What are teething problems?

A childhood disease is a disease caused by an infection that is widespread and easily transmitted. As a result, these diseases occur especially in children. This is usually followed by lifelong immunity, which means that this disease can not occur again in the same person. Most of the infectious diseases that typically occur in children today are vaccinated. However, if the disease does not occur in children and there is no vaccine, it can also affect adults.

The most important childhood diseases

The classic childhood illnesses include:

  • measles

  • mumps

  • rubella

  • Roseola

  • chickenpox

  • Scarlet fever

  • diphtheria

  • poliomyelitis

These will be discussed in more detail below.


One of the most common childhood diseases is measles. They are very contagious and are transmitted by viruses. Approximately 10-15 days after infection, symptoms appear.

In a first phase, which is also referred to as pre-stage, it comes to the onset of fever, runny nose, cough and inflammation of the eyes. As a result, those affected are usually afraid of light.

A few days later it comes to the typical for the clinical picture in the oral cavity. These are also called Koplik patches . They occur in more than half of all patients and are dark red. If these spots are observed, this is a sure sign of measles disease.

A few days later there is a sharp rise in body temperature and a rash all over. These are also dark red spots that persist for about 5 days before the infection subsides.

The treatment is usually symptomatic. Only an existing suppression of the immune system can cause complications, such as inflammation of the lungs or the brain, which must be treated early. Measles vaccine is now a standard vaccine and takes place within the first 2 years of life.


Mumps disease is an infection caused by viruses. Affected are especially children between the ages of 2 and 15 years.

The symptoms break out after 2-4 weeks, with approximately half of those affected only having flu-like symptoms.

However, if it comes to the severity of the disease, this begins with an initially one-sided swelling of the parotid gland. The swelling is usually very painful and starts after a few days on the other side. In addition, it comes to fever and occasionally to pain while chewing.

Mumps is a dangerous childhood disease mainly because of possible complications. These include, among others, the inflammation of the pancreas, also called pancreatitis, and the inflammation of the testes, also known as orchitis (testicular mumps). The latter may even lead to infertility in rare cases.

Today, however, this disease is no longer a threat due to the vaccine. The vaccine will be given within the first two years of life together with the vaccine against measles and rubella.


Rubella is a childhood disease caused by a virus. Children 5-9 years old are the most affected.

Half of all infected children show no symptoms.

For the other half, mild fever and a rash occur 2-3 weeks after transmission. This usually begins behind the ears and spreads over the entire body in the course of the disease. These are small red dots that have given the disease its name. Furthermore, the lymph nodes swell, especially around the neck.

Occasionally there is a slight enlargement of the spleen, which reflects the activation of the immune system.

The rubella infection is usually relatively harmless, but can be dangerous especially during pregnancy: Here it can lead to malformations of the unborn child. This includes in particular

  • Deafness,
  • poor eyesight,
  • a mental underdevelopment and
  • Heart defect.

Therefore, vaccination against rubella infection is very important. It is usually co-administered with the measles vaccines and mumps is performed by default within the first two years of life.


A well-known childhood disease is the chickenpox. They are also called varicella because they are triggered by the varicella-zoster virus. The disease is very contagious and usually leads to the appearance of symptoms after about 2 weeks.

These include typical appearances on the skin that develop into fluid-filled blisters. Due to the intense itching, they are usually scratched by the affected children and leave scars, which are initially encrusted. Since these skin symptoms usually show side by side in different advanced stages, this appearance is also referred to as starry sky. In addition, there is the appearance of fever, fatigue and headache.

In otherwise healthy children, the symptoms subsided after one week. Therefore, the treatment is mainly in the administration of drugs that reduce the itching.

In case of a weakened immune system, medicines to combat the viruses may be recommended.

A vaccine against chickenpox can be done within the first two years of life. Although the affected person is immune to the disease after infection has been passed through, the immune system can weaken the symptoms due to the virus. This is also known as herpes zoster disease, or colloquially shingles.

whooping cough

Whooping cough, also called pertussis, is a childhood disease caused by bacteria.

The symptoms include the eponymous coughing fits, which occur at short intervals and long inhalation. The affected usually stretch out the tongue and there is a short-term undersupply of the body with oxygen. After the coughing attack children often throw up mucus. Especially in newborns, these seizures should not be underestimated and must be treated early with antibiotics.

A vaccination against whooping cough is recommended and takes place within the first year of life.

Scarlet fever

Scarlet fever is a childhood disease transmitted by the bacteria streptococcus, which occurs mainly between the ages of 4 and 10 years. The symptoms are fever and typical changes in the mouth and around the mouth. These include reddening of the cheeks, paleness around the lips, redness of the palate and discoloration of the tongue. This is often referred to as raspberry tongue.

Furthermore, it comes to a patchy rash, which can be found especially in the bar. Approximately a week later, it comes to flaking and peeling the skin.

The treatment is with penicillin, a vaccine against scarlet fever does not exist.

Fifth disease

The children's disease Ringella is caused by a virus and mainly affects children between 5 and 15 years old.

Many infections occur without the appearance of symptoms. If symptoms do appear, there is a typical reddening, which begins first on the face and is left out around the mouth. Later, the redness spreads over the entire body. Usually she returns after a few days.

Especially in adults, it can also cause arthritis, ie inflammation of joints. After having undergone ringworm disease, those affected are immune for life. In pregnancy, the infection can be transmitted from the mother to the child and lead to serious consequences.

Hand, foot and mouth disease

The hand-foot-mouth disease is transmitted via droplet infection, for example when sneezing, and triggered by a virus.

As the name suggests, this teething disorder causes rashes on the soles of the feet, the palms of the hands, and around the mouth. In some cases, the rash is also found throughout the body. Furthermore, there is often inflammation of the oral cavity with the formation of painful blisters.

The symptoms usually resolve after a few days. Rarely, there are complications. These include the inflammation of the meninges, the heart muscle and the lungs.


The three-day fever caused by a virus affects mainly infants and toddlers.

As the name suggests, it causes a strong fever, which usually disappears after three days. In addition, there is a rash that occurs mainly on the trunk and also disappeared relatively quickly. Occasionally it can come during the three-day fever to febrile seizures, which are usually harmless, but should nevertheless be clarified by a doctor.

The treatment of the three-day fever includes antipyretic measures.

Impetigo infectiosa

Impetigo infectiosa, also called impetigo contagiosa, is triggered by a type of streptococcal bacteria.

This leads to the infestation of the skin with characteristic symptoms. This includes the appearance of blisters and typical honey-yellow crusts. These are especially pronounced on the face, especially around the mouth, nose and scalp. After a few days, the symptoms usually disappear without long-term consequences.

For pronounced symptoms, the use of antibiotics may be useful. Otherwise, usually no treatment is necessary.


The childhood disease diphtheria is caused by a particular bacterium. This passes through droplet infection, for example via sneezing, into the throat and leads there to the appearance of symptoms.

These include tonsillitis, ie the inflammation of the tonsils, which is typically associated with so-called pseudomembranes, a kind of covering of the tonsils. Alternatively, the bacterium can cause symptoms on the larynx. This causes severe coughing, hoarseness, and the growing whisper of hoarseness.

Diphtheria must be treated as soon as possible with the administration of an antidote, otherwise it can lead to serious complications.

Against diphtheria exits a vaccine, which is performed by default.


Poliomyelitis is also known as polio and is caused by viruses.

Transmission of polio viruses does not produce symptoms in over 90% of all infected individuals. However, if it comes to the development of a disease, this usually consists only in a flu.

Only in about 1-2% do the viruses infect the nerves and it comes to paralysis in different parts of the body. Poliomyelitis is particularly feared because of the infestation of the nerves for the respiratory musculature, as this was previously the therapy only the so-called "iron lung", a respirator, was an option.

Today, the virus is vaccinated by default. Only in Pakistan and Afghanistan is the disease still a risk.


The clinical picture tetanus, also called Wundstarrkampf, is caused by offshoots of a bacterium and leads to the infestation of the nervous system. This leads to an uncontrolled activation of the nerves, which manifests itself in spasmodic, excessive movements. The picture typical of the childhood disease consists of a jaw clamp, the convulsive so-called devil's grin and the hyperextension of the back. In the later course, the nerves of the respiratory muscles are affected as well, which leads to breathing status.

Since tetanus is vaccinated by default, fortunately, the otherwise necessary treatment with drugs is rarely needed nowadays.

Hemophilus influenzae

Haemophilus influenzae is a bacterium that, contrary to its name, does not trigger classical influenza, but can lead to various other diseases. As the bacterium lives in the mucous membranes, it causes inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, bronchi, lungs and epiglottis, especially in the respiratory system. Other possible diseases that can be triggered by Haemophilus influenzae include inflammation of the middle ear, meninges, or heart.

Due to the vaccine against the bacterium, these diseases are mainly present only in unvaccinated infants.

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