Top 3 Winter Childhood Illnesses

January 12, 2022

In winter, we have a predominance of viral diseases, especially those that attack the airways. Colds, flu, bronchitis, laryngitis, tonsillitis are more common during this period. The colder temperatures and the dry climate cause a concentration of particles that allow these viruses to reproduce.

Children are the most affected, especially those with a history of allergic respiratory diseases (such as bronchitis and rhinitis). 

AFC Urgent Care Methuen is equipped to treat a variety of illnesses. Patients don't need to spend time in the emergency room or wait for an appointment with their primary care physician. Our walk-in clinic will have you feeling better in no time. 

Common Cold

Colds are relatively common in children. They usually bring them home from kindergarten or school - an average of six to ten colds a year is nothing unusual. This is because the children's immune systems are not yet fully developed. It still has to learn from contact with pathogens.

In addition, children in the crèche or other care facilities have a lot of close contact with their peers. If one of the children sneezes or coughs, the viruses can get into the air via tiny droplets of saliva and from there into the respiratory tract of others (so-called droplet infection ). But even through direct contact, for example, when playing together, pathogens can easily be transmitted ( contact or smear infection ).

Typical symptoms of a cold in children

A cold in children often show symptoms similar to that in adults. Characteristic are:

  • Fatigue and poor general health

  • less appetite

  • Runny nose and frequent sneezing

  • to cough

  • Sore throat  

Fever is also a possible symptom of a cold in children. It can take about one to two weeks to feel better again.


RSV ( Respiratory Syncytial Virus) is responsible for causing most cases of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in young children. 

Symptoms of RSV infection

An infected baby or child can:

  • cough,

  • have a runny nose

  • have a fever,

  • sometimes present with wheezing.

It's easy to confuse an RSV infection with the flu or another viral infection because they all have symptoms in common.

Parents can care for their RSV-infected children on their own as long as the little ones breathe easily, their skin does not turn bluish, and they drink and urinate (pee) normally. The infection usually only lasts a few days. Healthy adults are usually not severely infected, but they can still pass the virus to children.

The Flu

Not to be confused with a comparatively harmless cold, influenza is triggered by the influenza virus that gives it its name. Children are disproportionately affected, especially at the beginning of a flu epidemic, as the young immune system is often not yet able to handle the viruses so well. 

Flu symptoms

In the treatment of influenza, regardless of the person's age, the most important thing is to get a correct diagnosis. In many cases, influenza turns out to be a cold. With a real flu, the following symptoms can occur in addition to the usual cold symptoms:

  • high fever

  • dry, irritating cough

  • muscle pain

  • headache

  • chills

  • weakness

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