Help! My Kid Started Preschool And Now They’re Always Sick

It’s all too frequent: A toddler begins attending day care or preschool and abruptly it looks as if they at all times have a runny nostril, a cough or worse.

Experts estimate that youngsters contract six to eight upper respiratory infections on common every year. As a mum or dad, chances are you’ll really feel helpless in what looks as if an countless cycle.

Pediatricians clarify why little youngsters are inclined to get sick steadily after beginning day care or preschool, what mother and father ought to find out about this phenomenon, and the way they may help.

Why does this occur?

“These days, parents of toddlers are not used to having a sick child,” stated Dr. Dyan Hes, medical director at Gramercy Pediatrics in New York City. “This is because many of their babies were born during a pandemic and these children have essentially spent their lives in a bubble.”

She famous that lockdowns, social distancing and masks have decreased youngsters’s publicity to frequent pathogens over the previous two years. And even earlier than the pandemic, toddlers typically didn’t come into contact with many of those pathogens till beginning day care or preschool.

“Pre-pandemic, I would reassure parents that children get sick when they start day care because they are exposed to many forms of the common cold and other childhood illnesses,” Hes stated. “Now, two years into the pandemic, I would multiple this by 100! This does not mean that a toddler getting sick is dangerous. It may just happen all at once instead of gradually.”

Preschool and day care usually contain teams of youngsters in rooms collectively, so it’s inevitable that they may unfold contagious sicknesses to one another.

“Many children will bring viruses with them to preschool and share them with others as they play and explore together,” stated Dr. Benjamin Levinson, a major care doctor at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “Children with minimal symptoms, which may seem like allergies, can still spread the virus they carry to others. Thus, it is very common for children to get several viral illnesses shortly after beginning preschool as they will be exposed to many viral strains for the first time.”

Can mother and father stop it?

“Really, the only way you can prevent getting a virus or other illness is not to be near someone else with a virus, and that’s very difficult if you’re going to attend any kind of school,” stated Dr. Arthur Lavin, a pediatrician at Akron Children’s Hospital. “Hand-washing can help slow the spread of viruses like the stomach flu, but for viruses like the common cold that are spread through the air, it can be very difficult.”

Lavin recommends educating your little one to clean their arms earlier than consuming and after utilizing the lavatory as a way to sluggish the transmission of viruses or infections that unfold through contact.

“If we really wanted to stop people from getting colds or other sicknesses, we’d have to be in a permanent lockdown,” Lavin added. “When we were in lockdown, that was the first time in recorded history we had no flu epidemic. While that was amazing, no one is willing to live like that, and I wouldn’t recommend it.”

Experts estimate that children contract six to eight upper respiratory infections on average each year.

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Experts estimate that youngsters contract six to eight higher respiratory infections on common every year.

What else can mother and father do to advertise their toddlers’ well being?

Parents can’t absolutely stop the unfold of germs in day care and preschool settings, however there are methods to cut back the danger of an infection and promote your little one’s general well being.

“Facilitate good sleep and healthy nutrition habits to help bolster their immune system,” Levinson suggested. “Spend time interacting with your toddler in a positive manner to help reduce stress levels. Avoid any smoke exposure for your child as this can harm their lungs and make respiratory viruses more likely to cause significant illness. Ensure your child is taking medications appropriately (i.e., inhalers for asthma) if they are prescribed.”

He famous that since “immune-boosting” dietary supplements aren’t well-regulated and usually haven’t been confirmed to work to a significant diploma, it’s higher to deal with offering a well-balanced eating regimen on your little one.

“Little ones are known to put their hands everywhere,” Hes stated. “When hand-washing is not an option, I would recommend using hand sanitizer. I’m not a huge fan of hand sanitizer with little kids because it is very drying and contains alcohol, but it is better than not cleaning their hands at all. Also, teach your child to sneeze into their upper arm and not into their hands.”

She additionally emphasised the significance of bodily exercise, even within the winter, and suggested ensuring your toddler will get at the very least three hours of lively playtime every day.

What ought to mother and father do when their child is sick?

When your little one has a contagious sickness, it’s vital for them to remain residence. Of course, that is simpler stated than achieved for a lot of mother and father, who won’t have the ability to afford time away from work or at-home little one care.

In basic, frequent colds and infections aren’t a supply of fear, Levinson famous. Still, he recommends getting in contact with a medical supplier in case your little one is exhibiting indicators of problem respiration, are in important ache, or have a temperature of greater than 100.4 levels Fahrenheit for 5 days in a row.

“In pediatrics we see many, many children with relatively frequent viral infections and very few are sick enough to need to stay in the hospital,” Levinson stated. “Additionally, if children get sick repeatedly, but their body clears the infection such that they get back to normal prior to getting sick again, this implies they have a good immune system that is working well.”

Lavin urged mother and father to remember that colds are totally different from COVID-19 and to get out of the pandemic-induced mindset {that a} viral an infection means one thing horrible will occur.

“What’s important to keep in mind with colds and other childhood viruses and infections is that they don’t threaten your child’s health,” Lavin stated. “It sounds like a funny thing to say about something that makes you sick, but most viruses and infections leave your child unharmed, which is good news because you really can’t stop these viruses from flowing.”

This is a part of a HuffPost Parents sequence known as Enjoy The Ride. Read extra right here.

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