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How to Prevent Illness When Kids Go Back to School

back to school illnessSending your child to school after summer break is both exciting and nerve-wracking. With the start of a new school year comes the increased risk of illnesses circulating among children. At Hello Pediatrics, we understand the concerns parents have when it comes to their child’s health. That’s why we’re here to provide practical strategies to prevent and manage illness and ensure a smooth back-to-school transition.


Understanding the Back-to-School Illness Spike

It’s not uncommon for kids to fall sick shortly after returning to school. In school, children are exposed to a larger group of peers, increasing the chance of coming into contact with germs. The classroom setting can create an environment where infections spread easily, and cold prevention is difficult, if not impossible. Children may also experience stress and anxiety about the changes that come with a new school year, which can temporarily weaken their immune systems.


Stay Up-to-Date on Vaccines

One of the best preventive measures you can take is to make sure your child is up-to-date on their vaccinations. Vaccines protect your child and contribute to the overall health of the school community. Talk to your pediatrician about recommended vaccines for your child’s age and ensure they receive the necessary immunizations before the school year begins.


Handwashing – A Simple Yet Effective Defense

Proper hand hygiene is a crucial step for cold prevention and stopping the spread of other illnesses. Teach your child to wash their hands frequently, especially before meals and after using the restroom. Encourage them to use soap and water for at least 20 seconds, ensuring they scrub all areas of their hands. Singing the “Happy Birthday” song is a good trick to make sure they wash their hands for an appropriate length of time.


Staying Home When Sick

One of the most important strategies for preventing the spread of illnesses is to keep sick children at home. If your child is showing symptoms like fever, cough, or runny nose, it’s best to keep them home from school until they are symptom-free. Not only does this prevent the spread of germs, but it also allows your child to rest and recover fully before returning to the classroom.


Supporting Your Child’s Immune System

A strong immune system is the number one defense against illnesses. Ensure your child gets plenty of sleep each night, as sleep plays a vital role in immune function. Additionally, provide children with a balanced diet rich in protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods are packed with essential nutrients that support the immune system.


Reducing Stress

Starting a new school year can be stressful for children. Stress can temporarily weaken the immune system, making children more susceptible to illnesses. Help your child manage stress by maintaining open communication and encouraging them to express their feelings. Engage in calming activities together, such as reading, practicing deep breathing, or enjoying time outside together.


Utilize Pediatric Telehealth Services

At Hello Pediatrics, we offer pediatric telehealth services to provide expert medical advice from the comfort of your home. If your child is under the weather or showing signs of illness, you can connect with one of our board-certified Pediatricians with a virtual appointment, even after hours. 

Preventing illnesses when kids go back to school requires a combination of proactive measures. At Hello Pediatrics, we’re dedicated to supporting your child’s journey, both through school and through life. If you have any concerns or need medical advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to us through our online portal. Together, we can ensure a successful and sickness-free school year.

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