Baby and Toddler Infections

This page has the following information on baby and toddler infections:

Toddler and Baby Infections

Baby and toddler infections are common. Most are caused by viruses (so called viral infections) and most involve the upper respiratory tract (the common cold is the prime example) which are known as viral upper respiratory tract infections. These infections do not require antibiotics. To read more on viral upper respiratory tract infections, click here.

However, some infections are caused by bacteria and will require antibiotics for treatment.

Some infections are serious and require urgent attention. To read aboutsigns of serious illness in your infant or toddler, click here.

To read about general information relating to fever and its treatment in infants and toddlers, click here.

To read more about how immunizations protect against infant and toddler infections, click here.


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The following list of infections is in alphabetical order:

  • Bronchiolitis - a viral respiratory tract infection due to RSV seen in babies
  • Chicken-pox - infectious disease caused by varicella zoster infection
  • Cold sores - itchy blisters around the mouth usually
  • Common cold - coughs and colds are upper respiratory tract infections and very common in toddlers
  • Croup - a viral infection causing noisy breathing
  • Diptheria - since immunization, we don't see so much of this infection which causes breathing problems
  • Ear infections - common in toddlers causing transient hearing loss and ear pain
  • Fifth disease - gives fever and a slapped cheek appearance
  • Gastroenteritis - a viral infection causing diarrhea and/or vomiting
  • Hand, foot and mouth disease - causes blisters in the mouth and on the palms of the hands
  • Head lice - a common infestation in toddlers
  • Impetigo - a skin infection usually involving the face
  • Influenza - a severe viral infection occasionally causing epidemics.
  • Measles - an infectious disease that can cause serious illness. Information about MMR immunization is also available on this page
  • Meningitis - a serious infection involving the covering of the brain
  • Mumps - an infection that gives an appearance of chipmunk cheeks
  • Pneumonia - an infection of the lungs
  • Tetanus -an infection that causes spasm of muscles. Luckily we don't see it so much now with immunization
  • Tonsillitis - causing a sore throat
  • Urinary Tract Infection - an infection in the urine which can be difficult to diagnose in young children who are not toilet trained
  • Whooping Cough (Pertussis) - protection from this infection, which causes cough and respiratory distress, is achieved with immunization

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Last reviewed 29 May 2010

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Dr Maud MD

Dr Maud MD (MBChB, FRACP, FRCPCH), a specialist pediatrician, provides health information and medical advice for parents of babies and toddlers. Read more about Dr Maud.

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