Seasonal Childhood Illnesses: What to Watch Out For

Kids get sick a lot. They like to get their hands into everything, and they aren’t very good about washing their hands frequently or keeping those dirty hands out of their mouths. Add to that a still developing immune system, and your kids are likely going to have a lot of sniffles, coughs, and cases of “my tummy doesn’t feel good.”

But how do you know what’s just your typical runny nose and what requires a trip to the pediatrician? Here’s a closer look at some common seasonal illnesses in children to help you know what to watch out for:

Seasonal Childhood Illnesses: What to Watch Out For

A Cold

Colds are some of the most common seasonal childhood illnesses. Unfortunately, they are quickly passed through touch and through the air. Kids can get it by touching surfaces that sick kids have touched, or just by breathing the air they breathe.

Symptoms of a cold include:

  • Blocked noses
  • Runny noses
  • Sore throat

You’re likely to hear a lot of sniffing and sneezing when your child has a cold, and your child may seem lethargic. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to cure a cold. Just give your child plenty of liquids and use over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms.


The flu is similar to a cold, but the symptoms are more severe, and the virus can actually be life-threatening if the illness is not treated and the person has a compromised immune system. Children can be more severely affected by the flu than adults.

Symptoms of the flu include:

  • Cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose and sore throat
  • Fever
  • Headache and muscle aches
  • Chills
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Loss of appetite

In addition to keep your child well-rested and hydrated, you should take your child to see a pediatrician if you notice any of the symptoms of the flu. Your pediatrician can advise you of steps to take to make your child more comfortable. Your pediatrician will also monitor your child in case the symptoms worsen and medical action has to be taken. Like a cold, the flu is caused by a virus and cannot be cured. You just have to treat the symptoms and let the virus run its course.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

RSV is often confused with the common cold because the symptoms are so similar, but they are different viruses. One thing they have in common is that they are highly contagious and they are common in schools and daycare centers. Washing hands frequently can help reduce the risk, but it won’t eliminate it.

Symptoms of RSV can include:

  • Cough
  • Dry and sore throat
  • Runny nose

Giving your child plenty of fluids and using an over-the-counter nasal spray can provide comfort and manage symptoms. If your child develops a high fever, see your pediatrician immediately.


Pneumonia can develop on top of any of these illnesses. It is an infection that settles into the lungs, and the infection can be caused by a virus or a bacteria. If you notice that your child’s symptoms are worsening, it may be that pneumonia is developing. You need to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Illnesses like these are common amongst kids of all ages. They can strike at any time of the year, but they are especially common in the colder months. Take precaution by encouraging your child to wash their hands frequently, keeping toys cleaned, and keeping your children away from other kids who are sick (as much as possible).

If you suspect that your child has more than a cold, or they aren’t responding to over-the-counter treatments, make an appointment with the Bolingbrook pediatric clinic A2Z Pediatrics. Our board-certified doctors and nurses are ready to provide the highest level of care to your child. Our experienced pediatricians treat all types of illnesses, as well as provide annual well visits and mental health check ups. We establish strong relationships with our patients and their families by really listening to their concerns and taking a collaborative approach to care. Whether your child is showing symptoms of the flu or you need to get a routine checkup or to discuss another concern, our pediatricians are ready to help. Call us in Bolingbrook to make an appointment with a pediatrician now.

A2Z Pediatrics
550 E Boughton Rd #110
Bolingbrook, IL 60440

Phone: 630-755-5437