Childhood Communicable Diseases

When children and teens are together in group settings such as schools, child care facilities, camps, and sporting activities, some disease-causing germs are easily spread among them. Communicable diseases are those diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, and protozoa that are passed from one person to another. It is important to recognize when someone in a group setting is sick with a communicable disease so steps can be taken to obtain medical care and prevent the spread of disease to others.

Wisconsin Childhood Communicable Diseases Chart

Wisconsin Department of Health Services revised and combined the Wisconsin Communicable Disease Chart and the Childhood Day Care Exclusion Criteria to create the Wisconsin Childhood Communicable Diseases (WCCD) wall chart. The complete wall chart is a color-coded, quick disease reference for those responsible for the care of children and teens in group settings. The wall chart has been divided into six categories, as shown below, of the most common communicable diseases affecting children. The category charts include how the diseases are spread, incubation period (time of exposure to symptoms), signs and symptoms, time period when person is contagious, and criteria for exclusion from school or group.

Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat



Skin and Rash


Sexually Transmitted Diseases


WCCD wall chart (26" X 38") is available, at no cost, through your local health department, DHS regional office, or by email request.

Preventing childhood communicable diseases

Decrease childhood communicable diseases by taking proactive measures. Some ways to decrease transmission are:

Both of these are inexpensive and highly effective ways to stop the spread of diseases among children.

Last Revised: November 17, 2020