== Pediatric Infectious Diseases - East Tennessee Children's Hospital

Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Pediatric infectious diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses, funguses, parasites or other infections in your child’s body. They can occur in children who have complex medical conditions or those who were previously healthy.

Congenital Infections

The most common conditions infectious disease specialists treat include:

  • Respiratory tract infections, like pneumonia
  • Fungal infections
  • Mononucleosis
  • Skin infections, like MRSA
  • Infections around surgery scars or near prosthetics
  • Lyme disease
  • Tuberculosis
  • Persistent fever

With modern technology, many infectious diseases in children can be prevented with a vaccination or treated with antibiotics. Some of these conditions are harder to treat because some children have weaker immune systems. Also, some diseases are much stronger or rarer than others.

Overseas Travel

Pediatric infectious disease specialists can give your family information about preparing for travel overseas. Some countries have different diseases than we do, so your child may not have the right vaccinations to protect him. These doctors can protect your child against diseases like typhoid, rabies, hepatitis and meningococcal disease.


Many infectious diseases are spread through germs that children pick up every day. The most common places germs live are:

  • Doorknobs
  • Television remotes
  • Faucets
  • Light switches
  • Microwaves
  • Computer keyboards
  • Toilet handles
  • Telephones

Children can easily pick up viruses and bacteria that can cause infectious diseases from these surfaces. Germs can also be spread through coughing, sneezing or sharing drinks.

The best way to prevent infectious diseases is by hand-washing frequently during the day. Teach your child to wash his hands after using the bathroom, blowing his nose, sneezing or coughing. Your child should also resist touching his eyes, mouth or nose.

Your child should also be up-to-date on his immunizations. He should get the influenza vaccine every year. Children usually bring the flu into their households. By vaccinating your children, you will protect the rest of your family from the flu.

If your child is not getting enough sleep or has a poor diet, he is more likely to have a weak immune system. He will not be able to fight off dangerous germs as well as other children will.

Your family doctor can help you understand how you can prevent too much exposure to germs in your home.


To protect your child from some infectious diseases, you must be a good role model for hand-washing and good hygiene. Teach your child how to wash his hands properly using these tips.

  1. Find a comfortable temperature. The water should be warm, but not hot enough to hurt your hands.
  2. Wet your hands first, then put soap on them.
  3. Keep your hands under the water for about 20 seconds. If your child doesn't want to count, teach him to sing Happy Birthday twice while washing his hands.
  4. Dry with a clean towel.

Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialists

Learn about the Pediatric Infectious Diseases specialists who are part of East Tennessee Children's Hospital: