8 Common Childhood Illnesses and Their Treatments

8 Common Childhood Illnesses and Their Treatments

All children deserve the medical treatment of high quality. As a parent, it is important to be aware of the most up-to-date recommendations for treatment so that you can be sure that your child receives the best possible care.

Some of the most common childhood illnesses and their licensed therapies are described in the following information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Scientific evidence and best practices are focused on the therapies discussed here.

There may be reasons, however, why your pediatrician has multiple guidelines for your child, especially if your child has an existing medical condition or allergy. Your pediatrician is going to discuss with you any variations in treatment. Please discuss them with your pediatrician if you have any concerns about proper treatment for your infant.

1. Sore Throat

  • Sore throats are prevalent and can be painful in infants. A sore throat that is caused by a virus, however, needs no antibiotics. No special medication is needed in those situations, and your child should get better within seven to ten days. In other cases, an infection called streptococcal might cause a sore throat (strep throat).
  • By merely looking at the throat, strep can not be diagnosed correctly. To confirm the diagnosis of strep, a laboratory test or in-office rapid strep test, which requires a simple swab of the throat, is required. Your pediatrician will recommend an antibiotic if it is positive for strep. It’s really important that your child, even if the symptoms get better or go away, take the antibiotic for the full course, as recommended. For certain cases of a sore throat, steroid medications are not an effective remedy.
  • Babies and toddlers rarely get it strep throat, but they are more likely to become infected by streptococcus bacteria if they are in child care or if an older sibling has the illness. While strep spreads primarily through coughs and sneezes, through touching a toy that an infected child has played with, your kid can also get it.
  • Ear Pain
  • Ear pain is common in children and can have many causes—including ear infection (otitis media), swimmer’s ear (infection of the skin in the ear canal), pressure from a cold Sinus or sinus infection, pain in the teeth that radiates from the jaw to the ear, among others. Your pediatrician would need to test the ear of your child in order to know the difference. Currently, the safest way for your pediatrician to make a correct diagnosis is always to have an in-office test. If your child’s ear pain is followed by a high fever, both ears are involved, or your child has other symptoms of illness, your pediatrician may determine that the best treatment is an antibiotic.
  • Amoxicillin is the preferred antibiotic for middle ear infections—except when there is an allergy to penicillin or chronic or recurrent infections.
  • Viruses are responsible for many true ear infections and do not require antibiotics. If your child’s ear infection is believed by your pediatrician to be triggered by a virus, he or she will speak to you about the best ways to help alleviate your child’s ear pain before the virus runs its course.
  • Urinary Tract Infection


  • Bladder infections, also called urinary tract infections or UTIs, occur when ­bacteria build up in the urinary tract. In kids from infancy through the teen years and into adulthood, a UTI can be found. UTI signs include discomfort or burning during urination, regular or immediate urination, bedwetting or incidents with a child who knows how to use the bathroom, stomach pain, or side or back pain.
  • Your child’s doctor will need a urine sample to test for a UTI before determining treatment. Your doctor may adjust the treatment depending on which bacteria is found in your child’s urine.
  • Skin Infection

A skin test (culture or swab) may be required in most children with skin infections to decide the most effective treatment. Tell your doctor whether your child has a history of MRSA, staph infection, or other resistant bacteria, or has been exposed to or has had contact with resistant bacteria in other family members.

  • Bronchitis

Infection of the larger, more central airways in the lungs is chronic bronchitis and is seen more frequently in adults. To define a chest infection, the term “bronchitis” is sometimes used and does not require antibiotics.

  • Bronchiolitis
  • During the cold and flu season, bronchiolitis is widespread in infants and young children. When your child breathes, your doctor can hear “wheezing”.
  • Bronchiolitis is most often caused by a virus, Which needs no antibiotics. Instead, most suggestions for treatment are aimed at making your child relaxed with close supervision for any trouble breathing, feeding, or signs of dehydration. For most babies and young children with bronchiolitis, medications used for patients with asthma (such as albuterol or steroids) are not prescribed. Different treatment plans may be required for children who are born prematurely or have underlying health issues.


  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen are the best pain relief drugs for kids. As it should be based on the weight of your infant, speak to your pediatrician about how much to give your child.
  • For children with common injuries or complaints, such as sprained ankles, ear pain, or sore throats, narcotic pain killers are not suitable. As it has been linked with serious respiratory problems and even death in infants, codeine should never be used in children.

Common Cold

Viruses in the upper respiratory tract are responsible for colds. Many young kids can get 6 to 8 colds per year, especially those in child care. Cold symptoms (including runny nose, congestion, and cough) can last as long as 10 days.

Green nose mucus does not always mean that antibiotics are required; antibiotics are never needed for common colds. However, if a sinus infection is suspected, your doctor will carefully determine if, based on your child’s symptoms and a physical test, antibiotics are the right option.

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