How to Identify the 3 Most Common Viral Illnesses in Children

The life of a child is all but designed to encourage the spread of viral infections. Children are highly social and spend most of their time either playing with other children or held in close quarters with them during school. Children often have a hard time remembering the basics of sanitation, and they put everything they see in their mouths.

Viral infections are nearly a given when it comes to your children, so it’s important you have a working knowledge of some of the more common illnesses out there.


This viral illness tends to affect children when they are between six months and three years old.

When a child has contracted Roseola they first develop a high fever. The fever will break within anything from 3 to 7 days after it starts. After their fever subsides your child will develop a rash over their body. This rash will not itch, but it will gradually spread over the course of their whole body. For some children the rash only lasts a few hours, though other children have to deal with it for a couple of days.

There is currently no treatment for Roseola, and the virus usually resolves itself without causing any serious problems. In fact, over half of all Roseola cases are passed without producing any symptoms. If your child has a high fever and you suspect it may be Roseola, it’s still important to go to your doctor to rule out more serious illnesses which begin the same way.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

While Roseola rarely affects children older than 2 years old Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease rarely affects children older than 5 years. Like Roseola there is presently no treatment for Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, and the illness will pass on its own within a week of symptoms appearing.

Though unlike Roseola, Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is a relatively uncomfortable illness for your child. This viral infection produces ulcers and sores within your child’s mouth that can be very painful. These sores will occur all throughout your child’s lips, gums and tongue, and will prevent them from being able to comfortably eat and drink. Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease can also produce blisters on your child’s body, usually appearing on the palms of their hands. This illness also produces a light fever, but the fever will be mild enough that you won’t need to treat it.

When your child suffers from Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, the main thing you can do to help them out is feeding them colder drinks and foods (like ice cream) to help ease their discomfort.


Despite the fact that it is one of the most common viral infections in children, many adults have only a passing knowledge of Rotavirus. Like the flu Rotavirus is a seasonal viral infection, and Rotavirus occurs commonly during the winter. It is highly communicable, and gets spread around daycares, playgrounds and classrooms very easily. Symptoms can develop in as little as one day after exposure to the virus, which also makes Rotavirus one of the fastest acting childhood illnesses around.

The main symptom of Rotavirus is diarrhea. Children with the virus can also suffer from vomiting, fever and pain, but diarrhea is both the most common symptom and the longest lasting symptom, as some children infected with the virus will suffer from this symptom for over a week.

While Rotavirus does not have any cure, it is important that you take every step possible to ensure your child does not become dehydrated while suffering from the illness.


Unlike the previous three viral infections in children, Chickenpox needs no introduction. All of us have caught the virus at one point or another, and all of us are familiar with its later symptoms.

Yet not all parents are aware that a vaccine for Chickenpox has been developed called Varivax. Not only is the vaccine an intelligent choice before your child produces any symptoms, but taking the vaccine after symptoms have already developed (or after your child has already been exposed to the virus) has been shown to prevent further developments of the illness.

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