In the course of our lives, we get numerous diseases. Our body has more or less learned to deal with them and modern medicine ensures that many diseases have almost died out in industrialized countries. Especially in childhood we get sick with typical infectious diseases due to our physical constitution. If your baby has one of these diseases, he or she cannot attend kindergarten or school for the time being because of the risk of infection.

Measles (Morbilli):

Measles is a highly contagious disease. It should not be underestimated. The measles virus spreads this disease. You can have your child vaccinated against measles. If not, there is a 90 percent chance that your child will get it. The incubation period for measles is about 10 – 12 days. Typical symptoms of measles are high fever and the classic red rash of measles. The mucous membrane of the mouth may have small white spots, but it does not have to. Your child is likely to be sensitive to light. Cough, runny nose, and hoarseness may at first feign a simple cold. The doctor will only prescribe an antibiotic for your child if there are complications from the accompanying symptoms. Since measles is a viral disease, these will not act on the measles viruses themselves. After such an illness, there is lifelong immunity to measles.

Mumps (parotitis epidemica):

You probably know the disease mumps more by its popularly known name, goat mumps. Mumps is caused by a virus and is highly contagious, similar to measles. The incubation period for mumps is about two weeks to 24 days. Even before the disease breaks out, your child is contagious as early as one week after infection. First, there is a one-sided swelling in the jaw area, as the salivary glands located there swell. As a result, your child is likely to feel pain when swallowing and have difficulty turning his or her head. It will not take long and after a few days the second side will also swell. A slight fever often accompanies the disease. The most effective protection against mumps is vaccination. Rare complications of the disease can be meningitis or testicular inflammation in boys or ovarian inflammation in girls. Mumps is not treatable. Only the symptoms can be alleviated by medication.

Three-day fever (exanthema subitum):

Three-day fever occurs very frequently in early childhood. The highly contagious disease is caused by a pathogen from the herpes family. The incubation period is approximately 7 -17 days. Sudden onset of fever without visible deterioration of the general condition is a typical indication of three-day fever. After about three or even four days, the fever is suddenly gone. Instead, a reddish rash appears all over your child’s body, which also resembles the measles rash. Once this is visible, your child is no longer contagious. However, the rash does not have to become visible. There is no treatment for this viral disease; only the symptoms can be relieved.


Rubella is a highly contagious infectious disease. Rubella should not be confused with ringworm. Vaccination in infancy is available. Rubella disease is transmitted by viruses. After an incubation period of 14-21 days, the disease breaks out with a reddish rash mainly on the face, but also on all other parts of the body. The disease is accompanied by rhinitis, headache and pain in the limbs, markedly swollen lymph nodes, and a temperature of up to 39°C. The disease is usually harmless in infancy; however, symptoms may worsen significantly as the child grows older. After the characteristic rash appears, the child is no longer contagious. No antibiotics will help against a viral infection, so parents are left to relieve the symptoms. Once the disease is over, the organism forms a lifelong immunity to the pathogen.

Chickenpox (Varicella):

Chickenpox, like most typical childhood illnesses, is highly contagious. Your child is contagious as early as two days after infection, even before the disease breaks out, until a week after the onset of the typical rash. The viral pathogens can be transmitted through contact as well as through the air. There is an incubation period of approximately 12 to 22 days for chickenpox. The chickenpox rash consists of pea-sized red spots, and later these may turn into watery blisters. Your child will constantly try to scratch, because the rash itches tremendously. Even mucous membranes such as the mouth or vagina are affected. Another symptom is high fever up to 40 degrees Celsius. However, this does not necessarily occur. After the blisters have burst, they crust over. Many children retain scars from scratching the itchy blisters. You can only treat the accompanying symptoms, such as lotions for the rash or antibiotics for any skin infections. Once the disease is over, there is lifelong immunity.

Scarlet fever (Scarlatina):

Scarlet fever is widespread and very common. It is caused by streptococcal bacteria. The incubation period for scarlet fever is 2 – 4 days. After that, your child will get a fever and a sore throat. A typical sign is the white coated tongue, which turns raspberry red after a few days. Scarlet fever also almost always results in a velvety reddish rash. It begins in the armpit and groin area. The mouth is left out. It is not uncommon for the skin on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet to peel. Once a child is treated with antibiotics, there is no lifelong immunity. However, this is the safest and most common treatment method that provides relief to your child relatively quickly.