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Common Baby and Childhood Illnesses and Ailments- Fevers

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The chart below summarizes common childhood illnesses, ailments, and skin conditions.

Note: This chart is only a guide and should not replace your doctor's advice.




Illness/Ailment/Skin Condition

What Are The Signs and Symptoms?

Is It Contagious?

Bacterial Sinus Infection
Prolonged runny nose with discoloration of nasal secretion and presence of cough occurring on day 10-14. Fever.
Different from a cold because fever is higher and lasts longer. Plus nasal secretions occur later and last longer.
Yes; until fever is gone.


Bacterial Skin Infection
(MRSA “Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus”)
Spider bite-like, boil, abscess or red area occurring anywhere on the skin; skin is warm to touch, fever, and chills.

Yes; transmitted from contact with infected person or from touching objects that have been handled by infected person.
Blood Infection

Requires immediate medical attention
High fever, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability. Sometimes the only symptom is fever. Sleepy, lethargic; pale; respiratory problems; fluctuating temperature.
Can be, depending on the culprit

Bronchiolitis Mild cold symptoms that progresses to a pronounced cough; fast, labored breathing; and wheezing. Yes; very contagious and can be for up to 3 weeks.

Cat Scratch Disease
Chronically swollen, tender glands in neck, head, and under arms, especially if child has been bitten or scratched by a cat; mild fever; headache; fatigue; poor appetite. No

Cervical Adenitis Large tender, firm, warm swelling on one side of neck, which may become red; fever. Usually no, but can be depending on culprit.
Chicken Pox
Small red itchy bumps that become water blisters and then crust over in about four days; fatigue; slight fever. Uncommon in babies. Yes; until lesions are crusted (usually takes 1 week).
Cold Congestion; runny or stuffy nose; sneezing; cough; fever; difficulty breathing if congestion is severe.

Different from a sinus infection because fever is typically not over 105°F and lasts for only about 3 days. Nasal secretions only last for several days.
Yes; until fever is gone.

Croup Mild cold symptoms that progress to a deep cough that sounds like a bark. May have high fever up to 104° F. Breathing is noisy, labored, high-pitched on inhalation, with possible wheezing on exhaling. Yes; until after fever is gone.

Ear Infection
(Otitis Media)
Fussiness, crying, fever over 100° F, reduced appetite, difficulty feeding, vomiting, diarrhea, fluid draining from ear, hearing loss. May pull at ear. Most common after a cold. No


Requires immediate medical attention
Severe sore throat; fever; drooling; difficulty breathing; chills; difficulty swallowing.

Depends on culprit.

Fifth Disease
(Erythema Infectiosum, Parvovirus, Slapped Cheek)
Mild symptoms. Low fever, body aches or headache. Rash appears 10 days after infection is over. Rash appears on cheek causing a “slapped” appearance on cheeks. A flat, red, lacy rash appears on chest, arms and legs. Yes; until rash appears.


Severe cold symptoms, dry cough, stuffy/runny nose, fatigue. Possibly fever over 103° F, shortness of breath, wheezing, malaise, loss of appetite, vomiting. Onset is usually abrupt.

Yes; contagious from 2 days before symptoms appear and until approximately 1-2 weeks after symptoms have disappeared
Food Poisoning
(E.Coli, Salmonella, Shigella, etc.)
Vomiting, diarrhea mixed with blood or mucous, fever, body aches, abdominal pain.
Yes; until diarrhea stops and stool is formed.
(Stomach Flu)
Diarrhea; vomiting; abdominal pain; fever; chills; achiness. If bacterial infection, blood may be present in stool.
Yes; until diarrhea and vomiting have stopped.
Gingivostomatitis Small red blisters inside the mouth or on the lips. Fever; may refuse to eat or drink which can lead to dehydration; bad breath. No
Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
Small blister-like sores in the mouth, and on the palms of the hands and/or the soles of the feet, and possibly the buttocks. Mild fever, sore throat, loss of appetite. Yes; until fever is gone.


Fever; listlessness; vomiting; loss of appetite; jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). May be asymptomatic (no symptoms).

A-Yes; through stool of infected person.

B- Yes; through contact with blood and body fluids of infected person.

C- Yes; through contact with blood and body fluids of infected person.
Kawasaki Disease Fever, reddening of the eyes (conjunctivitis), red and dry lips, swollen tongue, gingivitis, swollen glands in the neck and a swollen, red, peeling skin on the hands and feet. No

(Group B Strep and Strep Pneumoniae)

Requires immediate medical attention
High fever, vomiting, irritable, poor appetite, bulging soft spot on head; stiff neck; sensitivity to light; lethargy; poor feeding; diarrhea; cold hands and feet; rash or blotchy skin; difficulty breathing; seizure.

Yes; can be contagious up to 2 weeks (depending on the culprit).

Otitis Externa
(Swimmer’s Ear)
May rub or pull on earlobe (indicating pain); redness and scaling at entrance to ear; yellow, watery, or smelly discharge from ear; swelling in ear or glands in neck. No

(Whooping Cough)
Common cold symptoms. Dry, intermittent cough that progress to coughing spells that can cause choking and color changes in baby. Yes-very; until up to 2 weeks after cough begins.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Cold symptoms (fever, runny nose); persistent cough; wheezing; rapid breathing; gasping; apnea; bluish/purplish discoloration of lips and/or skin. Common between October and April. Premature babies are at higher risk. Hospitalization may be required. Yes-very; until after 8 days but can be up to 4 weeks.

Reye's Syndrome

Requires immediate medical attention
Associated with taking aspirin. Abrupt, persistent vomiting occurring with recent viral infection; drowsiness; personality changes; fever; diarrhea; convulsions; seizures; or may become unconscious. Very rare but can be fatal. No


(Sixth Disease; Baby Measles)
(Herpes Virus 6 or Herpes Virus 7)
Sudden onset of high fever between 101° and 105°F for two to five days; irritable; bulging soft spot; swollen glands in neck; runny nose; diarrhea; swollen eyes. May have runny nose before or with the fever. After fever breaks, a rash appears on torso, spreading to neck, face, and arms. Yes; through respiratory droplets, saliva, or feces.


Drooling, gum sensitivity, irritability, biting/gnawing, difficulty feeding, difficulty sleeping, runny nose, loose bowel movements, low-grade fever. May pull on ear. No

Bacterial and Viral
Swollen, red, tender tonsils sometimes flecked with white spots. Sore throat; swollen glands; difficulty swallowing; fever; chills; ear pain; cold symptoms. Yes; can be contagious up to several weeks depending on culprit.
Urinary Tract Infection Irritability; cloudy, bloody, or foul-smelling urine; fever. May have vomiting and/or diarrhea. No



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