All conditions

A full listing of all conditions and problems covered on this website - from common problems to rare conditions. 

A sick child asleep on a hospital bed

Allergies happen when your child's infection-fighting system has made an allergic response to a substance (called an allergen).

Anxiety is a common and natural feeling that everybody experiences. If anxiety is significantly interfering in your child's everyday life, then get help. Anxiety disorders can be treated effectively.

If a premature baby has apnoea of prematurity, it means they stop breathing at times for 15-20 seconds. 

Appendicitis is a potentially serious condition. Go first to your family doctor or after-hours medical centre if you think your child has appendicitis symptoms. If you cannot get an appointment straightaway, go to your hospital's accident and emergency department.

Asthma is a condition that leads to narrowing of the airways of the lungs. Symptoms include wheeze, cough and difficulty breathing.

Children and young people with ADHD may have poor concentration, poor control of impulses and can be overactive. This interferes with their ability to learn and socialise and can affect family functioning. Children with ADHD need support and understanding from family/whānau, teachers and the community.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication, social skills and behaviour. If your child does have ASD, there are services available to support you and your child.

Biliary atresia is a rare but serious liver disorder that affects newborn babies.

A boil is a tender red lump on the skin which is caused by an infection of the hair root or sweat pore. Boils are not usually a serious problem. There is a small chance of your child becoming sicker if the infection spreads – if this happens you should take your child to your family doctor.

A breath-holding spell may happen after a child has an upset or sudden startle, such as a minor bump or a fright.

Bronchiectasis is a type of scarring in the lungs. Mucus can collect in the scarred area and infections occur in this mucus.

Bronchiolitis is a chest condition that causes breathing problems in babies. It's catching so wash your hands before and after handling baby.

Any area of skin can become infected with cellulitis if the skin is broken in some way. Cellulitis is a serious infection that needs treatment with antibiotics.

Cerebral palsy is a permanent physical condition that affects muscle control. It is the most common physical disability in childhood.

Chickenpox is a common childhood illness caused by a virus. Children with chickenpox need to stay home from school and daycare. Children can now have free chickenpox immunisation. 

There are many childhood cancer topics and pages available on this website. Check out some quick links to the main sections.

Common eye problems in children include strabismus, chalazion, amblyopia and refractive error.

When a baby has a condition called congenital hypothyroidism, they are born with a thyroid gland that does not work properly.

Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is a very common condition in children. It causes red, irritated and sticky eyes. It is usually caused by an infection (virus or bacteria), or allergies.

Constipation is when your child has hard, infrequent poo - it's a common problem in childhood.

Coughing is common in children, especially when they are preschool age. A cough that lasts longer than 4 weeks is not normal and may be a sign of chest disease.

Croup is a viral illness in young children which causes narrowing of the upper airways. Croup is often a mild illness but can quickly become serious, so do not hesitate to get medical help.

How to care for cuts, grazes or puncture wounds. If your child has a wound that won't stop bleeding, see your doctor or go to the emergency department.

Daytime wetting happens in about 3 and a half percent of healthy children. All children with daytime wetting should see a doctor who has experience with children's problems.

Depression is a serious illness that interferes with everyday life. It is important to get help if concerned about child depression. Depression can be treated effectively.

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are lifelong conditions. You can minimise the long-term risks and complications for your child.

A series of 6 video clips featuring Melanie Mora and her family. Mel is mother to 3 boys - Jamie, Ryan and Ethan. She talks about her experience of receiving a post-birth diagnosis of Down syndrome for her middle son Ryan.

Meet Mel and her family in a series of video clips. Mel is mother to 3 boys - Jamie, Ryan and Ethan. Her middle son Ryan was diagnosed after birth with Down syndrome.

Ear pain and concerns about hearing are one of the most common reasons parents take their young children to the doctor.

Eczema is a dry skin condition. It cannot be cured but it can usually be controlled.

Febrile seizures are a common childhood problem. Seizures with a fever are more common in children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years. 

Fevers are common in children. Fever by itself does not tell you whether your child is seriously sick. Even an ordinary cold can cause a high fever.

The flu is not the same as having a bad cold. The flu can be a serious and sometimes life-threatening infection. Yearly flu immunisation offers the best protection.

The foreskin is the loose skin that covers and protects the end of the penis. The foreskin and penis of an infant or child need no special care. A child's foreskin should never be pulled back (retracted) by force.

There are different types of fractures. Your child's treatment will depend on the type of fracture, and where it is.

Gastroenteritis (gastro) is a bowel infection, usually caused by a virus. It causes runny, watery poo and sometimes vomiting. Children with gastroenteritis need to drink plenty of fluids.

If your child has glue ear, it means there is fluid in the space behind the ear drum. The main symptom of glue ear is hearing difficulty. Hearing loss for long periods during the early years may affect speech and language development.

If your child has hand, foot and mouth disease, keep them at home if they are unwell or have blisters. Make sure your child doesn't go to childcare or school until all the blisters have dried.

Head lice are small insects that live on the human scalp. They are common and cause concern and frustration for parents, children and young people. Dimethicone lotion is an effective treatment that your family doctor can prescribe - check out our step by step guide.

If your child has speech or language difficulties, has trouble following instructions, is easily distracted, or has difficulty paying attention in class, they may have a hearing problem.

Henoch-Schonlein purpura is a disease which causes irritation and swelling of the small blood vessels in the skin. This  results in a rash (purple spots or purpura). The illness usually affects children from 2 to 10 years of age.

Infant botulism is a very rare condition. Honey is a known source of the bacteria spores that cause botulism so babies should be at least 12 months old before they eat honey.

At-a-glance information on a range of childhood infections - how they are spread, early symptoms, time between exposure and sickness, exclusion from school and day care.

An insect bite is usually a red itchy bump. There may be a blister in the middle. Sometimes insect bites are painful (especially spider bites) as well as itchy.

Intussusception is a rare condition where one part of the bowel slides into the next (like a telescope) and causes a blockage.

Mild jaundice is common in babies but baby jaundice is not always normal. Every month a New Zealand baby is born with severe liver disease. If your baby has yellow skin or eyes and pale poo or dark (yellow or brown) wee, your baby needs a special blood test. See your doctor or midwife as soon as possible.

Kawaskai disease is a rare but serious illness affecting young children. The most striking feature is a high fever that comes and goes for at least 5 days. If you think your child might have Kawasaki disease you should take them to your doctor straightaway.

Make sure your kids are immunised against measles. It takes around 2 weeks for the immunisation to protect you.

Babies and children with meningococcal disease can get sick very quickly. Take your child to a doctor urgently if they appear very ill, especially if there is a rash.

Mumps is a viral illness which can be serious. Immunisation is the only way to prevent it.

In the 5 hours between waking at 3am with a headache and 8am when her family had gathered at Palmerston North Hospital, 18-year-old Letitia (Tesh) Gallagher's body had battled meningococcal C disease and lost.

A diagnosis of mitochondrial disease can, understandably, be devastating. There will be many questions and emotions. This page is aimed at providing information and support for New Zealanders affected by 'mito', along with their family and friends.

Nightmares are bad dreams that are usually related to worries your child may have. Night terrors can be very frightening and usually happen 1 or 2 hours after falling asleep.

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. It causes cough, fever and problems with breathing. Most children make a complete recovery from pneumonia.

If you think your child has been poisoned, call the New Zealand National Poisons Centre immediately on 0800 POISON (0800 764 766). Do not try to make your child vomit or give food or liquid until you have been given advice.

Poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis (PSGN) is a kidney disease that develops 10 to 14 days after a skin or throat infection. The main symptoms are blood in your child's wee and swollen ankles or puffy eyes.

Pyloric stenosis is a condition where milk cannot get out of the stomach because the 'exit' is extremely narrow.

Helpful resources and services if your child has a rare and/or genetic disorder.

Reflux is when your baby's stomach contents are released back into their food canal and mouth. It's very common and doesn't usually hurt your baby.

Rheumatic fever is a serious illness. It often starts with a sore throat. Without treatment, some sore throats can cause rheumatic fever which can lead to heart damage. 

Watch animated videos to find out about sore throats, rheumatic fever and the importance of keeping a healthy heart.

Ringworm is a flat, ring-shaped infection. See your doctor if the ringworm is on your child's scalp as this needs to be treated with medicine.

Scabies is caused by a tiny insect known as a mite which digs under the skin and lays eggs. Small blisters grow on the skin above each egg and the skin gets very itchy.

School sores (impetigo) starts with blisters on exposed parts of the body (hands, legs, face).

Although noisy breathing during sleep is common in children, it may be a sign that your child is having difficulty breathing. The medical name for this is obstructive sleep apnoea.

Soiling is when your child does poo in their pants after the age when you would expect them to be toilet-trained. Soiling is usually caused by chronic constipation and an overloaded bowel.

Some parents worry that a sore red bottom may be caused by sexual abuse.  Although that is a possibility, it is not the usual reason and there are lots of other things that are much more likely causes of a sore red bottom.

Meet Tristan and Justin. The 11-year-old twins know first hand that a sore throat left untreated can lead to rheumatic fever.

An abnormally fast heart rhythm (tachycardia) can arise from the upper or lower chambers of the heart. Tachycardias that involve the upper chambers are called supraventricular tachycardias (SVT). Supraventricular tachycardias are usually not dangerous.

Urinary reflux (vesico-ureteric reflux) is the abnormal flow of urine back up the ureters when your child wees.

A urinary tract infection is an infection in the wee (urine). It can make your child have a high temperature and become unwell.

If your child has learning or reading difficulties, is clumsier than usual for their age, screws their eyes up or tilts their head to see, or has frequent headaches, this may mean they have a vision problem.

Warts are common, harmless skin growths caused by a virus. In children, 90 percent of all warts will disappear within 2 years.

Young babies with whooping can become very ill and end up in hospital. They can catch whooping cough from family members so make sure you, your older children and extended family are up-to-date with immunisations