for spreading through the environment. The effect of a lice cape on the spread of head lice has also not been scientifically proven. This is why the RIVM does not recommend lice tapes.

4. Diarrhea

We speak of diarrhea when the stool is thin and watery and is much more common per day than usual. Diarrhea is common in infants and children. Diarrhea usually occurs due to an intestinal infection. The pathogens (usually viruses or bacteria) enter the intestines through the mouth and cause inflammation of the intestinal wall. The intestinal wall can then absorb less moisture. This makes the stool thinner. The pathogen can be transferred to another person via the stool or saliva. In case of poor hygiene, also via toilet, fingers and kitchen utensils. Bacteria that can cause intestinal infection are also present in contaminated water or spoiled food.
Sometimes your child can also get diarrhea because it drinks a lot of fruit juices. Especially with too much apple juice and soft drinks (light) the risk of diarrhea is high. This type of diarrhea often occurs in toddlers.

In diarrhea, your child may have painful abdominal cramps, where the stools sometimes blow out and your child suddenly has to cry. Diarrhea often accompanies children with vomiting, sometimes with fever. A child with diarrhea loses a lot of fluid, especially if it also has a fever or has to vomit. If your child does not drink enough, it can dry out. Especially children under the age of two can dry out quickly.

Dry out within 24 hours

Children younger than two years can dry out within one day (24 hours). Older children within two to three days at:
water-thin diarrhea (several times a day);
diarrhea and 39 degrees fever;
diarrhea and bad drinking or vomiting.

How do you recognize dehydration

not or little urination (dark urine);
complaining about thirst;
drowsiness and lethargy;
dry mouth, deep-set eyes;
if you lift a skin fold with the fingers, it will remain 'standing'.

Small chance

The chances are small that your child is dehydrated if it drinks well and regularly urinates (wet diapers), drool or cry with big tears and just walk around.
Diarrhea usually passes over within a few days. Follow the advice and keep an eye on signs of dehydration. Dehydration requires quick treatment, especially in children under 2 years of age. Therefore, be alert and call in a doctor if you do not trust it.

5. Chickenpox

Chickenpox is an infectious disease caused by the varicella zoster virus. It is one of the classic childhood diseases. This disease starts with spots, which change into blisters on the second day. The vesicles dry out after a while. Scabs then appear that fall off without leaving scars.
The blisters occur on the trunk, face and limbs and sometimes some in the mouth. Fever and itching occur, but do not make the child really ill. The vesicles can become infected through scratching.
This disease is very contagious. Contamination takes place via contaminated air droplets or through direct contact with the vesicles. From one day before the outbreak of the vesicles until the skin vesicles are dry, the child is contagious. This usually takes ten days.


The itching may be treated with a menthol gel in children older than two years. Keep your child's nails clean and short. Avoid scratching, it aggravates the itching and can cause scarring.
If your child does not have a fever, it may go outside. Avoid contact with other children and do not let your child play in the sand or mud, because chicken pox can be infected by bacteria. If there are spots in the throat and your child has a sore throat, then a water ice cream or cold drink can provide relief.


Parents often doubt whether their child has chicken pox. This is because not every child gets as many spots and smallpox. Certainly in the case of a child with (very) few smallpox, it is difficult for experts such as the GP to confirm that it has chickenpox.
The question is whether it is wise to keep children away from someone with chickenpox, because it is almost certain that they will ever get the disease. It is in principle better when this happens at a young age, since the course of the disease is usually a bit more intense in adults.

6. Running or middle ear infection

A middle ear infection is a sudden infection of the middle ear (behind the eardrum). This infection is caused by all kinds of bacteria and viruses that also cause colds and other respiratory tract infections.

The symptoms of middle ear infection

severe earache, grabbing at the ear (because of the severe earache);
child cries when the ear touches;
fever (not always, especially in infants);
often a cold;
sometimes spitting and / or diarrhea.


The complications of a middle ear infection

loopoor: the eardrum is destroyed and there is pus from the ear. The pus looks like snot and stinks (not to be confused with earwax that looks dark yellow);
the pain decreases and the fever drops. The gait can last for two weeks;
a chronic middle ear infection with hearing loss resulting in infection of the bone behind the ear;

How do you get middle ear infection?

A middle ear infection usually occurs as a complication of a cold or an enlarged nose almond (closes the inner ear). Some children are very sensitive during the first years. The inflammatory fluid from a gait contains viruses or bacteria. When your child is infected with a bacterium / virus from a gait, he or she first gets cold complaints or cough complaints. Only a few people develop a middle ear inflammation.


You can clean the ear with a washcloth with lukewarm water. Do not use cotton swabs to remove the moisture, which can damage the eardrum. Do not put anything in the ear. The bacteria multiply more easily in an enclosed space. Usually a caretaker heals spontaneously. If it persists for a week, go to the doctor. He will usually prescribe ear drops, sometimes in combination with antibiotics. If the ear is not dry after 2 weeks, the GP can refer you to the ENT doctor.

7. Worms or aarsmaden

Aarsmaden are small worms that live in the gut. They come out with the feces and are then visible to the naked eye. The worms are about 1 cm long and white in color. In the evening and at night the female lays eggs around the anus.

The symptoms are:

sometimes vague abdominal complaints;
abdominal pain and / or diarrhea, fatigue and irritability due to poor sleep due to itching.

How do you get worms?

By (unnoticed) eating eggs. By scratching nails and fingers become infected with eggs. These eggs can end up in the mouth through the fingers. A new worm can emerge from every egg. In this way, the child maintains the infection. Infected food, clothing, bedding, furniture and toys can also infect others. Usually the infection passes to the whole family. A child remains contagious as long as there are worms in the intestines that lay eggs.

What do you do against worms?

A treatment against worms is an anti-wrinkle cure for the GP. The whole family is treated with an anti-worm treatment. Extensive hygiene is required until a few days after starting the course. In case of treatment, the complaints are over within a few days.

8. Currant beard

Currant beard is an innocent but very contagious skin infection disease caused by bacteria. It is also known as impetigo or child abuse.
Currant beard is common in children between 2 and 12 years old but it can occur at any age.

The infection often starts at a place where the skin is already damaged (scrape, crab, eczema). There are some wounds, red spots and sometimes blisters with yellow pus. These inflamed spots can merge and expand. When a bubble bursts, it dries and a honey-yellow crust develops. If there are many wounds, blisters and yellow scabs around the nose and mouth, it can look like a beard of currants. That's where the name comes from.
Currant beard can itch. With curried beards in the face there are sometimes swelling in the neck to feel. These are glands that swell in response to the infection.

How does it arise?

Currant beard is caused by a bacterium. It usually concerns the staph. Children and adults can carry this bacterium with them (for example in their noses) without getting a raisin. Usually the bacterium is transmitted through the hands or via infected toys. Currant beard is contagious until the wounds have dried or healed. The staph can also sometimes be transmitted by coughing or sneezing.


The following hygienic measures can help prevent aggravation and expansion of the currant beard and prevent contamination of others:

try to avoid touching or scratching the wounds. If the child is old enough you can also explain why;
make sure your child regularly washes his hands with regular soap;
keep the nails clean and short;
wash your child with soap once a day;
let your child use their own towel and take a new towel every day;
make sure that people in the vicinity of your child wash their hands regularly (inform the class or the day care center);
if necessary, you can clean the things that your child often touches (toys, doors, railing) once a day.

In addition to good hygiene, waiting is the only thing that really helps with currant beard. The wounds will not disappear through ointments or pills. However, these can speed up the process. Antibiotics are good for combating the bacteria that develop the currant beard, which stops the disease. Consult the doctor for the correct medication.

9. Water warts

Water warts are hemispherical, smooth, skin-colored, firm bumps with often a depression in the middle. They are translucent or white. If you press against it on the side, some white mash (molluscum) will emerge. Water warts can not hurt.
In children, water warts mainly occur on the trunk, the arms and legs, but sometimes also in the face and on the lower body. The skin can become inflamed around the warts: the skin is red and flaky and may start to itch. Often there is also a bacterial infection, causing such a wart thick, red and painful and crusts arise.


Water warts are the result of a virus. Contamination takes place through intensive skin contact during games, at school, gymnastics, swimming, judo; by using each other's towel. Not every child gets waterwarts automatically after infection with the virus. There are indications that water warts are more common in boys than girls. Children with allergic conditions are more likely to eat water warts. The time between infection and the emergence of the warts (incubation period) varies from two to seven weeks, sometimes up to six months. It is good to realize that the incubation period can be much shorter in children with skin that has cracked open (eg in eczema).

What do you do against water warts?

There is only one way to make water warts disappear that works for everyone: do absolutely nothing and wait patiently until they disappear spontaneously. As soon as the body starts to make antibodies against the water-wart virus, the warts go away. Whoever has had the virus once, is resistant to the rest of his life and never gets water warts again.

Not only is not doing anything so the easiest way to get rid of water warts, it is also the best. Only not the fastest. On average it takes several months to a few years before water warts disappear.

What can you do to prevent further contamination?

> Dry the skin gently after a bath or shower. The blisters can open with hard rubbing;
do not dry your child with the same towel, but use a clean one every time;
do not let your child scratch the warts; if necessary, shorten his nails;
is there a water wart in an annoying place? Stick it off with a plaster;
let your child wash his hands if he has scratched a wart;
you can disinfect an open-clawed wart with some iodine. Then stick a patch over it.

10. Coughing

Cough is one of the most common symptoms in children. Although a cough can sound awful, it is usually not a sign of a serious condition.
Coughing is a reflex that clears the throat and airways of your child. Although coughing can be annoying, it helps your child to heal or protect his body.
A cough can be acute or chronic. Acute cough starts suddenly and usually lasts 2 to 3 weeks. Acute cough is usually obtained with a cold or flu. Chronic cough lasts longer than 2 to 3 weeks and can have various causes.

Non-productive cough

A non-productive cough, cough without mucus, is often caused by a virus infection of the upper respiratory tract (nose and throat), such as a cold or flu. The non-productive cough usually gets worse in a warm room or after the child has slept. However, a dry cough may also indicate an early sign of an infection of the lower airways, such as bronchitis, inflammation of the smallest airways in the lungs, or pneumonia (inflammation of the lung tissue).

Productive cough

A productive cough, cough with mucus, is caused by virus infections and asthma. The coughing helps to remove fluid from the lower airways.
Older children can spit out the mucus, while younger children swallow the mucus in their stomach.


Pseudococcus occurs especially in children from 6 months to 5 years. The characteristics are hard and non-productive cough (barking) and the child may appear short of breath.
Children with pseudococcal have a swollen upper trachea which is usually caused by a viral infection. The swelling, which is below the vocal cords, causes the barking cough. A child with pseudococcus can also excite high tones when breathing in.

Whooping cough

If your child suffers from severe deep and rapid coughing, the disease may have whooping cough.
Initially, a child with whooping cough will have symptoms that resemble a common cold. Gradually the cough will become more intense, especially at night. The frequent coughing episodes generally have a rapid succession in which the child coughs up to suffocation. After coughing, the child breathe deeply, hearing a long whining sound.
Rapid coughing can lead to breathing problems and the child may turn blue in the face due to the temporary shortage of oxygen. If you suspect that your child has whooping cough, please contact your doctor.

What do you do against coughing?

There are all kinds of soothing remedies to reduce the burden of coughing. Think of honey for example. Scientists have investigated the effects of certain cough medicines and honey came out as the best in the test. Please note that honey and other cough drinks are not suitable for children under 12 months.

In case of severe chest tightness due to the pseudococcus, for example, you can reduce the coughing stimulus with hot, humid air. Together with your child, sit next to the warm running shower for 10 to 20 minutes with the door of the bathroom closed. You can also bathe with your child for a while (20 to 30 minutes). The effect of steam on pseudococcus has not been scientifically proven. But being busy with your child in this way can give you a lot of rest. If you notice that your child does not like the steam or the bath, stop it.

Teach your child to cough well

Good cough and sneeze hygiene is also important for further contamination. Teach your child to cough in the elbow. Most parents learn to shake their child's hand when coughing, but then you only move the germs. After coughing, the hands are usually not washed immediately and everything that your child touches with the hands after coughing becomes contaminated. When coughing in the elbow, there is little contact with the environment and only the shirt needs to be washed.

In addition to the above ten most common ailments, there are of course many more ailments that you may encounter during the development of your child. The best advice that can be given is and remains; If you do not trust it, always consult a doctor.

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