Fifth Disease, Croup, and RSV:

Some common (and not-so-common like Fifth Disease) Child Illnesses child illnesses I’ve experienced in my home daycare. Chances are you may also experience these too. What are they and what are the symptoms?

Fifth Disease

fifth disease baby

I’ve had a few cases of this over the years. It is a disease where the kids have a rash that makes them look like they’ve been slapped in the face.

It is actually a virus called parvovirus B 19. Kids may have a Fever, or seem like they have the flu with some joint pain as well. The only way to get a definite diagnosis is with a blood test.

It doesn’t have any lasting effects in healthy children and adults, but pregnant women, or people with weakened immune systems may experience complications from it.


I like to think of this as “really scary virus”, but what it actually stands for is Respiratory Syncytial Virus.

Why do I think it is scary? When young infants get severe RSV, it can be very serious. Although it is a very common lung and airway infection, it can make breathing very difficult in vulnerable babies. Over the years I have had several infants admitted to the hospital with it.

More severe RSV may affect:

  • Premature babies
  • Babies with chronic lung disease
  • Infants whose immune system does not work well
  • Infants with certain forms of heart disease

Older kids more than likely will have cold-like symptoms that are mild. People of any age may get it. They will get these symptoms around 4-6 days after being exposed.

RSV sick baby

Here are symptoms of RSV:

  • Skin may appear blue – this is due to lack of oxygen
  • Child may have difficulty breathing
  • Cough or a croupy cough
  • Fever
  • There nostrils will seem to be flaring
  • Their breathing will be rapid
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stuffed up nose
  • Wheezing


The best way I can describe croup- sounds like a child is barking like a seal when they cough! They can also sound very hoarse when they are talking or crying. It is usually caused by a virus, and is most common in children from ages 6 months to 3 years; however, older children can get it.

It usually starts out with cold symptoms- runny nose and fever, but as the upper airway gets more and more inflamed, the hoarseness and barky cough sets in. Most croup cases are mild, and parents can treat them at home. But keep in mind some (rare) cases can become severe and possibly life-threatening.

These are just a few of the many diseases/illnesses you may encounter in your home daycare. Please report any signs of these to the parents immediately for the health of the child and for further spread of them to you, your family and your child care family.

Go to the top of Fifth Disease

Return from Fifth Disease to Child Care Business HOME - child care jobs

child care business logo