Family

Child illnesses

«My child is pale and tired and their forehead is hot to the touch. I took their temperature and it was very high. I think they're getting sick. What could it be? Is it one of these child illnesses?»

Kinderkrankheiten

It is a fact of life that children become sick. When a child starts to show signs of getting sick, it is often one of the typical child illnesses. Almost all children go through them. Be aware of the symptoms. This way, you have a reference point about which illness it might be. Depending on the situation, your child may need medical attention.

The most common child illnesses

The typical child illnesses – measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox (varicella) and whooping cough – are infectious diseases. The bacteria or viruses are transmitted indirectly by means of droplet infection. Your child will have been infected while playing with other children or at school. To prevent them from infecting other children, they should stay at home until the illness has subsided.

Measles
Symptoms Incubation period Treatment Duration
  • High fever
  • Head cold
  • Coughing
  • Conjunctivitis
  • White spots in the oral mucosa
  • Skin rash over the entire body (red spots)
10 to 11 days
  • Strict bed rest until the fever has subsided
  • Oral care: rinse with camomile or sage tea

4 to 7 days

Vaccination possible

Mumps
Symptoms Incubation period Treatment Duration
  • Swollen parotid gland
  • Swollen cheeks and swelling on and around the lower jaw
  • High fever
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Stomach ache and vomiting
  • Inflammation of the testes
2 weeks
  • Strict bed rest until the fever has subsided
  • Oral care: rinse with camomile or sage tea

Approx. 7 days

Vaccination possible

Rubella
Symptoms Incubation period Treatment Duration
  • Mild, reddish rash, non-coalescing, on the throat/chest
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • High fever
  • Headache, pain in the limbs and joints
2 to 3 weeks
  • Only the symptoms can be treated
  • Bed rest until the fever has subsided
  • Fever-reducing compresses
  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Fever-reducing medication, as prescribed by a physician

Individual

Vaccination possible

Chicken pox (varicella)
Symptoms Incubation period Treatment Individual
  • Red spots on the skin, possibly also on the mucosa
  • Formation of blisters and scabs on the skin
  • Itching
  • Fever
Approx. 2 weeks
  • Cold compresses to alleviate itching
  • Bed rest
  • Cut finger nails so that scratching does not create wounds
  • For babies, change nappies more often

2 to 3 weeks

Vaccination possible

Whooping cough
Symptoms Incubation period Treatment Duration
  • Wheezing cough, strong tickling of the throat, retching
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Fever
7 to 20 Days
  • Keep air moist
  • In the case of a coughing fit, sit child upright and lean them forward
  • Air the room regularly
  • Fever-reducing medication and antibiotics, as prescribed by the physician

Several weeks

Vaccination possible

Household remedies for child illnesses

Many harmless illnesses and complaints can be treated by household remedies that have been around for generations. They can provide fast and effective relief and save you a trip to the doctor. Give it a try:

Head cold and sore throat
  • Elderberry syrup
  • Warm neck compress (water and a little lemon juice)
  • Warm foot bath
  • Place warm onions in your socks
  • Head vapour bath (not too hot, to avoid risk of scalding)
Coughing
  • Fennel tea
  • Diluted elderberry juice
  • Warm chest compress with boiled potatoes
  • Home-brewed, cough-relieving tea with primrose blossom, liquorice, marshmallow root, ribwort and thyme
Head cold
  • Keep the air moist; for example, by laying wet towels over the radiators
  • Place sliced onions next to pillow while sleeping
  • Saltwater nasal rinses (1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in 250ml water)
Stomach ache
  • Vinegar or camomile compress (warm)
  • Anti-flatulence tea made with anise, cumin and fennel seeds
Diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Blueberry tea
  • Peppermint tea
  • Rusks and oatmeal soup
  • Cola and pretzel sticks
Fever
  • Cold cheek compress
Insect bite
  • Rub saliva into the site of the bite
  • Trickle some onion juice onto the site of the bite
  • Press a warm spoon against the bite for 30 seconds

Additional remedies

Managing stress within the family

Sick children are often a cause of stress for parents. However, their recovery has priority. By relieving some of your burden in other areas, you can nurse your child back to health without having to worry about secondary responsibilities. If you work and you can't look after your sick child yourself, you should ideally place your child in the care of someone you trust, either from within your circle of family or friends, or an external specialist.

Information on handling stress

My child is sick. Can I stay at home?
A sick child belongs in bed. They need a lot of rest, care, and the attention and affection of their mother or father. Labour law in Switzerland shares this view: employees with children under 15 years of age are entitled to three days' paid leave to look after their sick child. This entitlement applies per case of illness, and not per calendar year. If the child needs more time to get back to health, the other parent who works can also stay at home for three days. Employers may ask for a doctor's note confirming that the child was ill.

What can Helsana do for you?

First aid in the event of illness

Call the toll-free number 0800 100 008 for round-the-clock medical advice. This emergency assistance is especially valuable if your child falls sick.

If you've concluded the alternative model BeneFit PLUS Telemedicine under basic insurance, please contact the Medgate Telemedicine Centre on the toll-free number 0800 800 090 before consulting a doctor.

If you've concluded the alternative model PREMED-24 under basic insurance, please contact the toll-free medical advice line 0800 773 633 before consulting a doctor.

Help through complementary medicine

Call 0800 100 590 for free advice on suitable treatment methods and recognised therapists. Further information on advice

Care for sick child by a carer (KidsCare)

If your child is ill for an extended period of time and you have to return to work, you may need the support of a carer. If you have the appropriate supplementary hospital insurance, you are entitled to the professional child-minding service KidsCare. A trained specialist will care for your sick child while you're absent due to work. You can reach KidsCare on +41 43 340 16 11.

KidsCare

HOSPITAL ECO
30 hours

You can reach the emergency call centre 24 hours a day on +41 43 340 16 11.

If your child becomes ill or has an accident, you receive up to 30 hours of KidsCare per calendar year.

A professionally trained carer is arranged within a short time to care for your sick or injured child up to the age of 15 at home in his/her familiar environment. You can then fulfil your professional obligations without worry.

Conditions:

  • You work or are a single parent and work.
  • You took out the insurance for your child (not for the parents).
  • You allow our emergency call centre to handle the organisation at every stage.

Product information:
HOSPITAL ECO
HOSPITAL PLUS
60 hours

You can reach the emergency call centre 24 hours a day on +41 43 340 16 11.

You receive up to 60 hours of KidsCare per calendar year.

A professionally trained carer is arranged within a short amount of time to care for your sick or injured child up to the age of 15 at home in his/her familiar environment, allowing you to fulfil your professional obligations without worry.

Conditions:

  • You work or are a single parent and work.
  • You took out the insurance for your child (not for the parents).
  • You allow our emergency call centre to handle the organisation at every stage.

Product information:
HOSPITAL PLUS
HOSPITAL COMFORT
90 hours

You can reach the emergency call centre 24 hours a day on +41 43 340 16 11.

You receive up to 90 hours of KidsCare per calendar year.

A professionally trained carer is arranged within a short amount of time to care for your sick or injured child up to the age of 15 at home in his/her familiar environment, allowing you to fulfil your professional obligations without worry.

Conditions:

  • You work and/or are a single parent and work.
  • You took out the insurance for your child (not for the parents).
  • You allow our emergency call centre to handle the organisation at every stage.

Product information:
HOSPITAL COMFORT
HOSPITAL PLUS CLASSICA
80 hours

You can reach the emergency call centre 24 hours a day on +41 43 340 16 11.

You receive up to 80 hours of KidsCare per calendar year.

A professionally trained carer is arranged within a short amount of time to care for your sick or injured child up to the age of 15 at home in his/her familiar environment, allowing you to fulfil your professional obligations without worry.

Conditions:

  • You work or are a single parent and work.
  • You took out the insurance for your child (not for the parents).
  • You allow our emergency call centre to handle the organisation at every stage.

Product information:
HOSPITAL PLUS CLASSICA
HOSPITAL COMFORT CLASSICA
110 hours

You can reach the emergency call centre 24 hours a day on +41 43 340 16 11.

You receive up to 110 hours of KidsCare per calendar year.

A professionally trained carer is arranged within a short amount of time to care for your sick or injured child up to the age of 15 at home in his/her familiar environment, allowing you to fulfil your professional obligations without worry.

Conditions:

  • You work or are a single parent and work.
  • You took out the insurance for your child (not for the parents).
  • You allow our emergency call centre to handle the organisation at every stage.

Product information:
HOSPITAL COMFORT CLASSICA