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The Gift That Keeps on Giving: 3 Illnesses to Expect When Your Child Starts School

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As a first-time parent, when your child starts school the experience can be exciting and nerve-wracking. You may be even more nerve-wracked when you realize the host of germs they bring home. There are some common ailments you can expect as your child becomes adjusted to interacting with other children and coming into contact with communicable diseases.

Stomach Bugs

Unfortunately, stomach bugs can spread through your house like a wildfire. Even though your little one is miserable, the bright side is children often get over stomach troubles quicker than adults. Your main agenda is keeping your child comfortable and hydrated. Do not be alarmed if your child sleeps for many hours. Check on them periodically to make sure they are sleeping normally and ideally, they should sleep on their side just in case they vomit in their sleep.

Look out for any signs that could indicate gastrointestinal ailments are more serious, such as a high fever, the inability to keep down fluids after several hours, rashes, neck stiffness, or unusual behavior. You should also be cognizant about reducing the spread of stomach. Try to keep your child confined to their room as much as possible. Wear gloves when handling any messes they create. Everyone in the household should wash their hands frequently. Wiping down surfaces that are frequently touched, such as door knobs, tank levers, and bathroom/kitchen fixtures with disinfecting wipes can also help minimize the spread.

Chicken Pox

Chicken pox is far less common that it used to be due to early vaccination against the virus. Even if your child has been vaccinated, it is still possible to have chicken pox. Typically, the incidence of chicken pox in vaccinated individuals is less and when it does occur, it is less serious. Many people are more accustomed to the itchy blisters that develop in chicken pox. However, in vaccinated children, they may develop itchy, raised bumps that do not look like the classic chicken pox.

If you have not been vaccinated against chicken pox, especially if you never had the illness, you should consider having the vaccine well before your child reaches school age. Chicken pox in adults tends to be more severe and have a higher rate of complications. It is unlikely you will be able to care for your sick child without being exposed to the virus.

Strep Throat

Mild sore throats are common as part of the cold or seasonal flu. In strep throat, your child may complain of difficulty swallowing. Their tonsils may be enlarged and covered with white spots. A trip to the doctor is in order for a course of antibiotics. This will lessen the duration of strep throat. Your child may also benefit from liquid acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help reduce their fever and make them more comfortable. Never use aspirin in children, due to the incidence of Reye's syndrome.

To lessen the possibility of spreading strep throat, make sure you wash dishes with hot, soapy water. If you wash dishes by hand, some people add a small splash of bleach to their dish water and allow them to soak before washing. Once your child feels better, their tonsils should return to normal size, but it does not always happen. Their tonsils may remain enlarged and have small craters. You should speak with your pediatrician about the next steps. In some cases, doctors may prefer to have the child recommended for a tonsillectomy to reduce the likelihood of future problems, such as recurrent sinus infections and sore throats or breathing obstructions.

When children start school, they can seem infinitely sick because they are being exposed to communicable illness. Fortunately, most instances of illness are not severe and can be managed with a combination of medication and at-home care. To learn more or connect with local pediatric care, go to this website.