Common Childhood Issues: Ages 2 to 5


Also known as the stomach flu, gastro is an infection of the digestive system that targets the stomach and intestines. Symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting. Fever can sometimes be present with gastro which can lead to dehydration.

The first course of treatment should be to make sure your little one is drinking plenty of liquids such as water or oral re-hydration solutions such as Pedialyte to help with the body’s loss of salt. Secondly, your child should be getting lots of rest with complete bed rest for at least 24 hours.

Gastro is no fun for anyone, especially your children, but the virus will pass on its own. However, you should contact your doctor if you notice the following:

  • blood or green colour in the vomit or diarrhea
  • a high fever that doesn’t stop increasing
  • vomiting and diarrhea persist for more than 24 hours

Otherwise, rest and hydration should be enough to get your child through the dreaded stomach bug.


Impetigo (im-puh-TIE-go) is a highly contagious bacterial infection that manifests in flat red spots or blisters found on the face, hands and legs. These blisters may fill with pus, burst and crust over.

Because it is a bacterial infection, the only course of treatment is antibiotics. In order to prevent spread of impetigo, your child should be kept home for 24 hours from the time antibiotic treatment is started.

If your child contracts impetigo, they most definitely caught it from someone else who has it. This can happen either through contact with the carrier or with something they touched.

Unfortunately, like the other physical issues in this list, impetigo travels easily through day cares and schools because of the close proximity to other children.

As soon as you notice red sores or blisters around your little one’s mouth, nose or on their hands or legs, take them to the doctor right away.

Hand, Foot and Mouth

Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is not as scary as it sounds. It is actually a common and non-serious condition that targets children from ages 2 to 5. It is a viral infection which means, unfortunately, it cannot be treated with antibiotics. However, you can most definitely alleviate the symptoms with at-home care.

Early symptoms of HFMD include fever and a sore throat, so it initially looks like a common cold. Eventually ulcers and sores will manifest on the inside of the mouth and rashes will appear on the hands, feet, legs and/or bum.

Treatment includes use of over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to alleviate any inflammation. Cold treats such as popsicles can help with sores inside the mouth and anti-itch lotion is great for the rashes.

Because of the contagious nature of HFMD, it is best to receive a diagnosis from your doctor if you suspect your child has it.

Big Feelings

Up until the age of 2, your child has become an expert in expressing what they want – even if it’s not always appropriate or quiet. During this stage of development, they are still learning how to react properly to basic emotions such as happiness and sadness but they are also beginning to experience more complex emotions.

Have you ever watched your toddler struggle to put on their shoes? Have they all of sudden launched their shoes across the room and lost their mind? This an example of frustration, an emotion they have likely not come face-to-face with before. Between the ages of 2 and 5, they are dealing with a lot of these emotions and are unable to label them or express them appropriately.

You can help your little one by giving the words they need to express the emotions they are feeling. For the above example, you can simply say, “You can’t get your shoes on and you are frustrated.” It may not seem that they are absorbing what you say, but over time this practice will help them to catalogue all those feels.

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