Common back-to-school illnesses

 Parents should be aware of a handful of common illnesses kids get from school.

Many children have returned back to school and while that’s good news, it also means the risk of common childhood illnesses spreading.

It’s back-to-school for many children and that means back to managing all sorts of common childhood illnesses that spread more quickly in group settings. Unfortunately, school children have a way of passing their illnesses amongst each other. This means that a young child starting school could inevitably get sick. Other children might be sick more often as they pick up on viruses from their school mates. Here is a list of the five most common illnesses kids get from school.

Colds & Flu

A cold is the most common illness that your child may get at school. A cold is an upper respiratory infection that usually targets children younger than 6 years. According to Pharmacy Times, the most common symptoms of the flu are:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Watery eyes

The flu, which is also known as an influenza virus is passed easily from person to person. When a sick person sneezes or coughs, those droplets may infect other people. The most common symptoms of the influenza virus include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

Stomach flu

The stomach flu is an intestinal infection that a person can get from being in contact with someone that already has it, or eating contaminated food. The flu is marked by watery diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Your child may also develop a mild fever if they ever catch a stomach bug.

Strep throat

A sore or itchy throat in your kids is a bacterial infection known as strep throat. It causes inflammation in the throat that leads to the pain that kids complain about. Strep throat spreads easily, and when one child is in direct contact with someone carrying the infection, it is transmitted. The most common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Conjunctivitis (Pinkeye)

Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the inner eyelid and the outer membrane of the eyeball. If your child gets it, this part of his eye will turn red or pink, thus the name pink eye. Pink eye could be caused by a viral infection, or it could be an allergy. When your child is in contact with someone who has it or touches a contaminated surface. Conjunctivitis symptoms include:

  • Red and itchy eyes
  • Tearing of the eyes
  • Discharge

Good to know

Many of these viruses may remain harmful, and even clear up in a few days with the right amount of rest, liquids and medication. Some cases can become extreme, and parents would need to take their child to the doctor in cases where their fever is above 38 degrees, their struggle to breathe or seem lethargic. A loss of appetite and less trips to the bathroom that spans over a few days can also be a cause for concern.