Sending your kids to school is a time for getting back into those daily routines consisting of commutes, timely meals, and homework at night. However, with the school year also comes preparing for the dreaded mix of back to school illnesses that your children are likely to catch. While in school, our children play together closely in a hands on way. From a mild case of head lice to an intense case of the stomach flu, sharing toys and space will offer many chances for theses contagions to spread. This article is about arming your family with some basic knowledge on what outbreaks to expect this year, and how you can help prevent them from making way into your home.
Colds – It’s called the common cold for a reason, and that’s why it is the first illness on the list. Colds are highly contagious and very common. However, colds are also perhaps the most mild disease with symptoms including congestion and a sore throat. While they can cause a child discomfort, it usually does not prevent them from heading to school each morning. That is why you, the parent, should recommend they cough and sneeze into their elbow and wash their hands before eating. If the child’s fever does reach above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, keep them home until the fever passes and is gone for over 24 hours.
The flu – It is flu season, and various forms of the virus tend to sweep through schools more quickly than anywhere else. When a child gets it, they will suffer a fever that sets on very quickly and reaches temperatures above 101F that comes with body aches and fatigue. The Flu differs from a cold in that it will hit your child harder and keep them out school for much longer, however, the same preventative measures apply.
Stomach Flu – This strain of the flu is known for its capacity to affect the lining of the GI tract. Some symptoms that your child might experience include stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhoea. While very common during school year, this disease is slightly more serious the the standard flue and cold, and so it might be a good idea for one parent of the child to stay home with them for a day. For the stomach flu, hydration is key.
Pink eye is one of those diseases that everyone dreads. Experience it once, and you’ll be washing your hands throughout the day and for the rest of your days. It spreads quickly between kids and results in yellow and green discharge from the eye. The inflammation is caused by bacteria and calls for the use of anti-bacterial eye drops before your child can return to school.
Head lice – While it may be one of the least dangerous diseases on the list, head lice can pack a serious punch when it comes to missing school. Highly contagious, your child will be asked to go home and seek treatment immediately. Experience has taught many that hiring a head lice removal service may be more effective than the traditional store bought and doctor provided treatment.