Childhood diseases

“Childhood disease” is an umbrella term for infectious diseases that are primarily (but not exclusively) contracted during childhood.

Overview

“Childhood disease” is an umbrella term for infectious diseases that are primarily (but not exclusively) contracted during childhood. They're caused by viruses or bacteria and are usually very contagious. In addition to harmless cases where the child maybe has a fever and generally feels unwell, these diseases can also have extremely severe complications. It’s therefore recommended to follow the Swiss vaccination schedule.

Examples of childhood diseases

Viruses
Bacteria

Symptoms

Possible symptoms (depending on the disease)

Complications

Childhood diseases usually have a fairly harmless course, but severe complications can also occur, sometimes causing lifelong impairment or ending in death. The term “childhood disease” is being criticised for making these diseases sound harmless.

Examples:

Causes and treatment

Cause

  • Infection by the respective virus or bacterium
  • Transmission: usually droplet infection via droplets in the air (coughing, sneezing)

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Physical examination
  • Blood test
Possible therapies
  • Depends on the disease in question
  • Symptom relief (e.g. painkillers and fever-reducing drugs)
  • Spectrum: from wait-and-see to intensive therapy

What can I do myself?

  • Protect yourself and your children by getting the vaccinations recommended by the Swiss vaccination schedule
  • Stay at home if you have symptoms
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Hygiene measures
    • Wash your hands frequently
    • Avoid close physical contact
    • Sneeze/cough into the crook of the arm

When to see a doctor?

  • Persistent fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough with yellow or blood-streaked sputum
  • Disorientation, apathy
  • Stiff neck (can’t touch chin to chest)

Further information

Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH): Vaccinations and prevention
www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en

Synonyms

childhood diseases, childhood disease, childhood illness

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Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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