Common Childhood Illnesses

Cases of colds, viruses, and gastrointestinal illness (vomiting, stomach ache, and diarrhea) are common childhood illnesses.  Bacterial infections such as conjunctivitis (pink eye), strep throat, sinus or ear infections and pneumonia are occasionally reported as well.  This chart offers practical guidelines for recognizing the differences between some illnesses.  General healthcare information should not be used as a substitute or in place of contacting your child’s healthcare provider.



Common Cold

Strep Throat



Low grade fever or no fever

Fever common from bacterial infection

Usually very HIGH fever of 102-104 – lasts 3-4 days or more




Usually occurs and can be severe

General body aches and pains

Rare or slight


Usually occurs and can be severe



Not common

Usually occurs 

Stuffy nose

Very common



Fatigue and weakness



Extreme and can last 2 weeks

Diarrhea and vomiting



Occasionally in children 

Loss of appetite

Rare or mild

Often due to pain from swallowing

Usually due to multiple symptoms

Will antibiotics help?


Yes – always prescribed and should be completely finished




It is best to consult with your pediatrician if any of the following applies:

  • Fever over 101.5
  • Onset of a sore throat is rapid, severe and persists for more than 2 days
  • A rash that looks like sand paper or “goose bumps” with a sore throat
  • Persistent ear pain with fever
  • Pus or greenish-yellow discharge from the nasal sinuses or in the back of the throat
  • Thick yellowish-white drainage from the eyes  (can prevent the eyes from opening)
  • Persistent loss of appetite with influenza symptoms
  • Persistent  severe cough with pain in the chest area and difficult breathing

Please refer to the West Irondequoit Central School District Minimum School Exclusion Policy.  Children who have been ill with a fever should remain at home for 24 hours after the fever has subsided.  Letters reporting multiple illnesses in your child's classroom may at times be sent home.  A general informational letter is sent home for illnesses that are reportable to the Monroe County Health Department.

Please feel free to contact your school Health Office with any questions.

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