Carolinas HealthCare System

Common Symptoms and Concerns

Colds in Young Children

Your child probably will have more colds, or upper respiratory infections, than any other illness. In the first 2 years of life alone, most youngsters have 8 to 10 colds. Read more about colds.

Common Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications can be bought at your local drug store or grocery store without a doctor's order. This does not mean that OTCs are harmless. Like prescription medications, OTCs can be very dangerous to a child if taken incorrectly, according to the American Association of Pediatrics). Read more about over-the-counter medications.


Coughs are one of the most frequent symptoms of childhood illness, and although they can sound awful at times, they usually are not a symptom of anything dangerous. Actually, coughing is a healthy reflex that helps clear the airways in the throat and chest. Read more about coughs.


Croup is an inflammation of the voice box (larynx) and windpipe (trachea). When a child has croup, the airway just below the vocal cords becomes swollen and narrow. This makes breathing noisy and difficult (AAP). Read more about croup.

Diarrhea and Dehydration

Most children should continue to eat a normal diet including formula or milk while they have mild diarrhea. Special fluids have been designed to replace water and salts lost during diarrhea (AAP). Read more about diarrhea and dehydration.

Ear Infections

Your child may have a number of symptoms during an ear infection. Some of the common symptoms are pain, fever, and difficulty hearing. If your child's ears are infected, your pediatrician may prescribe an antibiotic (AAP). Read more about ear infections.


A fever is a body temperature that is higher than normal. Your child's normal body temperature varies with his age, general health, activity level, the time of day and how much clothing he or she is wearing (AAP). Read more about fever.

Sore Throat

The terms sore throat, strep throat, and tonsillitis are often used interchangeably, but they don't necessarily mean the same thing. In infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, the most frequent cause of sore throats is a viral infection (AAP). Read more about sore throats.


Recurrent vomiting may be a sign that your child needs medical attention, especially if there is also abdominal pain, fever, or headache (AAP). Read more about vomiting.

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