Winter is a time that most people associate with things like hot chocolate, soup and sometimes snow. But when winter rolls around, a lot of parents also associate the season with a range of illnesses that their children are more-than-likely to get.

Seasonal outbreaks of certain winter illnesses children can catch are common. There are many possible ways in which your child (or you) can be exposed to any of them. Illnesses are more prevalent in the winter due to the fact that people are more likely to group together- from being in shopping malls, schools,  churches, etc. Many of these conditions are more likely to happen during winter, and will likely require immediate treatment and a doctor’s appointment.

Common Winter Illnesses Children Can Catch

Here are some of the most common winter illnesses that children can catch.

The Common Flu

he “common flu” is a blanket term that’s used to describe symptoms caused by a handful of different viruses that all share more or less the same symptoms. Symptoms of flu includes a fever, night sweats, running nose, sore throat and a cough – and not always in this order.

Flu should be treated as a more serious condition when it affects children, whose immune systems aren’t generally as strong as adults. When a child shows any signs of flu, see your doctor.


Pneumonia is a term used to describe a lung condition, usually contracted by exposure to one of the viruses that cause it. This commonly happens when the lungs have already been exposed to something prior to this – such as flu – and the immune system is already at a low-point.

Sometimes the beginnings of pneumonia can mirror flu, but with the addition of a persistent cough that doesn’t go away or gets worse over time.

The consequences of pneumonia can be much worse than your average flu infection, and in some cases pneumonia can even be fatal. See a doctor immediately.

Croup or Whooping Cough

Croup or “whooping cough” is a health condition that tends to rear its head in winter, and is generally most-seen among very small children and infants. Symptoms of whooping cough includes restlessness, fever and a persistent cough – but the same is also true for many other health conditions affecting children, and medical attention is necessary for an accurate diagnosis.

Small children are rarely able to vocalize their discomfort other than through crying. This is always something for which adults should be on the lookout.


There are many diseases out there that are thought to affect children more readily than adults who have been vaccinated. Some of these conditions include smallpox, measles and German measles.

These conditions are often called “childhood diseases”, but children aren’t the only ones who might get them. Adults can be just as much of a risk factor for contracting these conditions, especially if their immune system has been compromised. Adults who are exposed but don’t show symptoms can also still be a “carrier” for the disease and unknowingly have spread it to their children.

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