Children have a developing immune system and often they stay in close proximity in groups such as in places like classrooms, school buses or the day-care centers. This leads to a rapid transmission of the contagious diseases to the other children. This also explains why such diseases are particularly common in children. Common pediatric diseases that are contagious are mostly caused by bacterial or viral infections, transmitted through droplets of mucus or saliva, during sneezing or coughing. Such diseases may also occur in case a person comes in contact with an infected person or touches/uses personal items of the infected person, such as sharing the comb of a person infested by lice.
Fortunately, many of these pediatric diseases impart life-long immunity to the children, once they have been contracted by their germs. This in turn ensures that the child remains in good health throughout his life.
Some of the common contagious diseases found in children include the following:
It is a contagious disease that affects the respiratory system mostly in children. It is caused by a virus called paramyxovirus, which is a highly contagious virus. Complications of measles occur mostly in children below 5 years and adults who are above 20 years. Serious complications may include inflammation of the brain, blindness, respiratory infections, ear infections, diarrhea leading to dehydration, etc. Measles may cause death by pneumonia, which has mostly been the case in the developing countries. Vaccination is essential for children contaminated with measles as well as those who come in contact with the infected person. The child should take a lot of fluid and take sufficient rest.
Roseola is a mild disease that mainly affects small children. It is caused by viruses that may go away on its own. Children infected with roseola suffer from high fever during the initial days, which is followed by rashes that appear as the fever goes down. The rashes may stay for 1 to 2 days. Infected children are suggested to take acetaminophen along with sponge baths. Additionally, a sufficient amount of fluid intake is necessary to prevent dehydration.
It is a common contagious disease caused mostly in children by the varicella-zoster virus. Infection may spread from droplets coming from coughs and sneezes. This is commonly characterized by the
appearance of rashes all over the skin. The disease remains contagious from an infected person during a period of 2 to 5 days, prior to the onset of the skin rashes and for another period of 6 days after the last series of rashes.
During stages when rashes appear, they should not be scratched. To soothe the effects of itching, oatmeal baths may be taken in warm water. Oral antihistamines may be suggested by the skin specialist. Lotions may be applied on the affected areas.
Scalp ringworm is a common skin disease found in children. The condition is caused by a fungus. This gives an appearance of scaly spots or broken hair patches on the scalp. This can be contaminated through sharing common objects like sofas and combs or through direct contact with the infected person. There are no such measures to treat scalp ringworm. Preventive measures include avoiding contact with the infected person or objects used by the infected person.
In case your child suffers from any health issues or develops any unusual symptom that may bother you, you should immediately visit a pediatrics center or talk to doctors. Do not neglect symptoms, even if they seem to be of less importance to you as they may lead to serious pediatric emergencies later.