5 Early baby diseases every mum should know

sick baby with thermometer under the arm

Babies encounter many infectious diseases in their early developmental stage especially in the early months and years of life. They are prone to diseases more than adults as their immune systems are still developing. Knowing the signs and symptoms can help you get them the right treatment early. 

Below are 5 common early childhood diseases and their possible treatments.

1. Chicken Pox

Baby with chicken pox
chicken pox

Varicella(chicken pox), is an acute contagious disease primarily of children that is caused  by the varicella-zoster virus. It causes a rash of red, itchy spots that turn into fluid-filled blisters. They then crust over to form scabs, which eventually drop off. The spots are most likely to appear on the face, ears and scalp, under the arms, on the chest and belly and on the arms and legs. Some children have only a few spots, but in others they can cover the entire body.


A child who catches chickenpox may not show symptoms for 10 to 21 days after being exposed to the virus. Here are the common symptoms of chicken pox;

  • A mild fever for one or two days before the rash appears
  • General malaise
  • Coughing
  • Fussiness
  • Lack of appetite
  •  itchy rash



 There’s actually no cure or specific treatment for chickenpox. However, here are some things you can do to ease the discomfort your child will be experiencing.

  • Give your child oatmeal baths
  • Paracetamol can help relieve the fever
  • Use calamine lotion
  •  Restrain your child from scratching.


2. Conjunctivitis

baby with conjunctivitis

Pinkeye as it is often called is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the white part of the eye and inner eyelids. It is usually caused by viruses and bacteria responsible for colds and other infections. 

This disease is highly contagious as a child can easily contact it from touching an infected person or something the infected person has touched such as sheets, cloths, towels. It can also spread through coughing and sneezing.


Children will conjunctivitis experience the following symptoms;

  • Excessive tearing on one or both eyes
  • Itching or burning sensation on one or both eyes
  • White or green  discharge from the eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Blurred vision


The treatment of conjunctivitis depends on the type. Nonetheless, some of the most common but yet effective treatments of conjunctivitis are;

  • Taking of Zinc supplements e.g zinc sulfate, zinc citrate, etc.
  • Flushing the effected eye(s) regularly with clean water
  • Applying cold compresses to the eye(s)
  • Applying eye drops or ointment
  • Washing of cloths/sheet used to prevent it from spreading .

3. Measles


child with measles(rubeola)

Also called rubeola, measles can be serious and even fatal for little children. It is caused by a type of virus called a paramyxovirus. It’s transmitted in tiny droplets when an infected person coughs, breathes, or sneezes. Unlike the influenza virus, the measles virus can’t survive for very long on objects like doorknobs and telephones. Nevertheless, it’s an airborne virus, which means it is highly contagious. After a bout of measles, a person gains immunity for the rest of their life. They are very unlikely to contract measles a second time.


Rubeola(measles) is often characterized by the following symptoms namely;

  • runny nose
  • Fever
  • dry hacking cough
  • watery eyes
  • a reddish-brown rash
  • generalized body aches



There is actually no specific treatment for Rubeola(measles), symptoms usually go away within 7 to 10 days. The only useful treatments are those that help relieve symptoms and they include;

  • Increased fluid intake
  • Acetaminophen for fever
  • Increased intake of vitamins
  • ibuprofen can help control aches and pains



4. Fever

baby with fever
Baby with fever

All kids get a fever from time to time. A fever itself usually causes no harm and can actually be a good thing — it’s often a sign that the body is fighting an infection. However, a fever that goes above 102 degrees Fahrenheit, causes your child to wake in the middle of the night flushed, hot, and sweaty  is a cause for concern, and treatment should be initiated.


One common sign of fever in babies is a warm forehead, al

though not having a warm forehead doesn’t mean that your baby doesn’t have a fever. 

Other symptoms associated with fever in babies include:

  • Increased body temperature
  • chills
  • loss of appetite
  • Unusual sweating
  • Aches and pains
  • Stiff neck


Children often deal with fevers better than adults do. If your child has a fever but is still playing and for the most part is still acting like himself, there is no need to do anything to bring his temperature down, should you notice any of the symptoms above; you can apply the following treatment:


5. Diarrhea

Baby with diarrhea

defined either as watery stool or increased frequency (or both) when compared to a normal amount. There are many infectious and noninfectious causes of diarrhea. Persistent diarrhea is both uncomfortable and dangerous to the health of children because it can indicate an underlying infection and may mean that the body is not able to absorb some nutrients due to a problem in the bowels.

Diarrhea is usually caused by a number of things including ;

  • Bacterial infection
  • Viral infection
  • Food intolerance or allergies
  • Parasites
  • Reaction to medications


Depending on the cause, babies with chronic diarrhea may also have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • loss of control of bowel movements
  • bloody stools
  • nausea or vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • fever

Treatment:Give your baby lots of fluid to avoid dehydration

  • Change the soiled diaper often to avoid baby rash
  • Avoid over-the-counter medication unless advised by the doctor
  • Antibiotics can be given to the child if the diarrhea was caused by a virus or illness but ensure its the doctor’s prescription
  • Ensure your baby continues taking food.



While it is true that most of the mentioned diseases are inevitable, mums can help protect their babies from some viruses and bacteria simply by keeping their vaccinations up to date and giving them foods and fruits that will help build their immune system so they can stand a better chance when diseases come knocking….


I hope this article helped me you in some way!!


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